Saint Dominic's Catholic Church, Torrance

Life of Saint Dominic
Dominic de Guzman

Born of wealthy Spanish nobility. Son of Blessed Joan of Aza. When she was pregnant, his mother 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 with a torch in its mouth became a symbol for the order which he founded, the Dominicans. At Dominic's baptism, Blessed Joan saw a star shining from his chest, which became another of his symbols in art, and led to his patronage of astronomy.

Studied philosophy and theology at the University of Palencia. Priest. Canon of the cathedral of Osma. Augustinian. Worked for clerical reform. Lifelong apostolate among heretics, especially Albigensians, and especially in France. Worked with Blessed Peter of Castelnau. Founded the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1215, a group who live a simple, austere life, and an order of nuns dedicated to the care of young girls. Friend of Saint Amata of Assisi.

At one point Dominic became discouraged at the progress of his mission; no matter how much he worked, the heresies remained. But he received a vision from Our Lady who showed him a wreath of roses, representing the rosary. She told him to say the rosary daily, teach it to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would win out. Dominic is often credited with the invention of the rosary; it actually pre-dates him, but he certainly spread devotion to it, and used it to strengthen his own spiritual life.

Reported miracle worker who brought four people back from the dead. Legend says that Dominic received a vision of a beggar who, like Dominic, 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.

Born: 1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile

Died: 4 August 1221 at Bologna

Canonized: 13 July 1234 by Pope Gregory IX at Rieti, Italy

Feast Day: 8 August

Name Meaning: belonging to God

Patronage:
astronomers; astronomy; prelature of Batanes-Babuyanes, Philippines; diocese of Bayombong, Philippines; Dominican Republic; falsely accused people; Malta scientists;
Santo Domingo Indian Pueblo; Valletta.

Fausto Appetente Die: On Saint Dominic, by Pope Benedict XV

Adapted from the Catholic Forum

Dominic possessed such great integrity and was so strongly motivated by divine love, that without a doubt he proved to be a bearer of honor and grace. And since a joyful heart animates the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of a spiritual man in the kindness he manifested outwardly and by the cheerfulness of his countenance.

Wherever he went he showed himself in word and deed to be a man of the Gospel. During the day no one was more community-minded or pleasant toward his brothers and associates. During the night hours no one was more persistent in every kind of vigil and supplication. He seldom spoke unless it was with God, that is, in prayer, or about God; and in this matter he instructed his brothers.

Frequently he made a special personal petition that God would deign to grant him genuine charity in caring for and obtaining the salvation of men. For he believed that only then would he be truly a member of Christ, when he had given himself totally for the salvation of men, just as the Lord Jesus, the Savior of all, had offered himself completely for our salvation. So, for this work, after a lengthy period of careful and provident planning, he founded the Orders of Friars Preachers.

In his conversations and letters he often urged the brothers of the Order to study constantly the Old and New Testaments. He always carried with him the gospel according to Matthew and the epistles of Paul, and so well did he study them that he almost knew them from memory.

Two or three times he was chosen bishop, but he always refused, preferring to live with his brothers in poverty. Of him Pope Gregory IX declared: "I knew him as a steadfast follower of the apostolic way of life. There is no doubt that he is in heaven, sharing in the glory of the apostles themselves."

Adapted from various writings on the history of the Order of Preachers

St. Dominic and the Rosary:
The story is that Our Blessed Mother gave St. Dominic the Rosary and asked him to spread devotion to Christ through it. Many Catholics will say that this is just a pius legend. They point to the fact that the practice of saying 150 Hail Mary’s predates St. Dominic and therefore this story, they claim, is false.

[ The Hail Mary was shorter back then, not including the "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." The saying of the 150 Hail Mary’s had grown out of the devotion of the priests who recited the 150 Psalms. Since the lay people could not read they said the Hail Mary’s or Our Father’s.]

However, the other side of the story is that the *Rosary is* identified with the *meditation* on Fifteen Mysteries of Christ’s life while saying, or rather praying, the Hail Mary’s and the Our Father’s.
So perhaps Our Lady did attach the meditation to the reciting of the prayers, therefore we could legitimately have attributed to her and her influence with
St. Dominic this venerable and time tested prayer we call the Rosary.
No one denies that she promoted the Rosary at Fatima, so it is not hard to imagine her telling St. Dominic about it.
I have to admit I have been slow to really appreciate this prayer. But, the little things just kept adding up. I can no longer ignore the importance of this powerful prayer. Most, if not all, of the recent saints have had a deep devotion to Mary and the Rosary, whereas most of the dissenters do not. Our Holy Father John Paul II is very devoted to the Rosary. He even put the bullet that he was shot with in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, to whom he attributes the miraculous intervention that saved his life when he was shot at point blank range on May 13, 1981, the Feast of Fatima. Mother Angelica was healed while saying the Rosary after decades of suffering. We could go on and on with miracles of the Rosary.
I used to think that it was only nice, cute, and generous of the Holy Father when he would give a Rosary to each child that would come up to the Altar to meet him. But after years and years of seeing him give away the Rosary, I have to ask, "Is he trying to send a message with this gift ? If he wanted to promote the Rosary, what other method would be more profound, yet subtle ? Sincere, yet humble ?
Anyway, I see a lot of people, even in the Church, thinking that they are doing the right thing, yet making terrible and sinful choices. Yet, I have to hasten to add that I see more culpability in my own sins since I see what is only a glimmer of my own guilt. And I cannot judge the guilt of others. I to often do things that I know are wrong. This world has terrible pitfalls, yet I am a man with a fallen human nature. I decided that I better play it safe, and say the Rosary, meditating on the life of Christ, each and every day.

Saint Dominic and his role in the Rosary:
St. Dominic had a great devotion to the Mother of God. And she did use him to inspire others to know and follow the One True Lord, Jesus Christ, through devotion to the Holy Rosary.

The Albigensian Heresy:
The Albigensian heresy had plagued southern France in St. Dominic’s time, the 13th century. It was based on the belief that there were two supreme beings, a good God who created the spirit world, and an evil god who created the material world.
The proponents of this heresy also taught the following:

that the spiritual world is essentially good, and the material world (including the human body) is essentially evil,

that the evil god (Satan) imprisoned spirits in material bodies, so whatever
one can do to be released from that prison (including suicide) is good,

that since matter is evil, marriage and the procreation of mankind is evil,

that that Christ was not truly a man, and therefore, neither was Mary truly the Mother of God,

and that the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ were only illusions, and consequently the whole concept of the cross in the Christian life was rejected.


Gallery of images of Saint Dominic

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God BlessYou!