[If yesterday had not been a Sunday it would have been] the commemoration of Blessed Jane of Aza, the mother of Saint Dominic, our founder. A remarkable lady! She had had three children, but wanted more. So she made a pilgrimage from her home town in north central Spain to a Benedictine monastery not far away, named in honor of its patron saint, Dominic of Silos. There she prayed for another child, and, according to the legend, the holy abbot Dominic appeared to her and assured her that her prayer would be granted.
While she was carrying the baby promised by Saint Dominic of Silos, she is said to have had the famous dream: she dreamed that she had given birth to a little black-and-white dog which ran around the whole world with a burning torch in its mouth, barking and setting the world on fire. The dream is explained as referring to our own founder, Saint Dominic, who chose a black-and-white habit for his religious order, and who founded an Order of Preachers whose vocation it is to go all over the world “barking” the Word of God and setting the world on fire with love of God.
However, we don’t honor Blessed Jane simply because she is the mother of a great saint. Each of the saints and blesseds is honored by the Church for his and her OWN sanctity. This reminds us of the time in the gospel when a woman, lost in admiration of Jesus and his preaching, exclaimed, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” In other words, how happy your mother to have a son like you! Our Lord’s answer is profound: “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Blood relationship between humans is not very important. What IS important is the relationship of every human being with God. If they hear Him and obey, they are blessed in the sense of being happy. If they do not obey, they have no reason to be honored by anyone—despite our American foolishness of going all gaga over the “beautiful people” of the media who live flagrantly immoral lives.
[On August 2] our Dominican family throughout the world honors this Spanish lady who prayed for another child after having three, and was rewarded with our holy father. He learned his first catechism lessons at her knee; she was the first preacher of God’s love to this father of the Order of Preachers. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.