Theologian, missionary, mystic, reformer… the vocation of the Preachers can blossom in so many ways in it’s double fidelity to the Word of God which proposes Salvation and to the world to which this Salvation is proposed!
By learning about the saints and how their relationships with the risen Christ transformed their lives, we seek to grow closer to Christ and experience transformation for ourselves. Because human beings learn through imitation, it should come as no surprise that as we seek to grow spiritually, we look to other people—parents, godparents, and others, who, by example, show us how to follow Jesus. By imitating the saints even in small ways, we can learn how to respond to God’s call in our own lives.
St. Dominic de GuzmanDominic is the patron saint of astronomers and the Dominican Republic. He was born in Caleruega, halfway between Osma and Aranda in Old Castile, Spain. He is sometimes called Dominic of Osma or Dominic de Guzmán. In paintings, his sign is a star or a dog holding a burning torch in its mouth.
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas, (1225 – 7 March 1274) was a Catholic Dominican priest from Italy and is a Catholic saint and philosopher. He was born in Roccasecca, as the son of Count Andulf of Aquino and Countess Theodora of Teano. His early education was at the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. He attended the University of Naples, where he got the nickname "dumb ox" for his slow demeanor, though he was an intelligent and talented student. He studied philosophy, Catholic theology, church history, liturgy, and canon law. By 1240, he became interested in religious life and decided to become a friar with the new Dominican Order. His family captured him and brought him back because to become a Dominican one must eliminate material wealth. His parents expected him to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and become a Benedictine abbot. They kept him in a castle in an effort to change his mind. However, when they released him two years later, he immediately joined the Dominicans.
Saint Cecilia (Latin: Sancta Caecilia) is the patroness of musicians. At her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". Her feast day is celebrated in the Latin Catholic, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and in the Anglican Communion on November 22. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.
While the details of her story appear to be fictional, her existence and martyrdom are considered a historical fact. She is said to have been beheaded with a sword. An early Roman Christian church, Santa Cecilia, was founded in the fourth century in the Trastevere section of Rome, reputedly on the site of the house in which she lived. A number of musical compositions are dedicated to her, and her feast day has become the occasion for concerts and musical festivals.
St. Albert the Great
Albertus Magnus, O.P. (1193/1206 – November 15, 1280), also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is a Catholic saint. He was a German Dominican friar and a bishop who achieved fame for his comprehensive knowledge of and advocacy for the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. James A. Weisheipl and Joachim R. Söder have referred to him as the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages, an opinion supported by contemporaries such as Roger Bacon. Magnus was born into a rich German family, in Swabia, in about 1200. He attended Padua University, in Italy. He was very knowledgeable about Sciences, and he wrote about chemistry, geometry, astronomy, physiology. He promoted Aristotle's writings. He later became Master of Theology, which is the study of religion and God, at the University of Paris. He also created a school in Cologne, in 1248. Magnus died on November 15, 1280, in Cologne, Germany. 250 years after his death, he was named a Saint because he helped and contributed to the Catholic Church.
St. Rose of Lima
Saint Rose of Lima (1586–1617 (in Spanish, Santa Rosa de Lima) is the patron saint of Peru and of all South America. She was the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be made a saint (canonized) by the Roman Catholic Church.
Isabel de Flores was born into a wealthy family on April 20, 1586, in Lima, Peru. Rosa (the name by which she was always known) showed an early interest in the penitential practice and spiritual life, taking the 14th-century Dominican nun Saint Catherine of Siena as her model. Rosa worked hard during the day and spent her nights in prayer and penance. She was generally obedient, but her refusal to marry created tension between Rosa and her mother that lasted 10 years, during which time Rosa made a perpetual vow of virginity.
In 1606 her mother relented and allowed Rosa to become a Dominican nun of the Third Order. Her practice became more austere. She secluded herself, engaged in prolonged fasts, began wearing a crown of thorns, and slept on a bed of broken glass and pottery fragments. She experienced numerous visions, particularly of the devil. Only in the last three years of her life did she leave her seclusion. Many miracles were said to have occurred after her death on August 24, 1617, in Lima.
St. Martin de Porres
Saint Martin de Porres (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639) is a Christian Saint of Dominican Order. He is the patron saint of social justice. He is also the patron saint of race relations, African-Americans, barbers, and hairdressers. He was born in Lima, Peru where he is venerated in the large basilica of Santo Domingo. He is an illegitimate son of a Spanish knight, John de Porres, and a freed Panamanian slave named Anna. In 1594, Martin became a Dominican lay brother in Lima and served in various menial offices. Outside of the monastery he became known for his care of the poor and the sick. Martin founded an orphanage and ministered to African slaves brought to Lima. He was aided by St. Rose of Lima, who respected his penances and laborers. Martin experienced many mystical gifts, including bilocation and aerial flights. When he was dying in Rosary Convent on November 3, the viceroy, the count of Chichón, knelt by his bed, seeking Martin’s blessing. Martin, who is the patron of interracial justice, was canonized by Pope John XXIII (r. 1958-63) in 1962. Feast day: November 3.
St. Jane of Aza
Blessed Jane of Aza, though believed by some writers to have been a daughter of the ducal house of Brittany, is more generally thought to have belonged to the noble Spanish family of the Garciez, related by blood to Saint Lewis of France, Saint Ferdinand of Spain, and others who have been raised to the altars of the Church. Her birth took place in the first half of the twelfth century, at the Castle of Aza, near Aranda, on the Douro. To singular beauty of person and the charms of a cultivated mind, Blessed Jane added solid piety and great energy in the practice of good works. The world had never had any attractions for her; she applied herself diligently to the requirements of her state and devoted all the time which remained after the discharge of her domestic duties to prayer and works of charity. She was ever distinguished for humility, and, a high-born lady as she was, the simplicity and modesty of her bearing excelled that of all her attendants. She frequently spent the whole night in devotional exercises, made pilgrimages to the neighboring sanctuaries, and visited the sick and poor in their humble dwellings.
St. Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena (March 25, 1347–April 29, 1380) had a deep love for Christ from a young age, so much so that when her family tried to persuade her to get married at the age of 16, she cut her hair short and began fasting in protest. Her family relented, allowing her to spend much of her time secluded in prayer in her bedroom. At the age of 18, she joined the Dominican Third Order. Gradually, her reputation for holiness and personal charisma attracted a circle of followers. Before long, she was employing multiple scribes to keep up a lively correspondence with an ever-widening circle of influential Church and secular leaders, including kings, queens, and even the pope. These leaders turned to her for her advice and guidance, a role which led her to travel across Europe seeking reconciliation between warring parties. She urged Pope Gregory XI to return his administration to Rome and lobbied on behalf of the legitimacy of Pope Urban VI during the Great Schism of 1378. When she wasn’t resolving international crises, Catherine helped care for victims of the Black Plague in the city’s hospitals, caring for the worst patients and even burying those who had died. Today she is one of the patron saints of nurses.