Abbot. A patron of pregnant women. Saint Dominic was born in 1000, at Rioja in Navarre. His parents were farmers and he worked the land with them for some years before becoming a monk. He was later ordained priest and became prior at St Milan de la Congolla, however after a dispute over property rights he was exiled with two companions.
Ferdinand I of Old Castile welcomed these monastic refugees and gave them a derelict old monastery at Silos. Within a few years Dominic had supervised a rebuilding programme and Silos became a thriving community and centre of learning with more than 40 monks. One of their scriptoriums can now be seen in the British Library.
St Dominic was known for his holiness and his healing powers. Women suffering difficult pregnancies flocked to visit him. One woman, Jane of Aza named her child after St Dominic, and he in turn became the founder of the Dominicans.
Dominic's pastoral staff was used to bless queens of Spain and would be kept at their bedside until they had a safe delivery.
St Dominic died in 1073 and was canonised three years later. Many churches and monasteries were dedicated to him.
Silos is still a flourishing community today.
Several recordings of the monks singing Gregorian chant have been best sellers around the world.
Visit the official website of the monastery at Silos here: www.abadiadesilos.es/
Listen to the Monks of Silos: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmxCfpsX9Xo