Saint Dominic (Spanish: Santo Domingo), also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán (/ɡʊzˈmɑːn/; Spanish: [ɣuθˈman]; 8 August 1170 – 6 August 1221), was a Castilian priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.
|Born||August 8, 1170|
Caleruega, Kingdom of Castile (present-day Castile-Leon, Spain)
|Died||August 6, 1221 (aged 50)|
Bologna (present-day Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
|Canonized||13 July 1234, Spoleto by Pope Gregory IX|
|Major shrine||San Domenico, Bologna|
|Attributes||Chaplet, dog, star, lilies, Dominican Habit, book and staff, tonsure|
|Patronage||Astronomers; astronomy; Dominican Republic; Santo Domingo Pueblo, Valletta, Birgu (Malta), Campana, Calabria, Managua|
Dominic was born in Caleruega, halfway between Osma and Aranda de Duero in Old Castile, Spain. He was named after Saint Dominic of Silos. The Benedictine abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos lies a few miles north of Caleruega.
In the earliest narrative source, by Jordan of Saxony, Dominic's parents are named Felix Guzman and Juanna of Aza. The story is told that before his birth his barren mother made a pilgrimage to the Abbey at Silos, and dreamt that a dog leapt from her womb carrying a flaming torch in its mouth, and "seemed to set the earth on fire." This story drew resonance from the fact that his order became known, after his name, as the Dominican order, Dominicanus in Latin which a play on words interpreted as Domini canis: "Dog of the Lord." Jordan adds that Dominic was brought up by his parents and a maternal uncle who was an archbishop. The failure to name his parents is not unusual, since Jordan wrote a history of the Order's early years, rather than a biography of Dominic. A later source, still of the 13th century, also gives their names as Juana and Felix. Nearly a century after Dominic's birth, a local author asserted that Dominic's father was "vir venerabilis et dives in populo suo" ("an honoured and wealthy man in his village"). The travel narrative of Pero Tafur, written circa 1439 (about a pilgrimage to Dominic's tomb in Italy), states that Dominic's father belonged to the family de Guzmán, and that his mother belonged to the Aça or Aza family. Dominic's mother, Jane of Aza, was beatified by Pope Leo XII in 1828.
Dominic was educated in the schools of Palencia (they became a university soon afterwards) where he devoted six years to the arts and four to theology. In 1191, when Spain was desolated by famine, young Dominic gave away his money and sold his clothes, furniture and even precious manuscripts to feed the hungry. Dominic reportedly told his astonished fellow students, "Would you have me study off these dead skins, when men are dying of hunger?" In 1194, around age twenty-five, Dominic joined the Canons Regular in the canonry in the Cathedral of Osma, following the rule of Saint Augustine.
In 1203 or 1204 he accompanied Diego de Acebo, the Bishop of Osma, on a diplomatic mission for Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, to secure a bride in Denmark for crown prince Ferdinand. The envoys traveled to Denmark via Aragon and the south of France. The marriage negotiations ended successfully, but the princess died before leaving for Castile.
Around 1205, Dominic, along with Diego de Acebo, began a program in the south of France, to convert the Cathars, a Christian religious sect with gnostic and dualistic beliefs, which the Roman Catholic Church deemed heretical. As part of this, Catholic-Cathar public debates were held at Verfeil, Servian, Pamiers, Montréal and elsewhere. Dominic concluded that only preachers who displayed real sanctity, humility and asceticism could win over convinced Cathar believers. However, even Dominic managed only a few converts among the Cathars.
In 1215, Dominic established himself, with six followers, in a house given by Peter Seila, a rich resident of Toulouse. Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization to address the spiritual needs of the growing cities of the era, one that would combine dedication and systematic education, with more organizational flexibility than either monastic orders or the secular clergy. He subjected himself and his companions to the monastic rules of prayer and penance; and meanwhile Bishop Foulques gave them written authority to preach throughout the territory of Toulouse.
In the same year, the year of the Fourth Lateran Council, Dominic and Foulques went to Rome to secure the approval of the Pope, Innocent III. Dominic returned to Rome a year later, and was finally granted written authority in December 1216 and January 1217 by the new pope, Honorius III for an order to be named "The Order of Preachers" ("Ordo Praedicatorum", or "O.P.," popularly known as the Dominican Order).
