Spirituality for Today – August 2015 – Volume 20, Issue 1

Saint of the Month
St. Dominic

August 8

A painting of Saint Dominic

Around 1170, Dominic was born into the distinguished Guzmán family. He studied theology at Palencia University and owned a collection of books, which was very unusual in the days before printing. But Dominic's concern for the poor was greater than his need for material possessions, and the selfless young man sold his rare books to raise funds for the needy. In about 1197, Dominic was made canon of Osma Cathedral and was later ordained a priest and lived under the Rule of St. Augustine.

A few years later, Dominic was sent on a diplomatic mission with his bishop, Diego de Azevedo. Along the way, they passed through Languedoc, in southern France, and encountered the Albigenses, a heretical group who believed that all material possession were evil.

After their mission, Dominic and Diego returned to Languedoc to join a group of Cistercians who were fighting the Albigensian heresy. Because the Cistercians traveled richly, with servants and horses, they were having trouble getting through to the Albigensians. So Dominic and Diego walked, carried no money and begged for food and lodging. The Albigensians responded well to Dominic and Diego and their austere lifestyle and listened to them.

Over the years, Dominic organized groups of nuns, preachers and laypeople to live simply and spread the truth. In 1217, he received papal approval for his new Order of Preachers, whose motto was veritas, meaning "truth". The Order was dedicated to a life of preaching, supported only by begging. In his last years, Dominic's preachers were spreading the Word throughout Europe.

let the holiness and teaching of Saint Dominic
come to the aid of your Church.
May he help us now with his prayers
as he once inspired people with his preaching.
We ask this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.