Baptism of St. Dominic


Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Before Dominic’s birth his mother, Jane of Aza, had a vision of a hound racing through the world with a flaming torch in it’s mouth, igniting everything it touched. A second extraordinary sign occurred at his baptism, which took place in the parish of San Sebastian in Caleruga. While the water was being poured on his head, his Godmother saw a bright star shining on his forehead. These two images–a dog with a torch and a star–have since been associated with Dominic, and paintings and statues usually show him with a star over his forehead and accompanied by a dog with a torch in it’s mouth. His baptismal name, Dominic, means “the man of the Lord.” Through baptism, one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic tradition, Dominic received God’s presence in his life and the grace he radiated to others.

The above excerpt is from Reflections of Dominican Spirituality: The Windows of St. Dominic Church, Washington, D.C. by Dr. Mary Moran. 


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