“A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.”
“Heretics are to be converted by an example of humility and other virtues far more readily than by any external display or verbal battles. So let us arm ourselves with devout prayers and set off showing signs of genuine humility and go barefooted to combat Goliath.”
Saint Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221), founder of the Order of Preachers, now known as the Dominicans. Throughout his life of tireless service, Saint Dominic centered all things on the Lord, espousing and living the contemplative life that his order has come to be known for. For Saint Dominic, all things were from God, all things were God, and all things were for God.
Dominic de Guzman was born in Calaruega, Spain, son to noble parents Felix Guzman and Blessed Joan of Aza. While only a boy, he demonstrated great piety, spending his days in contemplation and prayer, under the influence of his mother’s great love of the Lord. 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.
Following his ordination, Dominic was appointed the prior superior of his Augustinian Order, and strictly observed the Benedictine rule prescribed. Selected as canon to the Bishop of Osma, he accompanied Bishop Diego de Avezedo to Languedoc to join with the Cistercian Order in their fight against heresy. It was here that the idea of founding an order of preachers, committed to eradicating heresy, first occurred to Dominic.
Saint Dominic spent the remaining years of his life organizing his new order, traveling throughout Europe preaching and attracting new members, and establishing new houses. The new order, under his direction, was astoundingly successful in conversion, based upon contemplative and intellectual approaches, coupled with the contemporary and popular needs of the people. His ideal, and that of his Order, was to link organically a life with God, study and prayer in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of God. His ideal: contemplata tradere: “to pass on the fruits of contemplation” or “to speak only of God or with God."
Saint Dominic is also remembered for miracles (raising four people from the dead), and miraculous visions. On one occasion, he received a vision of a poor beggar, who he sought out the following day. Finding the beggar, Dominic 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 turned out to be Saint Francis of Assisi, and the two holy men became the closest of friends.
From various writings on the history of the Order of Preachers:
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.”
Wonderful Saintly Founder of the eloquent Order of Preachers and friend of Saint Francis of Assisi, you were a fiery defender of the Faith and a fighter against the darkness of heresy. You resembled a great star that shone close to the world and pointed to the Light which was Christ. Help astronomers to study the stars and admire their wonderful Maker, proclaiming: "Give glory to God in the highest." Amen.
let the holiness and teaching of St. Dominic
come to the aid of Your Church.
May he help us now with his prayers
as he once inspired people by his prayers.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Year 2: Day 220 of 365
Prayer Intentions: To center all things on the Lord
Requested Intentions: Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R); Healing, successful relationships for son, financial success (J); Success of a company (L); For a religious society (J); Healing of a husband, strength as a faithful caregiver (D); Healing of a son (T); Financial security, Healing and guidance (M); Healing of a heart and relationship (V); Employment for daughter (J); For a marriage that glorifies the Lord (K); Resolution of family situation, parents’ health (A); Positive results (C); For a son’s employment, faith, and relationships (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."