Dominic de Guzman

The founder of the Dominican Order was Dominic de Guzman, a native of Old Castille in Spain. Contemporary of St. Francis, he lived between 1170-1221. Like the Franciscans, the Dominicans went directly the people to spread the word of God. They were both mendicant orders, which means that they were supported by donations. Dominic was an austere intellectual who saw God's truth as a rational ideology, and the order he founded was devoted chiefly to scholarship and teaching, guiding the thoughts and education of men. Francis appealed to men's hearts, Dominic, their minds.

For many years Dominic labored in the Albigensian territories, striving to recall the heretical sect to the church through the arts of preaching and persuasion. The last discourse to the heretics he had sought to convert was a signpost in history. In 1216 Dominic received papal sanction for the new order, henceforth serving the intellectual needs of the church. Dominican houses were established at all the major university centers of Europe.

The 13th century saw a new development in the church, the Papal Inquisition, Innocent III saw in the new order of the Dominicans a powerful instrument of suppression. The Franciscans were the grey Friars, the Dominicans the black.
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