St. Dominic (de
Guzman) was born at Calaruega, Spain of wealthy family. His mother was Blessed Joan
of Aza who, while pregnant, had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the
world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth. A dog bearing a torch in its
mouth became a symbol for the Dominicans.
Legend says that Dominic received a vision of a beggar who would
do great things for the faith. Dominic met the beggar the next day. He 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 was Saint Francis of Assisi.
He always carried with him the gospel according to Matthew and the
epistles of Paul, and virtually knew them from memory.
Dominic possessed great integrity and was deeply motivated by divine
love. Since a joyful heart shows in the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of
a spiritual man in the kindness he showed outwardly and by his cheerful manner. He
seldom spoke unless it was with God in prayer, or about God; and instructed his brothers
in this manner.
He founded the Orders of Friars Preachers (The Dominicans) in 1215,
a group who live a simple, austere life. He also founded an order of nuns dedicated
to the care of young girls.
Two or three times he was chosen bishop, but he always refused, preferring to live with
his brothers in poverty.
He was Canonized July
13, 1234 by Pope Gregory IX and is the patron saint of astronomers,
scientists, falsely accused people, and the Dominican Republic. His feast day is