san domenico di guzman

Dominc defeated heretics with rosary

The following article was published in this week’s edition of Famiglia Cristiana(Christian Family), a very popular Italian magazine.

St Dominic, the preacher who defeated the heretics with the Rosary

A Spaniard from Castille, he founded the Order of Friars Preachers based on itinerant preaching, mendicancy, a series of observances on monastic lines and deep study. He had a vision of the Virgin Mary who showed him the rosary as the most effective prayer to combat the heresies of the Cathars and Albigensians without resorting to violence

 

The founder of the Friars Preachers was born in 1170 in Caleruega, in Castille, the son of Felix de Guzman and Jane of Aza, although there is no certain evidence of his descent from the aristocratic family of Guzmans. After early schooling from his uncle, a rural dean, at the age of 14 he was sent to Palencia where he attended courses on the liberal arts and theology, for ten years. Seeing the extreme poverty caused by the continual wars and famines, he showed great charity towards the poor, to the point of selling his own valuable parchments in 1191 to relive their hunger. His studies completed, at the age of 24 he became a canon regular of the Cathedral of Osma, and was ordained to the priesthood. His formation was completed through his experiences of regular life, choral liturgy and contemplation.

 

The mission to the heretical movement of the Cathars

The event that was to prove decisive for him was when the bishop, Diego of Acebes, was sent in 1203 by the king, Alfonso VIII of Castille, on a diplomatic mission to Denmark to escort a princess who was betrothed to a Spanish prince, and asked Dominic to accompany him. During the journey, the two men encountered two great dangers for the Christianity of the time: the heretical movement of the Cathars (Albigensians), which had spread above all in southern France, and the great pressure of the pagan peoples of north-eastern Europe, among whom were the Cumans whose incursions had terrorised northern Germany. Returning from a second journey to Denmark, Diego and Dominic went to Rome to ask Innocent III to devote himself to the evangelisation of the pagans, but the Pope sent them to preach in the south of France among the Cathars. So in 1206 they went as missionaries to the Languedoc, where Dominic continued his apostolate even after the sudden death of Diego, on 30 December 1207.

THE VISION OF THE VIRGIN OF THE ROSARY

Preaching and offering the example of an austere life in poverty, the heretics had an easy time with the local people because of the luxurious life, the ignorance and at times the dissolute life of the clergy, who were on the whole opposed to the reform Pope Gregory VII had proposed in the 11th century. In order to conquer the Cathars, it was necessary to fight them on their own ground, matching preaching with poverty and austerity of life; Diego and Dominic had already begun to do s, and Dominic based his apostolate on public discussions, personal conversations, negotiations, preaching, persuasion and penitence, with the support of the bishop of Toulouse, Fulk of Marseilles. Dominic had also founded a monastic community in the Languedoc at Prouillhe, formed of women who had abandoned Catharism. Meanwhile, he had gathered around him men who shared his ideals, and with them he formed the idea of giving the group’s preaching a stable, organised form.

During his time in Toulouse, as Blessed Alano della Ripe tells us, Dominic had a vision of the Virgin Mary who indicated to him the rosary as the most effective prayer to combat heresies without violence. From that time, the rosary gradually became widespread and is now one of the most traditional Marian prayers. In October 2015, with Fulk, Dominic took part in the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome, and submitted his project to Innocent III, who approved it. The following year, on 22 December, Innocent’s successor Honorius III gave official, definitive approval to what was to be named the “Order of Preachers”.

The order: study, poverty, preaching, common life

Papal recognition led to a rapid growth in vocations, and as early as 2017 the Order was able to send friars to various parts of Europe, above all the Iberian peninsula and the main university centres of the time, Paris and Bologna. There was no lack of opposition from the local bishops, but this was overcome by a papal bull dated 11 February 1218, ordering all prelates to offer assistance to the preachers. In 1220 and 1221 Dominic presided in Bologna at the first two General Chapters, which were to draw up what we may call the Magna Carta of the Order, in which its fundamental elements are specified: namely, preaching, study, mendicant poverty, common life, legislation, geographical distribution and missionary expeditions. In particular, study was to be cultivated “day and night”, “ at home and when travelling”, as a form of asceticism and to nourish more effective preaching.

