St. Dominic Guzman was born in Spain, around the year 1170. His mother was Blessed Joanna of Aza, and his father was Felix Guzman, both members of the nobility.

Dominic studied at the University of Palencia, where he once sold his collection of rare books and gave the money to the poor.

As a priest, Dominic led many church reforms in Osma, before accompanying Bishop Diego to France. On his travels, Dominic encountered the widespread Albigensian heresy, which considered the material world as an evil world, not created by God.

Dominic began to preach against Albigensians, and in 1214, he received a vision of the Virgin Mary while in a coma. She told him to encourage people to pray the rosary. He then received papal approval for a new religious order, the Order of Preachers, and became the Pope’s chief theologian.

Dominic is said to have converted more than 100,000 people. He died in Italy on August 6, 1221, and was made a saint in 1234.