Friday, 8 August 2008

Memorial of Saint Dominic

Today we celebrate the memory of Saint Dominic, who (according to Wikipedia) was:

- founder of the Friars Preachers, a.k.a. the Dominicans or Order of Preachers (OP)
- patron saint of astronomers and the Dominican Republic
- born in Caleruega, Old Castile, Spain in 1170
- educated in the schools of Palencia (afterwards a university) where he devoted six years to the arts and four years to theology
- in 1203 / 1204 accompanied Diego de Acebo (Bishop of Osma) on a diplomatic mission for Alfonso VIII (King of Castile) in order to secure a bride in Denmark for crown prince Ferdinand. In this journey Saint Dominic made an important and significant observation: many of the heretical preachers he encountered during the journey were not ignorant fanatics, but well-trained and cultured men, and that entire communities seemed to be possessed by a desire for knowledge and for righteousness. Thus he saw that only preachers of a high order, capable of advancing reasonable argument, could overthrow heretical beliefs.
- In 1215, subjected himself and his companions to the monastic rules of prayer and penance and had written authority to preach throughout the territory of Toulouse.
- in December 1216 and January 1217 was granted written authority by Pope Honorius III for an order to be named "The Order of Preachers" which has as its motto "to praise, to bless, to preach"
died in the convent of St Nicholas at Bologna, Italy at noon on 6 August 1221,
- famous quotes:
- "Would you have me study off these dead skins, when men are dying of hunger?"
- "It is not by the display of power and pomp, cavalcades of retainers, and richly-houseled palfreys, or by gorgeous apparel, that the heretics win proselytes; it is by zealous preaching, by apostolic humility, by austerity, by seeming, it is true, but by seeming holiness. Zeal must be met by zeal, humility by humility, false sanctity by real sanctity, preaching falsehood by preaching truth."


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