Saint Dominic (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Through faith, courage, and practicality, Dominic established the Dominican Order in 1215, which revolutionized the monastic movement of the Middle Ages and filled a vital need for apostolic preaching in the Church.
Dominic was born in Calaruega, Old Castile, Spain, the third son of Jane of Aza and Felix de Guzman, both of noble blood. Little is known about his father, and it appears that he died when Dominic was young. Dominic inherited his exceptional sensitivity to the suffering of others from his mother. When he was six or seven years old, old enough to learn how to read, Dominic was handed over to an uncle, an archpriest, to begin his education. At fourteen, Dominic went to Palencia, where he received a thorough grounding in theology and the Scriptures. As a student, Dominic was something of a loner with a reputation for being mature beyond his years. He did not, however, isolate himself from current events. In the mid-1190’s, Spain was in great misery. War had broken out against the Muslims, and with war came famine. In the course of a terrible famine that occurred while Dominic was at Palencia, few of the rich or the authorities did anything to help the starving masses. Repulsed by their indifference and inspired by Scripture (Luke 18: 18-26), Dominic sold all that he had, including his books with his personal glosses, saying that he would not study on dead skins while people were...
(The entire section is 2444 words.)
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