Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feast of St Dominic of Silos

Santo Domingo de Silos, by Bartolome Bermejo, fifteenth century.

Today is the feast of St. Dominic of Silos -- not to be confused with St. Dominic of Guzman, the founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic was the eleventh-century abbot of the monastery of Silos in the province of Burgos. The monastery is famous for its Romanesque cloister and chart-topping singing monks. There is a connection with the other Dominic, as described by the Franciscans at American Catholic:

Our saint today, Dominic of Silos was born in Spain around the year 1000 into a peasant family. As a young boy he spent time in the fields, where he welcomed the solitude. He became a Benedictine priest and served in numerous leadership positions. Following a dispute with the king over property, Dominic and two other monks were exiled. They established a new monastery in what at first seemed an unpromising location. Under Dominic’s leadership, however, it became one of the most famous houses in Spain. Many healings were reported there.

About 100 years after Dominic’s death, a young woman made a pilgrimage to his tomb. There Dominic of Silos appeared to her and assured her that she would bear another son. The woman was Joan of Aza, and the son she bore grew up to be the "other" Dominic—the one who founded the Dominicans.

For many years thereafter, the staff used by St. Dominic of Silos was brought to the royal palace whenever a queen of Spain was in labor. The practice ended in 1931.

Abbot Dominic was part of the reforming spirit of the eleventh century. He was the subject of an extensive Latin vita written around 1100 by a French monk named Grimaldus and another in Spanish verse by the great thirteenth-century poet Gonzalo de Berceo. The monastery, originally dedicated to St. Sebastian, was renamed for its most famous abbot soon after his death. The monks there have dedicated themselves to the quality of their Gregorian Chant and have become quite famous. You can listen to some samples at their website.

I will leave you with a youtube video with some great footage of the cloister:


Garpu the Fork said...

I'm going to have to tease the priests at my parish that the founder of their order was named after a Benedictine. ;) (Didn't know that before...)

crystal said...

I didn't know that about the two Dominics. Nice music :-)

Jeff said...

Great vid and nice mp3 samples, Liam.