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Feast Day of August 4
1170 – August 6, 1221) was the founder of the Friars Preachers, popularly called the Dominicans or Order of Preachers (OP), a Catholic religious order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers and the Dominican Republic.
A small group of priests formed around Dominic, but soon left him since the challenge and rigours of a simple lifestyle together with demanding preaching discouraged them. Finally Dominic gathered a number of men who remained faithful to the vision of active witness to the Albigensians as well as a way of preaching which combined intellectual rigour with a popular and approachable style.
In 1215, Dominic established himself, with six followers, in a house given by Pierre Seila. He subjected himself and his companions to the monastic rules of prayer and penance; and meanwhile bishop Foulques gave them written authority to preach throughout the territory of Toulouse. Thus the scheme of establishing an order of Preaching Friars began to assume definite shape in Dominic's mind. He dreamed of seven stars enlightening the world, which represented himself and his six friends.
Dominic was granted written authority in December 1216 and January 1217 for an order to be named "The Order of Preachers" (Ordo Praedicatorum, or O.P., popularly known as the Dominican Order). This organizations have as motto "to praise, to preach, to bless".
Dominic now made his headquarters at Rome, although he traveled extensively.
In January 1218, a convent was established at Bolognia. Saint Dominic died there on 6 August 1221.