Painting of St. Dominic

Today we remember St. Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221), the founder of the Order of Preachers, aka Dominicans, aka the Order of which I am a happy and proud member!  So naturally, this is a very special day for me and for all Dominicans.

One fun thing that people may not realize is that St. Dominic is Patron Saint of astronomy and astronomers!  To my knowledge, Father Dominic did not ever study astronomy himself, but at his baptism, his mother (Bl. Joan of Aza), saw a star shining from his chest.  In portraits, he often has a star on or above his head.  Given my lifelong love of astronomy (amateurish though it may be), that is one extra bond I feel with Father Dominic!

He is also Patron Saint of falsely accused people. I’m not sure where that comes from, and I think it’s a bit funny given that St. Dominic is often wrongly portrayed as a ruthless inquisitor.

Actually, most of his life was spent studying and preaching and thereby trying to gently persuade heretics back to the faith, forming and building up his Order, and pouring himself out in constant prayer and acts of penance not only for the welfare of the very first Dominicans, but for the welfare of all generations of Dominicans to come.  On his deathbed, he promised his sorrowing brethren that he would be even more help to them after death.  Nearly 800 years later, we find him true to his word.