Dominic was born in Castile in Spain. He was a member of the Guzman family and his mother was a holy woman – Blessed Joan of Aza.
When Dominic was seven, he began to go to school. His uncle who was a priest, guided him all through his school years. After years of study, Dominic became a priest too.
He lived a quiet life of prayer and obedience with other good priests. But God had amazing plans for Dominic. He began a new religious order called the Order of Preachers or “Dominicans,” after St. Dominic.
The Dominicans preached the faith to the people. They helped correct false teachings called heresies.
It all began when Dominic was on a trip through southern France. He realized that some people had formed a group and were going about teaching people things that were not true. This was doing them great harm. St. Dominic felt such pity for all the people who had joined the group and wanted to help them.
The Dominicans conquered that dangerous heresy with prayer, especially by praying the Holy Rosary. Dominic also encouraged the people to be humble and to make sacrifices.
Once someone asked St. Dominic what book he used to prepare his wonderful sermons. “The only book I use is the book of love,” he said. He always prayed to be filled with true love of neighbor. He begged the Dominicans to be devoted to the study of the Bible and to prayer.
No one did more than St. Dominic and his preachers to spread the beautiful practice of saying the Rosary.
St. Dominic was a brilliant preacher, while St. Francis of Assisi was a humble beggar. Yet, they were very close friends. Their two orders of Dominicans and Franciscans helped Christians become holier.
Dominic’s friars opened centers in Paris (in France); Madrid (in Spain); Rome and Bologna (in Italy). He lived to see his order spread to Poland, Scandinavia and Palestine. The friars also went to Canterbury, London, and Oxford (in England).
Dominic died in Bologna (Italy) on August 7, 1221.
His great friend, Cardinal Ugolino of Venice became Pope Gregory IX and a few years later he proclaimed Dominic a saint.
Reflection: “Arm yourself with prayer rather than a sword; wear humility rather than fine clothes.” — St. Dominic de Guzman
Prayer: Wonderful Saintly Founder of the eloquent Order of Preachers and friend of Saint Francis of Assisi, you were a fiery defender of the Faith and a fighter against the darkness of heresy. You resembled a great star that shone close to the world and pointed to the Light which was Christ. Help astronomers to study the stars and admire their wonderful Maker, proclaiming: “Give glory to God in the highest.” Amen.