8 August – St Dominic de Guzman
Founder of the Dominican Order of Preachers – Priest, Founder,
Confessor, Teacher, Preacher, Mystic, Miracle-Worker, Apostle of the
Holy Rosary (1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile – noon 6 August
1221 at Bologna, Italy). He was Canonised on 13 July 1234 by Pope
Gregory IX at Rieti, Italy who declared, after signing the Bull of
Canonisation on 13 July, 1234, Pope Gregory IX declared that he no
more doubted the saintliness of Saint Dominic than he did that of
Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
Patronages – astronomers, astronomy, falsely accused people,
scientists, Dominican Republic, Batanes-Babuyanes, Philippines,
prelature of, Bayombong, Philippines, diocese of, Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo Indian Pueblo, Valletta, Malta.
Attributes – chaplet, Dominican carrying a rosary and a tall cross,
Dominican holding a lily, Dominican with dog and globe, Dominican with
fire, Dominican with star shining above his head, dog with a torch in
its mouth, rosary, star.
Dominic de Guzman was born in Calaruega, Spain, son to noble parents
Felix Guzman and Blessed Joan of Aza. While only a boy, he
demonstrated great piety, spending his days in contemplation and
prayer, under the influence of his mother’s great love of the Lord. At
Dominic’s baptism, Blessed Joan saw a star shining from his chest,
which became another of his symbols in art, and led to his patronage
Educated by his uncle, a priest, Dominic soon traveled to Palencia,
where he attended university and was eventually ordained a priest.
While at university, he demonstrated strict penances and rigorous
study but his teachers and classmates soon also noted the tenderest of
hearts and the gentlest of spirits. Dominic demonstrated great care
for those in need, practicing love and charity without judgment.
Following his ordination, Dominic was appointed the prior superior of
his Augustinian Order and strictly observed the Benedictine rule
prescribed. Selected as canon to the Bishop of Osma, he accompanied
Bishop Diego de Avezedo to Languedoc to join with the Cistercian Order
in their fight against heresy. It was here that the idea of founding
an order of preachers, committed to eradicating heresy, first occurred
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 organisation to address the spiritual needs of
the growing cities of the era, one that would combine dedication and
systematic education, with more organisational 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).
It was not long thereafter that Dominic founded an institute for women
at and attached several preaching friars to it. During a subsequent
crusade against the Albigensian heresy, Dominic followed the papal
armies and preached to all who would listen. He had little success,
however and returned home to a castle bequeathed to him, where he
founded an order dedicated to the conversion of the Albigensians. The
order was canonically approved by the bishop of Toulouse the following
year and two years later received Pope Honorius III’s approval. The
Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, was founded.
Saint Dominic spent the remaining years of his life organising his new
order, traveling throughout Europe preaching and attracting new
members and establishing new houses. The new order, under his
direction, was astoundingly successful in conversion, based upon
contemplative and intellectual approaches, coupled with the
contemporary and popular needs of the people. His ideal, and that of
his Order, was to link organically a life with God, study and prayer
in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of
God. His ideal: contemplata tradere: “to pass on the fruits of
contemplation” or “to speak only of God or with God.”
(Read the Nine Ways of Prayer of St Dominic here:
There was a time that St Dominic became discouraged at the progress of
his mission. To him, it seemed that no matter how much he worked,
heresy remained. As he contemplated the future of his order, he
received a vision from Our Blessed Mother, who showed him a wreath of
roses, representing the Holy Rosary. Mary told him to say the Rosary
daily, to teach it to all who would listen and eventually the faith
would defeat heresies. The spread of the Rosary, is attributed to the
preaching of Saint 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. Saint Dominic is spread devotion to
the Rosary, and used it to strengthen his own spiritual life.
Saint Dominic is also remembered for miracles (raising four people
from the dead) and miraculous visions. On one occasion, he received a
vision of a poor beggar, who he sought out the following day. Finding
the beggar, Dominic embraced him and said, “You are my companion and
must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand
us.” The beggar turned out to be Saint Francis of Assisi and the two
holy men became the closest of friends.
St Dominic died at the age of fifty-one, “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”. He
“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 canonised in 1234. In 1267 Dominic’s remains
were moved to the shrine, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop. 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 St. Pius V,
a Dominican friar himself, aided the Knights of St. John to build the
city of Valletta.
“The first thing about the angels we ought to imitate is their
consciousness of the presence of God.”
--St. John Vianney
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything
they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For
where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of
them.” (Matthew 18:19,20) RSVCE
All Ye Who would the Christ Descry
By Prudentius (c 348 – c 413)
(Aurelius Prudentius Clemens)
The Renowned Poet
All you who would the Christ descry,
Lift up your eyes to Him on high:
There mortal gaze hath strength to see
The token of His Majesty.
A wondrous sign we there behold,
That knows not death nor groweth old,
Sublime, most high, that cannot fade,
That was ere earth and Heaven were made.
Here is the King the Gentiles fear,
The Jews’ most mighty King is here,
Promised to Abraham of yore,
And to his seed forevermore.
‘Tis He the Prophets words foretold,
And by their signs shown forth of old.
The Father’s Witness hath ordained
That we should hear with faith unfeigned.
Jesu, to Thee our praise we pay,
To little ones revealed today,
With Father and Blest Spirit One
Until the ages’ course is done.
The Hymn Quicumque Christum quaeritis is the twelfth and last poem in
the Cathemerino of Prudentius, originally written in honour of the
Epiphany. Its 208 lines has furnished four hymns to the Roman
Breviary, Latin below the image.
On the Feast of the Transfiguration the verses above are used.
There is a short biography of Prudentius here: