Patron Saint Dominic

St. Dominic de Guzman with the star shinig above his head.

Memorial
8 August
24 May - translation of his relics

Born
1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile

Died
4 August 1221 at Bologna Canonized
13 July 1234 by Pope Gregory IX at Rieti, Italy

Saint Dominic is the patron saint of astronomy and science, a reflection of his lifelong love of learning and teaching. He was a well educated man who believed that a strong intellectual base would allow a man to preach more convincingly, and therefore convert more people to the faith.

To that end, he established the Dominican Order, and chose the motto "to praise, to bless, to preach". A central tenet of the Order was to incorporate intellectual pursuits with the needs of everyday people. Where heretics were normally punished or terrorized for not believing (this was around the time of the Inquisition), St. Dominic believed that by preaching from an intelligent base, one could peacefully convert people to the faith.

When Dominic was baptized as a baby, his mother reportedly saw a star shining from his chest. In portraits he is often depicted with a star shining on or above his head. And although there is no evidence that St. Dominic ever studied astronomy himself, this aspect of scientific learning was well known when St. Dominic attended university, and it's certainly possible that he was exposed to the mysteries of the heavens.

St. Dominic is also the patron saint of falsely accused people. There are stories of Dominic himself being falsely accused as a boy, mostly as a result of boyish pranks played by schoolmates. This may be one reason why he is so closely associated with this group.

St. Dominic is the patron saint of the Dominican Republic as well. Much of St. Dominic's life was spent in Spain, his homeland, and the Dominican Republic was originally a Spanish colony. Choosing St. Dominic as the patron saint was a natural for a country where he had done so much good work.

St Dominic's Patronage:

Patron saint of Astornomers
Patron Saint of Asronomy
Patron Saint of Batanes-Babuyanes. Philippines, prelature of
Patron Saint of Bayombong, Philippines, diocese of
Patron Saint of Dominican Republic
Patron Saint of falsely accused people
Patron Saint of Santo Domingo Indian Pueblo
Patron Saint of Scientists
Patron Saint of Valletta, Malta

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