After a few years of apostolate, circumstances forced in the hideous albigensian war. the remainder of his apostolate was during the period of this war. the moment of the outbreak of the albigensian war, was the moment in which the whole force and genius of st. dominic were brought to light. two courses were before him, either to abandon his mission in a land the scene of sanguinary conflict and alarm, or take part in the war as the cistercian monks had done. in following either course, his destiny would have been accomplished; by fleeing, he would have been faithless to his apostolate; by taking part in the crusade, his labors and his life would have been shorn of their apostolic character; he therefore did neither the one nor the other. toulouse being the headquarters of heresy in europe, it behooved st. dominic to fix his abode there, after the example of the apostles, who, far from shunning the evil, invariably sought out its stronghold. st. peter settled first at antioch, queen of the orient, and sent his disciple st. mark to alexandria, one of the finest commercial cities in the world. st. paul dwelt for some time at corinth, renowned among the other cities of greece both for its magnificence and for the depravity of its morals. therefore at toulouse, the center and focus of heresy, it behooved st. dominic to pitch his tent. in the hour of alarm, men of weak faith shrink from action; but the apostle sows in the storm that he may reap in the calm. the enemies of the faith did indeed insult this servant of god in every possible manner, spitting in his face, pelting him with mud, and fastening straws to his cloak. but, indifferent to all such treatment, he, like the apostle, esteemed himself happy in that he was deemed worthy to suffer shame for the name of jesus.
Here is his portrait, sketched by the abbot of a monastery of saint-paul in france, guillaume de pierre, who know him intimately during his twelve years’ apostolate in languedoc, and who was one of the witnesses heard at toulouse during the process of canonization: “the blessed dominic had an ardent thirst for souls, and his zeal on their behalf was unbounded. so fervent a prelate was he, that day and night, at home and abroad, he ceased not to preach the word of god, counseling his brethren to do the same, and to converse of naught save god. he was a foe to heresy; opposing it in sermons, controversies, and in every possible way. from love of poverty, he renounced all possessions, farms, châteaux and revenues, with which, in many localities, his order had been endowed with. so frugal was he, that his ordinary diet consisted of a piece of bread and some soup, save on rare occasions and out of respect for the brothers and guests, whose fare he desired should be as generous as circumstances would allow. he refused the see of conserans, although duly elected(episcopacy).never have i seen his equal in humility; nor any who so despised worldly glory and all pertaining thereto. injuries, curses, and opprobrium, were welcomed by him as priceless gifts; he heeded not persecution, was unmoved in danger, and nothing could make him swerve from his course. when wearied by all his journeys, he would take his rest on the ground, fearless of all danger. in piety, he surpassed all whom i have ever known; despised and counted himself as worthless; tenderly consoled his sick brethren, patiently bearing with their weakness. those oppressed by anxiety, he exhorted to resignation, and did his best to comfort them. he loved the rule, and paternally reproved those who were in fault; in all things he was an example to the brethren, both in word and deed. never have i seen any one so continually given to prayer, or who had the gift of tears in such abundance. when praying, his cries could be heard afar, and he would exclaim, ‘lord,have mercy on the people, have mercy on those who sin.’ he passed his nights without sleep, weeping and groaning for the transgressions of others; was generous and hospitable, willingly giving all he had unto the poor; he loved and honored all who belonged to christ, and those who were friends to religion. i have never heard of his having any other place of repose than the church, when he could find a church open; and if that failed him, then he lay on a bench or on the ground, or stripped the bed prepared for him, taking his rest on the sacking only. i have always seen him wear the same garment, full of patches; and his clothing was worse than that of any of his brethren. he loved peace and sincerity, and was a zealous promoter of both.”
our great saint did not abandon his apostolate even in the midst of unfavorable circumstances. he decided seat his dwelling in the midst of the crisis entering into its very heart. always ready to proclaim the gospels in the same spirit and that of the apostles.
“ proclaim the gospel; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.”-2 timothy 4:2
all the sufferings, death threats he endured, he offered if up for the sins for the heretics and mankind uniting it with christ’s own suffering.
“for just as the sufferings of christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through christ. if we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering.” 2 corinthians 1:5-6
Made perfect by suffering, the holy spirit started to take complete control of him and he was endowed with numerous charisms as we shall see in the subsequent days.
O sweet Jesus, we thank you for giving St. Dominic the grace to consecrate himself entirely for the ministry of the gospel. Bless us o lord with the same grace, that in the midst of trials, humiliations, suffering and persecution we may never reject you, instead may we remain steadfast in your love and grow in it even if it means suffering matrydom. Lord also grant us the grace to unite all our sufferings to your redemptive suffering and offer it up for the sins of mankind. we make this prayer throughout your Holy Name . amen.
S𝙩. D𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙘, 𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙪𝙨.
pray in honor of the saint:-
1 Our father. 1 Hail mary. 1 Glory be.💖✨💖✨💖✨💖✨💖✨💖
PDM – Ruha Mount Attappadi