Saint Dominic

Dominic was born in Castile (Spain), at Caleruega, around 1170. His first name means « one who belongs to the Lord ». His family was fervent. He was a student in Palencia in 1196 when he sold his books to feed the starving. After this episode, he became a canon in the cathedral of Osma. In 1203 his bishop, Diego, invited Dominic to follow him across Europe. In the region of Toulouse, the two men encountered the heretics called Cathars. Further, they heard about pagan tribes, the Cumans. They decided to respond to these calls. Diego and Dominic received from the Pope the mission of proclaiming the Gospel in the south of France, with no weapons other than poverty, gentleness, and persuasion but soon Dominic found himself alone. Women heard his message and in 1206 gathered together in community in Prouilhe, at the foot of the village of Fanjeaux. Men then attempted the adventure. In 1215, they settled in Toulouse. In 1217, the Dominicans departed for Italy, Spain and Paris. In 1220, a general chapter was held showing that the Order of Preachers had been constituted. On 6 August 1221 Dominic, exhausted by his travels, died in Bologna (Italy). In 1234, the Church venerated him as a saint.