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Saint Dominic de Guzman
Born: August 8, 1170 in Caleruega, Kingdom of Castile (Present day Castile-Leon, Spain)
Died: August 6, 1221
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church
Anglican Church in North America
Reformed Episcopal Church
Order of Preachers
Canonized: July 13, 1234 by Pope Gregory IX
Feast Day: August 8
Places: Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo Pueblo
Valletta, Birgu (Malta)
Saint Dominic, a native of Calaroga in Old Castile, Spain, was of the illustrioius house of the Guzmans. At the age of 14 he was sent to the schools of Valencia, which were soon after transferred to Salamanca. Having finished his education, he received the habit of the Regular Canons of Saint Augustine in the diocese of Osma. Devoting himself with ardor to the work of his own sanctification, he also labored for the salvation of others by preaching the Word of God.
He accompanied his Bishop on a mission imposed by Alphonsus IX, King of Castile. In France they became acquainted with the ravages of the Albigensian heresy. Both the Bishop and his companion proceeded to Rome, where they obtained permission from Innocent III to preach the Gospel among the heretics. They now began to labor with great zeal. To provide for the education of children, Saint Dominic established a convent of nuns at Prouille, which became the nucleus of the Order of Dominican nuns. Saint Dominic succeeded the Bishop of Osma as superior of the missions in Languedoc. Together with several companions of his labors, he laid the foundations of his Order, the Rules which were approved by Pope Honorius III in 1216.
Some time later, the ope created the office of Master of the Sacred Palace, or the Pope’s domestic theologian, and Saint Dominic was the first to fill it. The active life of the Saint was spent in traveling for the interest of God and His Church, preaching the Gospel, lecturing on theology and establishing houses of his Order which, even during his lifetime, made great progress and of which Honorius III, in 1220, may him General. His saintly life was happily terminated at Bologna, Italy on August 6, 1221.
The Saint is frequently pictured with a dog holding a torch in its mouth, which symbolized the fire of his zeal for souls.