Image credit: Saint Dominic’s portrait by the Spanish painter Claudio Coello in 1670 (source: Wikipedia)

Image credit: Saint Dominic’s portrait by the Spanish painter Claudio Coello in 1670 (source: Wikipedia)

He was born in Castile, part of modern Spain in 1170 and died in 1221.

The controversy around the Albigensian Heresy was raging in Southern France. They considered the matter to be evil and that our souls were trapped in our bodies.

There was a lot of violence between the civil authorities and the Albigensians.

Dominic preferred to approach the problem with respectful persuasion.

For many centuries the Benedictine monks had been instrumental in the Christianisation of Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

The monasteries were like Christian Islands in a sea of pagan tribes.

The times had changed and St Francis of Assisi and St Dominic began a new movement.

Many inspired by these two holy men lived in the community as Friars.

They lived simply embracing poverty and prayer.

They were also committed to preaching and going out to the people in a changing European landscape. People were moving from small hamlets to towns.

The Dominican order, as the followers of St Dominic, began to be called, we’re also committed to the pursuit of learning.

The classical writings of the Greeks and the Romans began to be rediscovered by western Europeans after they had been lost to them after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

People like St Albert the Great and St Thomas Aquinas incorporated these Philosophies into Theology and helped start the great early universities.

There is no clash between the pursuit of learning, ‘knowledge and wisdom’ & ‘Faith and Theology’.

Just like Dominic expanded understanding while faithfully remaining true to the Catholic faith, we can also do so in our times.

 

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