Given the recall elections tomorrow, I was going to post the USCCB guidelines for voting; however, I think I’ll save this post for a more national election. Instead, I will post on the saint of the day. Today we celebrate the feast of St. Dominic; the great founder of the Order of Preachers or the Dominicans.
St. Dominic was God’s gift to a Church beset by heresies, in the 11oo and 1200s. Dominic de Guzman was born in Castile, Spain, in 1170; his mother is Blessed Joan of Aza. He was taught and trained for the priesthood by his priest-uncle. Dominic had a kind and generous heart and was called by God to use that heart, along with his brilliance, to combat the Albigensian heresy.
The Albigensians believed that there were two gods – one good and one bad. The good god made the soul and thus everything spiritual was good. The bad god made the body and thus all matter and physical substance was to be shunned. Because of these beliefs, the Albigensians practiced suicide, abstained from procreation, consumed very little food and drink, despised the Holy Mass and all of the Sacraments, and denied the Incarnation. During this time, priests were being trained very poorly and thus the Abigensian heresy spread throughout southern France like wildfire. It was to this hopeless cause that God sent Dominic.
Dominic knew that for the Albigensian heresy to be successfully combated, a “crusade ” – not made of swordsman – but of properly catechized preachers, was necessary. He went with his Order of Preachers on many of these preaching “crusades,” throughout southern France. Gradually the teaching of these humble, poor friars rekindled the fire of the True Faith in the hearts of the southern French heretics.
Dominic possessed many weapons in his spiritual arsenal. Among his greatest weapons were the Holy Rosary and his great love for the Mother of God. Dominic faithfully preached the truth and propagated the Holy Rosary in his ministry. In return, Our Lady, who appeared to Dominic several times in his lifetime, has promised her special protection to members of his order.
Dominic lived to see his Order of Preachers spread to all corners of Europe. They traveled to Poland, Scandinavia, Palestine, France, Spain, Italy and England; and opened monasteries and universities in Paris, Madrid, Rome, Bologna, Canterbury, London and Oxford. Thus, the light and truth of Christ was brought to all corners of the known educated world and rekindled in the hearts of those who had fallen away, due to misunderstanding of the mysteries of Christ.
After a life of faithful and fruitful service, Dominic commended his soul to God on August 6th, 1221 in Bologna. In 1234, Pope Gregory the IX canonized Dominic. Saint Dominic – Pray for us!!!
For more information about St. Dominic and the Holy Rosary contact:
Dominican Fathers Headquarters, of the Rosary Confraternity (My family and I are all members of the Rosary Confraternity)