SINCE 1267 DOMINIC’S RELICS HAVE BEEN KEPT IN BOLOGNA

After the second General Chapter, Dominic returned to the mission against the Cathars, especially in the Italian regions of Veneto and the Marche, with a group of companions put at his disposal by the Pope, and with the help of Cardinal Ugolino, bishop of Ostia, he founded new priories in Brescia, Piacenza, Parma and Faenza. But exhaustion and high temperatures gravely damaged his constitution, already worn out by his continual penances (he ate no meat and drank no wine), forcing him to return to Bologna, where he died on 6 August 1221, surrounded by his brethren, whom he had exhorted “to be charitable, cherish humility and embrace voluntary poverty”.

An iron chain was found around his flanks. As in life, so after his death numerous miracles  occurred through his intercession, but his brethren, in contrast with the Friars Minor for St Francis, gave no encouragement to the incipient cult, but indeed thwarted it, even removing and breaking the ex voto so that the influx of pilgrims would not hinder their ministry. Cardinal Ugolino, who became pope on the death of Honorius III, reproached them for this, and on 3 July 1234 canonised Dominic in Rieti. Since 1267 his relics have been venerated in the Bologna basilica that  bears his name; the ark which contains them, sculpted by Niccolò Pisano, was enriched down the years with splendid additional works by important artists, including Michelangelo. In Rome, in the cloister of the priory of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill, there is still an orange tree which, according to tradition, St Dominic brought from Spain. The saint’s popularity, not least because of the spread of his Order, has been immense, and a large number of places have chosen him as their protector: in Italy, Bologna (whose “Patron and perpetual Defender” he was proclaimed) and Naples. On the occasion of the seven hundredth anniversary of his death, on 29 June 1921, Pope Benedict XV devoted to Dominic his encyclical Fausto appetente die.

 

