Born at Calaruega, Spain in 1170, St. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers. His feast day is celebrated Aug. 8. He was ordained while studying at the University of Palencia and named canon of Osma in 1199. Strictly adhering to St. Benedict’s rule, he was promoted to chapter superior.

Dominic fought against the heresy of the Albigensians and reformed the Cistercians. When Pope Innocent III crusaded against Albigensians in 1208, Dominic preached to the wayward Christians, later founding an order (The Dominicans) dedicated to their conversion. His order was recognized by Pope Honorius III in 1216.

Dominic’s final years were spent preaching across France, Spain, and Italy while attracting members to his order. The group was successful in its conversion work. He brought together the order’s first general council in 1220. He died Aug. 6, 1221 from illness suddenly suffered following a preaching tour in Hungary. He was canonized in 1234.