Artwork by the Benedictine Sisters of Turvey Abbey
Priest. Preacher, Founder of the Dominicans; Order of Preachers.
Feast Day 8th August.
Dominic seemed set for a
contemplative life in his native Spain. However, whilst travelling through
France, he saw the need to challenge a heresy denying the Incarnation and the
sacraments which was gaining hold. Realising the need to visibly practice the
Gospel values he was preaching he and three Cistercians began itinerant
preaching and begging for alms to sustain themselves.
In time he founded a religious
house at Toulouse, according to the Rule of St. Augustine, this was the
beginning of the Dominican Order of Preachers. Dominic favoured learning and
the use of intellect so his house was one of study and prayer enabling the
friars to minister salvation to all people through the word of God.
'To contemplate and to pass on the fruits of contemplation.'
'To praise, to bless, and to preach.'
is portrayed with two of his common symbols: a star at his head (supposedly
seen at his Baptism) and the Hound of the Lord, a dog carrying a flaming torch.
This may have originated because Dominic's mother had a prophetic dream before
he was born that he would be like a hound carrying forth the word of God
symbolised as a flame. Or it could be a humorous play on the Latin term for
Dominicans: Domini-canes (Domini meaning Lord, canes meaning hound).
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