Today is the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as the “Dominicans.” Dominic was born in Caleruega, Spain. His name originates from Saint Dominic of Silos who was a Benedictine. Dominic, like St. Francis of Assisi was focused on helping others. As a youth, he sold his clothing and other possessions in order to help feed the poor. He was also friends with Francis.
When he was 24 years old, he became a Canon Regular in Osma, Spain. While ministering in France, Dominic encountered the Cathars which were a heretical sect that was anti Catholic and believed their ways of faith were the antidote to what they perceived as corruption in the Catholic Church. They believed that matter was evil and only the spirit was good.
Dominic would found the Order of Preachers in 1215 with great zeal to bring back those who were lost to heresies of the time. The order was named the “Dominicans” because of a dream his mother had of a dog that came from her womb holding a flaming torch in its mouth. With this torch, this dog set the world ablaze. The word comes from the Latin “Domini Canis” or “Dogs of the Lord.” Dominic and his friars would travel about preaching the Gospel of the Lord and defending Catholic teaching against the heresies of the time.
It is believed that Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to Dominic and gave him the Rosary which became a popular devotion. The Dominicans use a habit that is composed of a white alb with a black hooded cape, cincture and Rosary. The white alb of the habit – according to tradition – would eventually become the white cassock used by Popes. Pope Pius V was a member of the Dominican order and used his white habit as Pope.
Some of the well known Dominicans are Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Prayer to St Dominic
Wonderful Saintly Founder of the eloquent Order of Preachers and friend of St. 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.