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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 20: ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS
St. Dominic of Silos
BENEDICTINE AND MYSTIC WRITER
Feast: December 20
1000, Cañas (modern Rioja), Spain
December 10, 1073, Silos
against rabies; against rabid dogs; against insects; captives;
pregnant women; prisoners; shepherds
Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, was named after this Benedictine
abbot, who lived a century before him. According to Dominican tradition, St.
Dominic of Silos appeared to Blessed Joan of Aza (the mother of the later St.
Dominic), who made a pilgrimage to his shrine before the birth of her son, and
named him after the abbot of Silos.
of Silos was born in Navarre, Spain, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, and
was a shepherd boy, looking after his father's flocks. He acquired a love of
solitude and as a young man became a monk at the monastery of San Millan de la
Cogolla. He eventually became prior of the monastery and came into conflict with
the king of Navarre over possessions of the monastery claimed by the king. The
king drove Dominic out of the monastery, and Dominic went with other monks to
Castille, where the king of Castille appointed Dominic abbot of the monastery of
St. Sebastian at Silos.
monastery was in terrible shape, spiritually and materially, and Dominic set
about to restore the monastery and to reform the lives of the monks. He
preserved the Mozarbic Rite (one of the variants of the Latin Rite) at his
monastery, and his monastery became one of the centers of the Mozarbic liturgy.
His monastery also preserved the Visigothic script of ancient Spain and was a
center of learning and liturgy in that part of Spain.
of Silos died on December 20,1073, about a century before the birth of his
namesake, St. Dominic of Calaruega. Before the Spanish Revolution of 1931, it
was customary for the abbot of Silos to bring the staff of Dominic of Silos to
the Spanish royal palace whenever the queen was in labor and to leave it at her
bedside until the birth of her child had taken place.
recent times, great interest in Dominic of Silos has arisen since the literary
treasures of the library of Silos have become known. The abbey had a profound
influence on spirituality and learning in Spain. Today the monastery is an abbey
of the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes housing a library of ancient and
rare manuscripts. SOURCE