August 8 – St. Dominic –
After his ordination to the priesthood, Dominic spent nine years in Osma, pursuing a life of intense prayer. Dominic and a group of followers gained local recognition as a religious congregation, and Dominic accompanied Tolouse’s bishop to Rome for an ecumenical council in 1215.
The council stressed the Church’s need for better preaching. Dominic obtained papal approval for his plan in 1216, and was named as the Pope’s chief theologian.The founder spent the last several years of his life building up the Dominican order (OP – the order of preachers) and continuing his preaching missions, during which he is said to have converted some 100,000 people. St. Dominic died in Italy on August 6, 1221. He was canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX.
Mother of Saint Dominic and Blessed Mannes, Blessed Jane was born of the prominent d’Aza family and married Felix de Guzman. Three of their children spent their lives in the service of the Church: Anthony, Mannes and Dominic. An early source describes her as “virtuous, chaste, prudent, and full of compassion for the poor and the afflicted; among all the women of the region she was outstanding for her good reputation.”
According to tradition, Jane had a dream before her son’s conception in which she saw a hound racing through the world igniting everything with a flaming torch. Troubled by this dream, she went to pray at the Benedictine abbey of San Domingo de Silos, located in a pleasant valley about twenty miles north of Caleruega. This dream was indeed prophetic. Dominic did ignite the world with sacred truth through preaching and teaching born from a life of dedicated prayer, love for the Word of God, and a burning desire to gain souls for Christ. It is widely believed that Dominic’s keen sensitivity to the sufferings of others, which he displayed from childhood on, was acquired from his mother, who, although from a noble family, was known for her compassion toward the poor and needy. From her Dominic also acquired the habit of prayer.
Vision of Blessed Joanna” Stained Glass Window from St. Dominic’s Church, Washington, D.C., USA