Miracle at Fanjeaux

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

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

Extraordinary deeds, recognized as miracles, are attributed to Dominic. The miracle at Fanjeaux, France, is now believed to have occurred at Montreal, about five miles from Fanjeaux, where heretical practices and beliefs were common. In medieval times public debates, or disputations, were a customary means of settling theological arguments, and numerous disputations were held between Catholics and dissenters. About 1206 Dominic was challenged to a public debate by the Albigenses concerning doctrinal truth. To test which beliefs contained divine truth, Dominic and a representative of the Albigenses each threw their writings into a fire. The heretic’s dissertation was consumed by the flames, but Dominic’s writings were miraculously saved and expelled from the fire three times. As the fame of the miracle spread, Dominic was seen as a champion of truth.

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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