Blessed Cecilia Caesarini, who was received by Dominic into his new order, in her old age described him as "...thin and of middle height. His face was handsome and somewhat fair. He had reddish hair and beard and beautiful eyes ... His hands were long and fine and his voice pleasingly resonant. He never got bald, though he wore the full tonsure, which was mingled with a few grey hairs."
Although he traveled extensively to maintain contact with his growing brotherhood of friars, Dominic made his headquarters in Rome. In 1219, Pope Honorius III invited Dominic and his companions to take up residence at the ancient Roman basilica of Santa Sabina, which they did by early 1220. Before that time the friars had only a temporary residence in Rome at the convent of San Sisto Vecchio, which Honorius III had given to Dominic circa 1218, intending it to become a convent for a reformation of nuns at Rome under Dominic's guidance. The official foundation of the Dominican convent at Santa Sabina with its studium conventuale, the first Dominican studium in Rome, occurred with the legal transfer of property from Pope Honorius III to the Order of Preachers on 5 June 1222, though the brethren had taken up residence there already in 1220. The studium at Santa Sabina was the forerunner of the studium generale at Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The latter would be transformed in the 16th century into the College of Saint Thomas (Latin: Collegium Divi Thomæ), and then in the 20th century into the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum sited at the convent of Saints Dominic and Sixtus.
According to Guiraud, Dominic abstained from meat, "observed stated fasts and periods of silence", "selected the worst accommodations and the meanest clothes", and "never allowed himself the luxury of a bed". "When travelling, he beguiled the journey with spiritual instruction and prayers". Guiraud also states that Dominic frequently traveled barefoot and that "rain and other discomforts elicited from his lips nothing but praises to God".
Dominic arrived in Bologna on 21 December 1218. A convent was established at the Mascarella church by the Blessed Reginald of Orleans. Soon afterwards they had to move to the church of San Nicolò of the Vineyards. Dominic settled in this church and held here the first two General Chapters of the order.(Guiraud 1913, pp. 126, 140)
Dominic died at the age of fifty-one, according to Guiraud "exhausted with the austerities and labours of his career". He had reached the convent of St Nicholas at Bologna, Italy, "weary and sick with a fever". Guiraud states that Dominic "made the monks lay him on some sacking stretched upon the ground" and that "the brief time that remained to him was spent in exhorting his followers to have charity, to guard their humility, and to make their treasure out of poverty". He died at noon on 6 August 1221. His body was moved to a simple sarcophagus in 1233. Under the authority of Pope Gregory IX, Dominic was canonized in 1234. In 1267 Dominic's remains were moved to the shrine, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop.
What part Dominic personally had in the proceedings of the Medieval Inquisition has been disputed for centuries. The historical sources from Dominic’s own time period reveal nothing about his involvement in the Inquisition.
As one recent historian states, "Was Dominic the first of the inquisitors? The answer is categorically: By no means! Simple chronology suffices to resolve the problem: Dominic died in 1221, and the office of the Inquisition was not established until 1231 in Lombardy and 1234 in Languedoc." In fact, several early Dominicans did become inquisitors. But later on, the difference between Dominic and some of his early followers would be obscured. For example, in the 15th century, the Spanish Inquisition commissioned the artist Pedro Berruguete to depict Dominic presiding at an auto da fé. Thus, the Spanish inquisitors promoted a historical legend for the sake of auto-justification.
Reacting against the Spanish tribunals, 16th- and 17th-century Protestant polemicists gladly developed and perpetuated the legend of Dominic the Inquisitor. This image gave German Protestant critics of the Catholic Church an argument against the Dominican Order whose preaching had proven to be a formidable opponent in the lands of the Reformation. As Edward Peters notes, “In Protestant historiography of the sixteenth century a kind of anti-cult of St. Dominic grew up.”
The spread of the Rosary, a Marian devotion, is attributed to the preaching of Dominic. The Rosary has for centuries been at the heart of the Dominican Order. Pope Pius XI stated, "The Rosary of Mary is the principle and foundation on which the very Order of Saint Dominic rests for making perfect the life of its members and obtaining the salvation of others." For centuries, Dominicans have been instrumental in spreading the rosary and emphasizing the Catholic belief in the power of the rosary.
The feast of Saint Dominic is celebrated with great pomp and devotion in Malta, in the old city of Birgu and the capital city Valletta. The Dominican order has very strong links with Malta and Pope Pius V, a Dominican friar himself, aided the Knights of St. John to build the city of Valletta. 
