Dominic, Saint

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Dominic, Saint

(dŏm`ənĭk), 1170?–1221, Castilian churchman, named Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the DominicansDominicans
, Roman Catholic religious order, founded by St. Dominic in 1216, officially named the Order of Preachers (O.P.). Although they began locally in evangelizing the Albigenses, before St. Dominic's death (1221) there were already eight national provinces.
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. He studied at Palencia and became a canon, then prior of canons, of the cathedral of Osma. He and his bishop went (c.1203) to Rome seeking permission to evangelize the TatarsTatars
or Tartars
, Turkic-speaking peoples living primarily in Russia, Crimea, and Uzbekistan. They number about 10 million and are largely Sunni Muslims; there is also a large population of Crimean Tatar descent in Turkey.
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; instead, Pope Innocent III sent them to S France to preach to the AlbigensesAlbigenses
[Lat.,=people of Albi, one of their centers], religious sect of S France in the Middle Ages. Beliefs and Practices

Officially known as heretics, they were actually Cathari, Provençal adherents of a doctrine similar to the Manichaean dualistic
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. Adopting absolute poverty, they wandered about Languedoc preaching and were the first Catholic missionaries to have success there. St. Dominic started a community for women converts at Prouille in 1206. In 1216 he was given a house and church at Toulouse for his band of preachers, now numbering 16. The same year he went to Rome and received from Pope Honorius III approval of his plans for the new order. The order, with its novel vocation to study and preaching, grew phenomenally. An ancient tradition, often pictured, tells how the saint received the rosaryrosary
[rose garden], prayer of Roman Catholics, in which beads are used as counters. The term, applied also to the beads, is extended to Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist prayers that use beads.
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 from the Virgin Mary in a vision. It is also told that St. Dominic and St. FrancisFrancis, Saint,
or Saint Francis of Assisi
, 1182?–1226, founder of the Franciscans, one of the greatest Christian saints, b. Assisi, Umbria, Italy. Early Life
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 met and became friends in Rome, establishing a close tie between Franciscans and Dominicans that has continued to the present. Feast: Aug. 4.

Bibliography

See B. Jarrett, Life of St. Dominic (1934, repr. 1964); P. F. Mandonnet, St. Dominic and His Work (tr. 1944); F. C. Lehner, ed., Saint Dominic: Biographical Documents (1964); M. H. Vicaire, Saint Dominic and His Times (1964).

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