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Vatican. Dominicans Church. Personalities Prayer. Rosary
St. Dominic receives the Rosary from the Virgin Mary

Saint Dominic de Guzman Garces

Born: c. 1170; Caleruega, Old Castile, Spain
Died: August 6, 1221; Bologna, Italy

Founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominican Order.

After he was ordained a priest (1196), he joined the cathedral canons of the city of Osma, who lived a community life under the rule of St. Augustine.

When he was about 30, Dominic accompanied his bishop on several diplomatic missions in northern Europe. In the course of these travels he became aware of the religious ideas of the Albigensians, a Manichaean movement (Catharism) in southern France.

This sect believed that the soul is good and the body is evil and that man must be purified and must not indulge in any physical pleasures. The Pope had sent legates to counteract the movement, but with their sumptuous clothes, fine horses, and numerous attendants they only succeeded in reinforcing the Albigensians' beliefs.

Dominic saw that the only way to preach orthodox doctrine effectively to these people was to be as poor as they were and to be thoroughly knowledgable in Christian theology. From 1206 he stayed in southern France for several years and, together with a small group of like-minded men, tried to put his ideas into practice by preaching, studying, praying, and living in poverty. His conviction led to the establishment of the Dominican Order (Ordo Praedicatorum, OP) in 1216.

In 1234, Pope Gregory IX canonized Dominic as Saint Dominic (Spanish: Santo Domingo). Memorial Day / Feast Day of Saint Dominic: August 8.

Origins of the Rosary. The Legend of St. Dominic

For 400 years or more it was generally accepted that the rosary as a marian prayer was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Dominic in a dream to assist him in his effort to convert the Cathars. This story was to be found in the lesson for the Feast of the Holy Rosary in the Roman Breviary and was attested by various Popes down to the rosary Encyclicals of Leo XIII (1878-1903).

John Desmond Miller
Beads and Prayers: The Rosary in History and Devotion
Origins of the Rosary. The Legend of St. Dominic

He did not want to become a bishop

…the saint's [Dominic's] increasing reputation for heroic sanctity, apostolic zeal, and profound learning caused him to be much sought after as a candidate for various bishoprics. Three distinct efforts were made to miss him to the episcopate.

In July, 1212, the chapter of Beziers chose him for their bishop. Again, the canons of Saint-Lizier wished him to succeed Garcias de l'Orte as Bishop of Comminges. Lastly, in 1215 an effort was made by Garcias de l'Orte himself, who had been transferred from Comminges to Auch, to make him Bishop of Navarre.

But Saint Dominic absolutely refused all episcopal honours, saying that he would rather take flight in the night, with nothing but his staff, than accept the episcopate.

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