The Arca di San Domenico (Ark of Saint Dominic) is a monument containing the remains of Saint Dominic. It is located in Dominic’s Chapel in the Basilica of San Domenico in Bologna, Italy.Basilica of San Domenico
The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the major churches in Bologna, Italy. The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), are buried inside the exquisite shrine Arca di San Domenico, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with later additions by Niccolò dell'Arca and the young Michelangelo.Cañas, La Rioja
Cañas is a municipality of La Rioja, Spain. It was the birthplace of Saint Dominic of Silos (1000-1073).
The abbey of Santa María de San Salvador de Cañas for Cistercian nuns was founded in this town by Lope Díaz I de Haro and his wife Aldonza in 1169 and 1170. Its wealth and power culminated during the 13th century under the abbess Urraca Díaz de Haro, between 1222 and 1262. The nuns benefited from the patronage of the Haro family until its extinction in 1322. The community is still active today and retains fragments of it medieval library, particularly a complete Burgundian antiphonary from around 1200, and a Castilian missal from 1267–1279.Dominic Savio
Dominic Savio (Italian: Domenico Savio; 2 April 1842 – 9 March 1857) was an Italian adolescent student of Saint John Bosco. He was studying to be a priest when he became ill and died at the age of 14, possibly from pleurisy. He was noted for his piety and devotion to the Catholic faith, and was eventually canonized.
Bosco regarded Savio very highly, and wrote a biography of his young student, The Life of Dominic Savio. This volume, along with other accounts of him, were critical factors in his cause for sainthood. Despite the fact that many people considered him to have died at too young an age – fourteen – to be considered for sainthood, he was considered eligible for such singular honour on the basis of his having displayed "heroic virtue" in his everyday life. He is the only person of his age group who was declared a saint not on the basis of his having been a martyr, but on the basis of having lived what was seen as a holy life. Savio was canonised a saint on 12 June 1954, by Pope Pius XII, making him the youngest non-martyr to be canonised in the Catholic Church until the canonisations of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the pious visionaries of Fatima, in 2017.Dominic of Silos
Dominic of Silos, O.S.B., (Spanish: Santo Domingo de Silos) (1000 – December 20, 1073) was a Spanish monk, to whom the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, where he served as the abbot, is dedicated. He is revered as a saint in the Catholic Church. His feast day is December 20.Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers (Latin: Ordo Praedicatorum, postnominal abbreviation OP), also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega (also called Dominic de Guzmán) in France, approved by Pope Innocent III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans (formerly known as tertiaries, though recently there has been a growing number of associates who are unrelated to the tertiaries).
Founded to preach the Gospel and to oppose heresy, the teaching activity of the order and its scholastic organisation placed the Preachers in the forefront of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. The order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers. In the year 2018 there were 5,747 Dominican friars, including 4,299 priests. The Dominican Order is headed by the Master of the Order, currently Bruno Cadoré. Mary Magdalene and Saint Catherine of Alexandria are the co-patronesses of the Order.
A number of other names have been used to refer to both the order and its members.
In England and other countries, the Dominican friars are referred to as "Black Friars" because of the black cappa or cloak they wear over their white habits. Dominicans were "Blackfriars", as opposed to "Whitefriars" (i.e., Carmelites) or "Greyfriars" (i.e., Franciscans). They are also distinct from the "Austin friars" (i.e., Augustinian Friars) who wear a similar habit.
In France, the Dominicans were known as "Jacobins" because their convent in Paris was attached to the Church of Saint-Jacques, now disappeared, on the way to Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas, which belonged to the Italian Order of Saint James of Altopascio (St. James) Sanctus Iacobus in Latin.
Their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the "Domini canes", or "Hounds of the Lord".Mendicant
A mendicant (from Latin: mendicans, "begging") is one who practices mendicancy (begging) and relies chiefly or exclusively on charitable donations to survive. In principle, mendicant religious orders do not own property, either individually or collectively, and members have taken a vow of poverty, in order that all their time and energy could be expended on practicing or preaching and serving the poor. It is a form of asceticism.
Many religious orders adhere to a mendicant way of life, including the Catholic mendicant orders, Hindu ascetics, some Sufi dervishes of Islam, and the monastic orders of Jainism and Buddhism. In the Catholic Church, followers of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Dominic became known as mendicants, as they would beg for food while they preached to the villages.
