Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Dominic of Silos (1000–1073)

Saint Dominic of Silos (1000–1073)

Patron saint of captives, pregnant women, and shepherds

Feast day: December 20

Saint Dominic of Silos was born into a Spanish peasant family around the year 1000. He spent a considerable amount of time in the fields as a young boy working to support his family and enjoying time alone. He felt called to become a Benedictine priest and held many leadership roles in the order.

After a disagreement with King Garcia III of Navarre, who wanted part of the Benedictines’ land, he and two fellow monks were exiled. While in exile, they established a new monastery that at first seemed to be in an unfavorable location. However, under Dominic’s strong leadership, it became one of the most well-known monasteries in Spain.

After Dominic’s death, an anxious young woman made a pilgrimage to his tomb. While praying there, Dominic appeared to her and told her that she would bear another son. The woman indeed gave birth to a second son. She named him Dominic, and he would grow up to become the founder of the Dominicans.

(Image by Bartolomé Bermejo, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)