Life of St. Dominic

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St. Dominic de Guzman

Life of St. Dominic de Guzman

Young Dominic

St. Dominic was born in Spain in 1170 of the illustrious house of Guzman. After graduation from the University of Palencia and ordination to the priesthood, he became a canon of St. Augustine and superior of the canons in the cathedral of Osma. Passing through southern France with his bishop in the year 1203, the young canon was shocked to witness the spiritual horrors wrought by the Albigensian heresy. It was in this storied domain of the troubadours that our zealous Castilian discovered his vocation and laid the foundation of the Order of Preachers.

A Preachers Response

To perpetuate among these benighted souls his future apostolate Dominic founded a three-fold religious Order, one for the converted Albigensian women at Prouille, one for an apostolic band of preachers, and another for men and women known as Tertiaries living in the world as lay Dominicans affiliated with the Order. Dominic, like St. Bernard before him, found the heretics unreceptive, stubborn and hostile, but the barking of the “Watchdog of the Lord” continued loud and clear, while his hunger for souls grew stronger.

The Holy Preacher

St. Dominic's humility, fatherly kindness, patience and joyfulness under persecution impressed even his enemies who at times mocked, spit at him and pelted him with stones or mud. Since he could not shed his blood for their salvation, he fasted, took the discipline during his night-vigils of prayer, and walked barefoot from village to village preaching the faith. During his lifetime, he healed the sick, raised the dead, multiplied food, and in public debate proved the truth of his doctrine by miracle. When threatened with death, he would reply: “I am not worthy of the martyr's crown.” He twice rejected a bishopric, and he enjoyed a warm…...

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