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Saint December 20 : St. Dominic of Silos : Patron of against rabies; captives; pregnant women; prisoners; shepherds
BENEDICTINE AND MYSTIC WRITER Born: 1000, Cañas (modern Rioja), Spain Died: December 10, 1073, Silos Patron of: against rabies; against rabid dogs; against insects; captives; pregnant women; prisoners; shepherds
St. 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.
Our saint today, Dominic of Silos, was born in Spain around the year 1000 into a peasant family. As a young boy he spent time in the fields, where he welcomed the solitude. He became a Benedictine priest and served in numerous leadership positions. Following a dispute with the king over property, Dominic and two other monks were exiled. They established a new monastery in what at first seemed an unpromising location. Under Dominic’s leadership, however, it became one of the most famous houses in Spain. Many healings were reported there. About 100 years after Dominic’s death, a young woman made a pilgrimage to his tomb. There Dominic of Silos appeared to her and assured her that she would bear another son. The woman was Joan of Aza, and the son she bore grew up to be the “other” Dominic—the one who founded the Dominicans. For many years thereafter, the staff used by Saint Dominic of Silos was brought to the royal palace whenever a queen of Spain was in labor. That practice ended in 1931. Reflection Saint Dominic of Silos’ connection with the Saint Dominic who founded the Dominican Order brings to mind the film Six Degrees of Separation: we are all connected it seems. God’s providential care can bring people together in mysterious ways, but it all points to his love for each of us. Text from Franciscan media