St. Dominic de Guzman was born at Caleruega, Spain in 1170 and on completion of his studies in Palencia was ordained priest and joined the Augustinian Canons at Osma. In the ensuing years, however, he became acutely aware of the prevailing confusion of thought which at that time found expression in the Albigensian heresy which denied the goodness of creation. Dominic’s understanding, however, that human beings are created in God’s ‘own image and likeness’, and are redeemed in His Son, gave him an appreciation of the basic goodness of every human being and of God’s love for each one. It lay at the heart of his calling to found a religious Order dedicated to preaching the Truth and engendered a new style of religious life. The latter combined the monastic tradition with a new venture whereby trained preachers spread the Word of God and moved from place to
place where needed by the Church. The Order, approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226, adopted the all-embracing motto Veritas – to promote the Truth in all its forms. To this end, in addition to the friars, St. Dominic gathered together a group of nine women and founded the first convent at Prouille, France. These women participated through prayer and good works in the preaching mission of the Church.
Many young people were attracted to the Order which spread throughout the cities of Europe following Dominic’s wish to serve where the needs were greatest. His vision of community, prayer, study and mission are the bedrock of the Order and are reflected in each Dominican School and College. St. Dominic, who died on 6th August 1221 promised that he would do more for the Order after his death than during his lifetime. History has proved the wisdom of his vision which has continued for the greater part of the second millennium. Future generations in the third millennium will find in it a similar source of inspiration.
Extracted from: In Search of Truth; The Dominican Way in Education