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Saint Dominic of Silos

Saint Dominic was born in Canas, La Rioja (modern day Spain) around the year 1000AD to a family of peasants. He spent his early years working as a Shepard before becoming a Benedictine monk at the Monasteries of San Millan de la Cogolla. It was here that he was ordained a priest and earned the title of master of novices before being elected Prior. When he opposed King Garcia Sanchez II of Navarre for apposing the King's desires to annex the monastery's lands he was forced out of the monastery, leaving with two fellow monks.

In 1041 he fell under the protection of King Ferdinand I of Leon and was welcomed in the town of Silos at the Abbey of Saint Sebastian. In recent years the Abbey had fallen into decay and at the time he arrived was home to only six monks. Saint Dominic was quickly appointed Abbot and immediately began rebuilding the monastery, building the cloisters in the Romanesque style. He also had a scriptorium established which created a center of book design and and scholarship at the monastery. The massive proceeds of gold and silver that flowed through the scriptorium allowed the monks to immediately begin making gigantic contributions of charity to the poor and sick around the Abbey and allowed Saint Dominic to use funds to ransom Christians that had been abducted by the Moors. In the 19th century, Silos became a monastery in the Benedictine Congregation of Solemes.

Saint Dominic died on December 20th, 1073 AD with about 40 monks living in the Monastery he had rebuilt. Blessed Joan of Aza prayed at his shrine asking for his intercession to Christ when she had trouble conceiving. Soon after, she gave birth to a son and named him Dominic - that son would grow to be Saint Dominic of Guzman founder of the Dominican Order. Until the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic, his crozier was used in blessing of the Queens of Spain and placed on their beds when they were in labor.

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