AMID the challenge posed by coliseums and supermalls to universities, it is still worth to recall the unwavering commitment of St. Dominic to education, UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. said in his homily during the Eucharistic celebration in honor of the feast of the founder of the Dominican Order last Aug. 7.

“For St. Dominic, everything he studies is pointed toward God that’s why he never separated himself from his studies,” De la Rosa said.

Dominic was described by many historians as the “first minister of education in Europe,” for he revered the act of studying and learning as a way to commune with God.

“His biographer even wrote that Dominic had only one obsession in life, that is to think of God, to speak with God or to talk with God,” the Rector added.

During Dominic’s time, Europeans were described as having poor faith and had more earthly preoccupations. And because of too much prosperity, religion was treated merely as a hobby, as a status symbol, or an assurance to redemption, De la Rosa narrated.

“(This was due to) the negligence of priests and religious to doctrinal preaching, who were more preoccupied with the affairs of the state,” De la Rosa said.

A life of simplicity and integrity and the commitment to education was Dominic’s preaching to win back the faith and trust of the laymen.

“Dominic’s devotion to simple life was so intense that at the time of his death, he died in the room of another brother because he had none of his own,” De la Rosa said.

Legacy of Lourdes

Dominic also believed that priests must not only be holy but also learned. Thus, he sent some Dominicans to educational institutions and “commanded them to engage in a virtuous and disciplined study.”

Unpopular saint

Dominic was among the greatest people who ever lived yet many people hardly know about him, De la Rosa revealed.

Most people are oblivious of the saint known as Santo Domingo de Guzman. Some even mistake him for another saint of the same name who was known as the young saint and sometimes the patron saint of teenagers.

“When you give the name of St. Dominic, the people think more of Dominic Savio, the patron saint of the (falsely accused, instead) of the founder of the Dominican Order,” De la Rosa said.

The contributions of Dominic to education have even been overshadowed by the popularity of his contemporary, St. Francis of Asisi, as Dominic would rather want his people “to talk about his preaching than on what he was.”

However, Dominic was known to his companions as “a man of extra-ordinary compassion for others.”

His unwavering devotion to help people and seek the truth led him to establish the Dominican Order which sought to preach the word of God as the foundation of a more fruitful life.

“For the sake of poor people who suffered from a plague, St. Dominic sold his (collection of religious books, inscribed on parchment) and was even willing to sell himself to redeem those tied to slavery,” De la Rosa shared.


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