Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Salve beata parens!

Today the Dominican family rejoices in commemorating Blessed Juana de Aza (Jane of Aza, c.1140-1205), the mother of St Dominic. Together with her husband Felix de Guzman, they brought up the boy who was to found the Order of Preachers and two other sons and a daughter.

Significantly, she was venerated as a saint from the moment of her death. A hermitage of the Knights of St. James was named after her, as was a chapel in the cemetery of Caleruega. In 1828 Spain's King Ferdinand VII asked the Holy See to confirm this ancient veneration. Pope Leo XII therefore confirmed her cult, granting her the title "blessed." Bl Jane is still much revered in Caleruega, it is said, for once causing the fountains of the town to flow with wine!!

She was born of Spanish nobility and was known to be a holy woman, upright in virtue and full of integrity. The example of Dominic's parents had a profound effect upon their children. Saint Dominic was not the only child in his family known for practicing extraordinary sanctity. Dominic's oldest brother, Antonio, became a secular priest and, having distributed his patrimony to the poor, entered a hospital where he spent his life ministering to the sick. Following in the footsteps of Dominic, his other brother, Manes, became a Friar Preacher and was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI. Bl Manes, brother of St Dominic is also commemorated today by the Order.

One can only surmise from the extraordinary sanctity of the Guzman family that the parents of St Dominic played an influential role in the saints' growth and development (as all good parents do) and they supported the Order in its infancy. Certainly, Dante saw fit to extol the saintly family of Caleruega.

Blessed Jane is credited with the inspiration for one of the symbols of the Order: the black and white dog, surmounting the globe and bearing a Torch in its' mouth: Blessed Jane — writes Hubert of the Romans in his life of Saint Dominic — while heavy with the infant saint, had a dream in which she thought that she bore in her womb a dog, which, upon having come forth from her with a burning torch in its mouth, set the world ablaze with fire. Later generations of Dominicans would see in the dream a pun on the saint’s name: Domini canes or 'Dogs of the Lord'.

It is often said that sanctity begats sanctity and this is evident in the life of St Dominic and his family... and nourishing the family is the mother. As such, it is fitting that we rejoice today in the gift of Bl Jane de Aza for through her, God gave Sto Domingo de Guzman and the Order of Preachers to the world, to preach the Truth for the salvation of souls.

For still more, visit Moniales OP.


Blogger Moniales said...

Hello, brother-to-be!
Bl. Mannes is celebrated on August 18th. The nuns have a special love for him because St. Dominic entrusted him with the care of the nuns in Madrid.

When do you go to the Novitiate?

8:24 pm  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...


You're right (of course)! I misread the information on the OP Calendar.

Vestition is scheduled for 16 Sept. Please pray for me and my fellow novice, Paul!

1:09 pm  

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