While mendicants are the original type of monks in Buddhism and have a long history in Indian Hinduism and the countries which adapted Indian religious traditions, they did not become widespread in Christianity until the High Middle Ages. The Way of a Pilgrim depicts the life of an Eastern Christian mendicant.Militia Christi
Militia Christi is a continuation of a centuries-old Catholic movement founded by Saint Dominic as a movement for laity, envisaged as a kind of army in suppressing insurgents inspired by the Albigensian heresy. Saints Catherine of Siena and Rose of Lima were both members of the original movement.St. Dominic is more famous as the founder of the Order of Preachers, more commonly known as the Dominicans.Monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos (the Old)
Not to be confused with the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos.
The Monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos (the Old) (Spanish: Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos (el Antiguo)) is a Cistercian monastery in Toledo, Spain.
It was first founded in the 6th century and rebuilt in 1085 by Pedro Alcocer during the reign of Alfonso VI of Leon and Castille. It underwent major rebuilding work in the second half of the 16th century, in which the mudéjar church was demolished. The new building was begun by Nicolás de Vergara and completed by the royal architect Juan de Herrera, as well as being provided with a new altarpiece by El Greco.Mount Saint Dominic Academy
Mount Saint Dominic Academy is a four-year Catholic college preparatory school for women located in Caldwell, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades. The school was founded in 1892 by the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell. It is located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.Saint Dominic Academy
Saint Dominic Academy (SDA) is a private college-preparatory for girls in seventh through twelfth grades, located in Jersey City, in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. The school, which is situated within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and is administered by the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey, has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1991 and expires in May 2018.As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 255 students and 26.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.5:1. The school's student body was 51.8% White, 20.0% Hispanic, 14.1% Asian, 9.0% Black and 5.1% two or more races.Saint Dominic Academy (Maine)
Saint Dominic Academy is a Catholic grammar school and high school located on two sites: in Lewiston, Maine, and Auburn, Maine. Both sites are in the Diocese of Portland.
The Lewiston campus is for grades Pre-K to 6 while the Auburn campus is for Grades 7 to 12.Saint Dominic in Soriano
Saint Dominic in Soriano (Italian: San Domenico in Soriano; Spanish: Santo Domingo en Soriano) refers to a portrait of Saint Dominic (1170–1221) which was from 1530 an important artefact in the Dominican friary at Soriano Calabro in southern Italy. It was believed to be of miraculous origin, and to be capable of working miracles. It was the subject of a Roman Catholic feast day celebrated on 15 September from 1644 to 1913. Its miraculous origin was the subject of several 17th-century paintings. Several ecclesiastical buildings have been named after it. The painting may no longer exist.San Domenico, Turin
The Church and Convent of Saint Dominic (Italian: Chiesa e Convento di San Domenico) is a Roman Catholic church located in the city of Turin, Italy. Throughout its history it has served as a church, as inquisition tribunal, and as a masonic lodge.Scapular of Saint Dominic
The Scapular of St. Dominic is a Roman Catholic devotional scapular. In 1903, this scapular was endowed by St. Pope Pius X and an indulgence of 300 days was granted to the faithful who wear it, as often as they devoutly kiss it.St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School
St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic high school located in northern Austin, Texas, United States. The school, a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, opened in August 2009. It is administered by the diocese.Statues of Madonna, Saint Dominic and Thomas Aquinas, Charles Bridge
The statues of Madonna, Saint Dominic and Thomas Aquinas are outdoor sculptures by Matěj Václav Jäckel, installed on the north side of the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.Third Order of Saint Dominic
The Third Order of Saint Dominic, also referred to as the Lay Fraternities of St Dominic or Lay Dominicans since 1972, is a Roman Catholic third order affiliated with the Dominican Order.
Lay Dominicans are men and women, singles and couples living a Christian life with a Dominican spirituality in the secular world. They find inspiration following the same spiritual path taken by many saints, blesseds, and other holy men and women throughout the 800-year history of the Dominican Order. The Life of a Dominican layperson is all about having a passion for the Word of God. It is about committing one self to a community of like minded brothers and sisters that immerse themselves in the Word of God. There are Lay Dominican Provinces all around the world.
|Early Middle Ages|
|High Middle Ages|
|Mysticism and reforms|