December 20th - St. Dominic of Silos
- From: "Trudie" <hildigard8@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 12:10:56 -0600
December 20th - St. Dominic of Silos
The child of Spanish peasants, Dominic was destined to become one of the most
famous monks of his century. He began life working on the family farm. Then the
monastery of his choice accepted him, and he became a Benedictine of San Millán
de Cogolla. He was a model pupil and a devoted member of the community. After
Dominic was ordained a priest, he served as novice master and eventually his
fellow monks elected him as their prior.
At this point in his placid and yet busy life the greed of King García III of
Navarre interrupted Dominic's career. García claimed that some of the monastic
estates really belonged to him. So savagely did the king persecute Dominic for
strenuously defending the monastery's rights that eventually the prior and two
other monks fled for protection to King Ferdinand I of Old Castile. Fortunately,
Ferdinand recognized the saint's worth.
King Ferdinand had suzerainty over the monastery of San Sebastian [(now Santo
Domingo), Silos, in the diocese of Burgos-a house that had been for some time in
spiritual torpor. He asked Dominic to take over as abbot. When the saint arrived
at Silos he found that the monastery's finances were totally awry, the buildings
dilapidated, and the ranks of monks decimated to six. Inspired by the ideals of
the famous Abbey of Cluny, he and his two companions from San Millán de Cogolla
accepted the challenge.
The decayed buildings of San Sebastian's monastery were restored. The cloisters
of the abbey-a gem of Romanesque architecture-stand to this day as the best
monument to his enterprise.
The former shepherd boy loved the great illuminated manuscripts of the
Church-books of liturgy, the Psalms, the Scriptures, and books of prayer. He set
up a scriptorium at Silos that was soon producing some of the finest Christian
books that Spain has ever seen, including the magnificent Apocalypse now housed
in the British Library.
The fame of Dominic's holiness and learning spread, and attracted so many monks
that the whole monastery soon had to be enlarged. He was renowned for rescuing
Christian slaves from the Moors. Numerous miracles were attributed to him,
including healings of all kinds. Rich men and women began to endow the
monastery. And by the time Dominic died in 1073 the monastery of San Sebastian,
Silos, was one of the greatest in the land. At his death, the monastery had 40
monks and many other resources including a flourishing gold and silver workshop
that made possible extensive charity to the local poor.
Not only was the monastery a great one, Dominic became one of the most beloved
of the Spanish saints. Three years after his death, on January 5, Dominic's body
was translated into the church, which was the equivalent of local canonization.
Churches and monasteries were dedicated to him from 1085.
More miracles were attributed to his prayers after his death, especially with
regard to pregnancy. Dominic's abbatial staff was used to bless Spanish queens
and it remained by their bedside until they had a safe delivery. At his shrine
Blessed Joan de Aza de Guzmán prayed to conceive the child whom she called
Dominic, after the abbot of Silos. Today's saint's namesake became the famous
founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans (Benedictines,
Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
St. Dominic is represented as an abbot surrounded by Seven Virtues. Sometimes he
is a mitered abbot enthroned with a book, a veil tied to his crozier. Venerated
in Spain. Patron of shepherds and captives. Invoked against insects and mad dogs
We must begin with a strong and constant resolution to give ourselves wholly to
God, professing to Him, in a tender, loving manner, from the bottom of our
hearts, that we intend to be His without any reserve, and then we must often go
back and renew this same resolution.
-St. Francis de Sales
40 In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.
Sub Tuum Præsidium
We turn to you for protection, holy Mother of God.
Listen to our prayers and help us in our needs.
Save us from every danger, glorious and blessed Virgin.
Divine precepts we must live by:
The Eleven Moral Virtues
Prudence - Justice - Fortitude - Temperance - Filial Piety -Obedience -
Veracity - Liberality - Patience - Humility - Chastity or Purity
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner - Instruct the ignorant - Counsel the doubtful -
Comfort the sorrowful - Bear wrongs patiently - Forgive all injuries -
Pray for the living and the dead
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
Feed the hungry - Give drink to the thirsty - Clothe the naked -
Visit the imprisoned - Shelter the homeless -
Visit the sick - Bury the dead