June 10, 2023 / 12:01 a.m.
Every June 10, Blessed Giovanni (John) Dominici, a Dominican religious who became Archbishop of Ragusa (Italy) and Cardinal of San Sisto, is remembered.
Blessed Giovanni Dominici had a diverse range of abilities: by training he was a theologian and, by vocation, a poet and distinguished speaker; however, he also had to act as a diplomat. We know many facts about his life thanks to a brief biography about him written by Saint Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence.
The blessed is also remembered for having restored the regular observance of the convents of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans); and for having been sent in June 1418 to Bohemia and Hungary to contain the heresy of John Hus, one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation.
God counts on our fragility
Giovanni Dominici was born in Florence (Italy) in 1376. At the age of 18 he received the Dominican habit in the priory of Santa Maria Novella, despite some opposition from some of his superiors due to his lack of previous education and his tendency to stuttering -a problematic detail for many Dominicans of the time, who considered that it was an insurmountable problem to be a “good speaker”-.
However, Giovanni learned to compensate for his limitations with his extraordinary ability to retain in memory what he learned. Dominici became, in a short time, one of the best theologians of his time and an eloquent preacher. It is said that he was able to overcome his stuttering with the miraculous help of Saint Catherine of Siena, of whom he became a follower.
Under the influence of Catherine, the blessed devoted himself to the renewal of his Order. In Fiesole and in Venice he founded new monasteries, among which was one for the female branch, called “Corpus Christi”. From these centers of spirituality he worked to restore the strict observance of the rule of Santo Domingo.
Peter’s faithful servant
In 1406, Dominici attended the conclave that elected Pope Gregory XII, whose confessor and adviser he would later become; and the latter, because of the confidence that he inspired in him, consecrated him Archbishop of Ragusa and later Cardinal of San Sixto.
After the resignation of Gregory XII in 1415 before the Council of Constance -decision taken by the Pope to conclude the so-called “Western Schism”-, Martin V was elected as Supreme Pontiff. Dominici put himself at his service, but would soon be sent as a diplomat to combat the heretical doctrines of John Hus, which spread through Hungary and Bohemia.
Dominici traveled in June 1418 with the intention of meeting with Kings Sigismund and Wenceslaus, and gaining their support. Unfortunately, he did not get a conclusive answer and before heading back to Italy he died in the city of Buda (Hungary), on June 10, 1419.
His remains were buried in the church of Saint Paul in Budapest, but his tomb was destroyed in 1541 at the hands of the Turks, who invaded the city. His beatification, proposed since 1622, was finally approved by Gregory XVI in 1832 and, with that, his authorized worship of him.
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If you want to know more about Blessed Giovanni Dominici, you can read the following article from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
More information about this saint here:
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