Saint Dominic of Silos

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Saint Dominic of Silos

(† 1073)

Saint Dominic, a Saint of the eleventh century, was given the surname of Silos because of his long sojourn in the monastery of that name. He was of the line of the ancient kings of Navarre. He undertook on his own to study his religion, having virtually no teacher but the Holy Spirit. Ordained a priest, he entered a monastery of the Order of Saint Benedict, where his sanctity soon placed him in the first ranks as its Abbot.

The monastery of Silos had greatly declined from its former glory and fervor. The monk Licinian, who was deploring this situation, was offering Holy Mass on the day when Dominic entered the church. By a special permission of God, when the priest turned towards the people at the Offertory to chant: Dominus vobiscum, he said instead: Behold, the restorer cometh! and the choir responded: It is the Lord who has sent him! The oracle was soon to be visibly fulfilled. The charity of the Saint was not concentrated only in his monastery, but was extended to all who suffered afflictions. His gift of miracles drew to the convent the blind, the sick, and the lame; and it was by the hundreds that he cured them, as is still evident today from the ex-votos of the chapel where his relics are conserved. The balls-and-chains, iron handcuffs and the like, which are seen suspended from the vault there, attest also to his special charity for the poor Christians held captive by the Spanish Moors. He often went to console them and pay their ransom, thus preluding the works of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, founded in 1218, 145 years after his death.

After many years of good works, Dominic felt the moment of the recompense approaching, and was advised of it by the Blessed Virgin. I spent the night near the Queen of Angels, he said one day to his religious. She has invited me to come in three days where She is; therefore I am soon going to the celestial banquet to which She invites me. In effect, he fell ill for three days, and then his brethren saw his soul rise in glory to heaven.

At his tomb Saint Joan of Aza, mother of Saint Dominic of Guzman, Founder of the Order which bears his name, later obtained the birth of her son, baptized under the name of his holy patron.

Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l’année, by Abbé L. Jaud (Mame: Tours, 1950).

Miracle of Maria in der Tanne

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Miracle of Maria in der Tanne (“Mary in the Fir”)

A girl and her mother found near an oak tree a small portrait of the Immaculate Conception painted on parchment. She took it home. Shortly after this discovery, she was hit by a serious eye disease with the risk of going blind. One night she had a dream in which she was told that she would recover if she brought back the portrait under the oak. The next morning the girl brought the painting to his place and was immediately healed. When the news spread many pilgrims went to that place to venerate the portrait and some of them, after praying before the image of Mary, drank water from the spring nearby and were cured of their ailments.

Having heard about these miraculous phenomena, a sick man came in Triberg with the hope of receiving a healing. He had vowed to carve a statue of Our Lady in wood if it were cured of his ills. When he recovered, he built a statue of the Madonna and Child and had it placed next to the oak. Meanwhile, the portrait on parchment had mysteriously disappeared. In 1697 a church was built, and inside, near the main altar, the oak was placed with the statue. In 1805 St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, with four companions, arrived in Triberg and encouraged the pilgrimage that still continues today.



by the Very Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger
Abbot of Solesmes

O Clavis David et Sceptrum domus Israel, qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis. O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel! who openest, and no man shutteth: who shuttest, and no man openeth; come and lead the captive from prison, sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.
O Jesus, Son of David! heir to his throne and his power! thou art now passing over, in thy way to Bethlehem, the land that once was the kingdom of thy ancestor, but now is tributary to the Gentiles. Scarce an inch of this ground which has not witnessed the miracles of the justice and the mercy of Jehovah, thy Father, to the people of that old Covenant, which is so soon to end. Before long, when thou hast come from beneath the virginal cloud which now hides thee, thou wilt pass along this same road doing good [Acts, x. 36.], healing all manner of sickness and every infirmity [St Matth. iv. 23.], and yet having not where to lay thy head? [St. Luke, ix. 58.] Now, at least, thy Mother’s womb affords thee the sweetest rest, and thou receivest from her the profoundest adoration and the tenderest love. But, dear Jesus, it is thine own blessed will that thou leave this loved abode. Thou hast, O Eternal Light, to shine in the midst of this world’s darkness, this prison where the captive, whom thou art come to deliver, sits in the shadow of death. Open his prison-gates by thy all-powerful key. And who is this captive, but the human race, the slave of error and vice? Who is this Captive, but the heart of man, which is thrall to the very passions it blushes to obey? Oh! come and set at liberty the world thou hast enriched by thy grace, and the creatures whom thou hast made to be thine own Brethren.


O Gabriel! nuntius coelorum, qui januis clausis ad me intrasti, et Verbum nunciasti: Concipies et paries; Emmanuel vocabitur.

O Gabriel! the Messenger of heaven, who earnest unto me through the closed doors, and didst announce the Word unto me: Thou shalt conceive and hear a Son, and he shall he called Emmanuel