Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/269

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249
ST. DOMINIC.

Guzman to an unknown spot in order to preserve it from an extension of acquisitive veneration. Even the font of white stone, fashioned like a shell, in which Dominic was baptized could not escape. In 1605 Philip III. transported it with much pomp from Calaruega to Valladolid. Thence it was translated to the royal Convent of San Domingo in Madrid, where it has since been used for the baptism of the royal children.[1]

Ten years of training in the University of Palencia made of Dominic an accomplished theologian and equipped him thoroughly for the missionary work to which his life was devoted. Entering the Chapter of Osma, he was speedily made sub-prior, and in this capacity we have seen him accompany his bishop, who from 1203 onward for some years was employed on missions that carried him through Languedoc. Dominic's biographers relate that his career was determined by an incident in this first voyage, when he chanced to lodge in the house of a heretic of Toulouse and spent the night in converting him. This success, and the sight of the wide extent of heresy, led him to devote his life to its extirpation. "When in 1206 Bishop Diego dismissed his retinue and remained to evangelize the land, Dominic alone was retained ; when Diego returned to Spain to die, Dominic remained behind and continued to make Languedoc the scene of his activity.[2]

The legend which has grown around Dominic represents him as one of the chief causes of the overthrow of the Albigensian heresies. Doubtless he did all that an earnest and single-hearted man could do in a cause to which he had surrendered himself, but historically his influence was imperceptible. The monk of Vaux-Cernay alludes to him but once, as a follower of Bishop Diego, and the epithet there applied to him of "vir totius sanctitatis" is but one of the customary meaningless civilities of the day. That he was one of the preachers licensed by the legates under the authority granted by Innocent, in 1207, is shown by an absolution issued by him which has chanced to be preserved, in which he styles himself canon of Osma and "prædicator minimus;" but his subordinate


  1. Bremond de Guzmana Stirpe S. Dominici, Romae, 1740, pp. 11, 12, 127, 133, 288.
  2. Bern. Guidon. Tract. Magist. Ord. Praedicat. ann. 1203-6.— Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1203-9.