This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 20 -- St. Dominic of Silos

When life gives you hops, make abbey-style ale.
St. Dominic was a Benedictine monk at the San Millan de Cogolla monastery in Spain. King Garcia III of Navarre seized the land of the monastery by force and drove off the monks. King Ferdinand I of Castile welcomed them, allowing them to settle in the San Sebastian monastery in Silos. It was broke, crumbling, and in despair, with only six monks remaining. As abbot, Dominic turned the place around, making it a center of book design, art, metalwork, and charity to the poor.

I figured the story would end with Garcia being forced, either by conscience or coercion, to restore the San Millan monastery to the Benedictines as well, but it doesn't. There were reported miracles during his life and after his death, but St. Dominic remained in Silos until the end. His pastoral staff was used to bless the Queens of Spain, and kept by their beds during labor. He is a patron of pregnant women, and is invoked against rabies, mad dogs, and insects.

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