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Lives of the Saints:

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, who would grow up to become the founder of the Dominicans. (Image in public domain-70)