Dominc defeated heretics with rosaryhttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/san-domenico-di-guzman.jpghttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/san-domenico-di-guzman-150x150.jpgRuth Anne HendersonEnglishNewsSlider,
The following article was published in this week’s edition of Famiglia Cristiana(Christian Family), a very popular Italian magazine. St Dominic, the preacher who defeated the heretics with the Rosary A Spaniard from Castille, he founded the Order of Friars Preachers based on itinerant preaching, mendicancy, a series of observances on monastic...
<em>The following <a href="http://www.famigliacristiana.it/articolo/san-domenico-di-guzman_161111092215.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">article was published in this week’s edition of </a></em>Famiglia Cristiana<em>(Christian Family), a very popular Italian magazine.</em> <strong>St Dominic, the preacher who defeated the heretics with the Rosary</strong> <strong>A Spaniard from Castille, he founded the Order of Friars Preachers based on itinerant preaching, mendicancy, a series of observances on monastic lines and deep study. He had a vision of the Virgin Mary who showed him the rosary as the most effective prayer to combat the heresies of the Cathars and Albigensians without resorting to violence</strong> <strong> </strong> The founder of the Friars Preachers was born in 1170 in Caleruega, in Castille, the son of Felix de Guzman and Jane of Aza, although there is no certain evidence of his descent from the aristocratic family of Guzmans. After early schooling from his uncle, a rural dean, at the age of 14 he was sent to Palencia where he attended courses on the liberal arts and theology, for ten years. Seeing the extreme poverty caused by the continual wars and famines, he showed great charity towards the poor, to the point of selling his own valuable parchments in 1191 to relive their hunger. His studies completed, at the age of 24 he became a canon regular of the Cathedral of Osma, and was ordained to the priesthood. His formation was completed through his experiences of regular life, choral liturgy and contemplation.   <strong>The mission to the heretical movement of the Cathars</strong> The event that was to prove decisive for him was when the bishop, Diego of Acebes, was sent in 1203 by the king, Alfonso VIII of Castille, on a diplomatic mission to Denmark to escort a princess who was betrothed to a Spanish prince, and asked Dominic to accompany him. During the journey, the two men encountered two great dangers for the Christianity of the time: the heretical movement of the Cathars (Albigensians), which had spread above all in southern France, and the great pressure of the pagan peoples of north-eastern Europe, among whom were the Cumans whose incursions had terrorised northern Germany. Returning from a second journey to Denmark, Diego and Dominic went to Rome to ask Innocent III to devote himself to the evangelisation of the pagans, but the Pope sent them to preach in the south of France among the Cathars. So in 1206 they went as missionaries to the Languedoc, where Dominic continued his apostolate even after the sudden death of Diego, on 30 December 1207. <strong>THE VISION OF THE VIRGIN OF THE ROSARY</strong> Preaching and offering the example of an austere life in poverty, the heretics had an easy time with the local people because of the luxurious life, the ignorance and at times the dissolute life of the clergy, who were on the whole opposed to the reform Pope Gregory VII had proposed in the 11<sup>th</sup> century. In order to conquer the Cathars, it was necessary to fight them on their own ground, matching preaching with poverty and austerity of life; Diego and Dominic had already begun to do s, and Dominic based his apostolate on public discussions, personal conversations, negotiations, preaching, persuasion and penitence, with the support of the bishop of Toulouse, Fulk of Marseilles. Dominic had also founded a monastic community in the Languedoc at Prouillhe, formed of women who had abandoned Catharism. Meanwhile, he had gathered around him men who shared his ideals, and with them he formed the idea of giving the group’s preaching a stable, organised form. During his time in Toulouse, as Blessed Alano della Ripe tells us, Dominic had a vision of the Virgin Mary who indicated to him the rosary as the most effective prayer to combat heresies without violence. From that time, the rosary gradually became widespread and is now one of the most traditional Marian prayers. In October 2015, with Fulk, Dominic took part in the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome, and submitted his project to Innocent III, who approved it. The following year, on 22 December, Innocent’s successor Honorius III gave official, definitive approval to what was to be named the “Order of Preachers”. <strong>The order: study, poverty, preaching, common life</strong> Papal recognition led to a rapid growth in vocations, and as early as 2017 the Order was able to send friars to various parts of Europe, above all the Iberian peninsula and the main university centres of the time, Paris and Bologna. There was no lack of opposition from the local bishops, but this was overcome by a papal bull dated 11 February 1218, ordering all prelates to offer assistance to the preachers. In 1220 and 1221 Dominic presided in Bologna at the first two General Chapters, which were to draw up what we may call the Magna Carta of the Order, in which its fundamental elements are specified: namely, preaching, study, mendicant poverty, common life, legislation, geographical distribution and missionary expeditions. In particular, study was to be cultivated “day and night”, “ at home and when travelling”, as a form of asceticism and to nourish more effective preaching. <strong>SINCE 1267 DOMINIC’S RELICS HAVE BEEN KEPT IN BOLOGNA</strong> After the second General Chapter, Dominic returned to the mission against the Cathars, especially in the Italian regions of Veneto and the Marche, with a group of companions put at his disposal by the Pope, and with the help of Cardinal Ugolino, bishop of Ostia, he founded new priories in Brescia, Piacenza, Parma and Faenza. But exhaustion and high temperatures gravely damaged his constitution, already worn out by his continual penances (he ate no meat and drank no wine), forcing him to return to Bologna, where he died on 6 August 1221, surrounded by his brethren, whom he had exhorted “to be charitable, cherish humility and embrace voluntary poverty”. An iron chain was found around his flanks. As in life, so after his death numerous miracles  occurred through his intercession, but his brethren, in contrast with the Friars Minor for St Francis, gave no encouragement to the incipient cult, but indeed thwarted it, even removing and breaking the <em>ex voto</em> so that the influx of pilgrims would not hinder their ministry. Cardinal Ugolino, who became pope on the death of Honorius III, reproached them for this, and on 3 July 1234 canonised Dominic in Rieti. Since 1267 his relics have been venerated in the Bologna basilica that  bears his name; the ark which contains them, sculpted by Niccolò Pisano, was enriched down the years with splendid additional works by important artists, including Michelangelo. In Rome, in the cloister of the priory of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill, there is still an orange tree which, according to tradition, St Dominic brought from Spain. The saint’s popularity, not least because of the spread of his Order, has been immense, and a large number of places have chosen him as their protector: in Italy, Bologna (whose “Patron and perpetual Defender” he was proclaimed) and Naples. On the occasion of the seven hundredth anniversary of his death, on 29 June 1921, Pope Benedict XV devoted to Dominic his encyclical <em>Fausto appetente die</em>.  

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