2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
The son of the Blessed Joan of Aca and Felix Guzman, St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Friars Preachers, was born in Calaruega, Old Castile, Spain, in 1170. After studying at Palencia, he, at 29, became an Augustinian canon at Osma. In 1203, Dominic, then prior of the community, accompanied Bishop Diego to France on a preaching mission against the Albigenses. Dominic established an institute or convent at Prouille with a strict rule to counter the influence of the ascetic teachings of the Albigenses among the women of Languedoc. He saw a need to develop within the church the spirit of simplicity and asceticism that attracted people to the teachings and practices of the Albigenses. He began to plan an order devoted solely to preaching and received approval from the bishop of Toulouse in 1215. Although the Fourth Lateran Council did not approve the new order, Honorius III did, on the condition that it follow an existing monastic rule. Dominic chose the Rule of St. Augustine, to which he added a detailed constitution to cover daily operations of monasteries. The Dominicans were the first to ban manual labor among monks. The first General Chapter of the order was held in 1220 at Bologna. The following year, Dominic set out on a mission to Pannonia, and having become ill, he returned to Bologna, where he died. He is said to have died in another man's habit and in another's bed because he had none of his own. He was canonized in 1234.
Karen Rae Keck
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