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From a Friar's Cell

From a Friar's Cell

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  • ISBN-13: 9781503308039
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Nov 20, 2014
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.58 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches


ON Friday, August 6th, 1221, at noon, Dominic Guzman died, as he had prayed to die, amidst his brethren of Bologna. Having no cell of his own, for "he had the whole world for cell," he died in the cell of one of the brethren. Having no clothes but those he wore, for "he had put on the Lord Jesus Christ," he died in the borrowed clothes of one of the brethren. It was the death of an apostle, fitly following the life of an apostle. Few men of any age have been so qualified to be an apostle. His Spanish blood was of the best in Europe; but it was the best warrior blood. Many of the future dreams and ideals of the apostle may have been suggested to his mind by the gtim frontier fortress of Calaroga, where he passed the first seven years of his life. It is hard to find any saint, and especially any founder-saint, who was so essentially a cleric, that is "a child of the Church." This was everything to him in the perilous days when he was adventuring into new ways of doing the Church's work of saving souls. At seven years old, when, as the theologians nobly say, “he had reached the age of reason," he left home with all its joys, for Gumiel d'Izan, where his uncle was Archpriest. He could hardly have known that he was beginning the long, hard apprenticeship of an apostle. Education in such a home of learning was essentially a learning of realities. Like many of his schoolfellows, the primer from which he learned his letters was the Book of Our Lady's Hours! Perhaps, as some of his schoolfeIlows, he had his first lesson from his Lady's Book, as it rested on her altar in the great church. The neighbouring Premonstratensian Abbey of Pena was too close to Gumiel d'Izan for us to neglect the Premonstratensian tradition that his youth was largely influenced by the Augustinian Rome. Perhaps it was there that, under the keeping of St. Augustine, he learned to love those songs of the Church which later on he was to sing to Europe as he travelled on his tireless apostolate. It was well for Dominic Guzman tha t he passed from this Augustinian atmosphere to a University. Both these influences were characteristic of the Church of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The years he spent at Palencia amidst the students of the University completed his apprenticeship as a teacher and preacher of the word of Truth.

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