At 25 years old, Saint Dominic realized his walk was not as a secular priest but as a religious.
At that time, Saint Dominic’s bishop ,Martin Bazan, voiced a desire to bring about reform; he wanted the canons of his cathedral to live a shared life as religious, as part of a community.
He and the new prior of the canons, Don Diego de Asevedo, had heard of Dominic’s piety and wisdom, and his desire to be a religious.
Their hope was that he could convince these self-absorbed, strong-willed clerics into coming together and join the Canons Regular; they summoned Dominic!
So after he was ordained a priest, Saint Dominic was vested in the habit of the Canons Regular of Osma, made his profession to that Order, and for the next nine years faithfully followed the Rule of Saint Augustine. One of his companions said of him, at this time,
“Now it was that he began to appear among his brethren like a bright burning torch, the first in holiness, the last in humility, spreading about him an odor of life which gave life, and a perfume like the sweetness of summer days.
Day and night he was in the church praying without ceasing. God gave him the Grace to weep for sinners and for the afflicted; he bore their sorrows in an inner sanctuary of compassion which pressed on his heart, flowed out and escaped in tears.
It was his custom to spend his nights in prayer and to speak to God behind closed doors.” Dominic consecrated himself, dedicating his life to the salvation of souls for Christ.
He was happy! He thought this was where God had placed him, but that was to come to an end, when Don Diego, now Bishop of Osma, chose him to accompany him on a mission to Denmark, which would be the first leg of a long journey of suffering, pain and torment.
Dominic begins preaching on the Rosary
War and hate killing the innocent, who did not know why they were fighting, or for that matter being killed, it was time for the Mother of God to instruct Her children through Dominic as to the true meaning of the Rosary, Her Life and that of Her Son Jesus. She was calling them to meditate on what Mary and Jesus’ yes cost Them. Although the Rosary had been prayed for generations before the Blessed Mother came to Dominic, it was more of a vocal repetitious praying of Hail Mary’s, Glory be’s and Our Father’s fingering the beads of the Rosary. With Mother Mary giving him this new mission, he was able to have the whole Church participate with Her and Her Son in what They lived through, that we might be saved.
So, we see Dominic, in the midst of hell, with the rabid dog of war wildly, indiscriminately attacking the innocent along with the guilty, no one exempt; and he is preaching the Rosary! Does this sound incredulous? Do we not need to say the Rosary, today, meditating on how Our Lord and Our Lady walked to the Cross for us, how this Church which has been so under attack for the last 2000 years flowed from the pierced Heart of Jesus? Do we think about the price He paid for the Church? Is this what gave them the courage to climb insurmountable heights and face unbeatable foes? When
the Albigensianism heresy was finally defeated, Dominic gave full credit to the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Our Lady of the Rosary intercedes and the war is won!
Dominic became vicar to the Bishop of Carcassonne. But his peace was to be short-lived. Things were out of hand, conditions deplorable. Life would again change for him, along with the course of the Albigensian war. As war is about power more than ideology, more sons would have to die to satisfy man’s gluttonous appetite for might. As this was a war over men’s souls, neither side would give up, the knowing ordering and the unknowing following, “Rachel was once more crying for her children.”
Peter, the King of Aragon, marched into Carcassonne with his massive forces and united them with the Albigensian soldiers. The defenders of Mother Church were so overwhelmingly outnumbered, only a miracle would save her. A council was called in Muret to determine what course to take. Dominic was summoned and went hurriedly to Muret; but on the way he stopped to pray before the tomb of St. Vincent the Martyr. When one of the canons sought him out, he beheld Dominic levitated in ecstasy before the altar.
September 10th, the King of Aragon converged on Muret with forty thousand men. The Count of Montfort was caught with only eight hundred men. With no other course possible, the Count advised his forces he was going to abdicate. He went into the chapel to prepare himself for the inevitable, his death. At the suggestion of Dominic, the Catholic forces began praying the Rosary. The Count of Montfort, fully clad in his resplendent knight’s armor knelt before the bishop and, after receiving his blessing, solemnly pledged his undying love and faithfulness to the God and Church through the Mother of God, “I consecrate my blood and life for God and His Faith.” The Rosary having been said, the troops marched out to battle and the priests retired to the church to pray.