The Ascent of Saint Dominic is celebrated on August 10 every year. On this day, Saint Dominic’s statue is brought to the Parish of Las Sierritas through a colorful parade and immaculate festivities. This holiday marks the end of the Santo Domingo celebrations in Nicaragua, starting from August 1 with his descent, up until his ascent on August 10. As a public holiday, the Roman Catholic church encourages locals to participate in the parade to celebrate the life, death, and legacy of Santo Domingo de Guzman. Grand parades and festivities take place on the streets with people holding images and statuettes of the saint.
History of Ascent of Saint Dominic
Saint Dominic, also known as Domingo Felix De Guzman, was born on August 8, 1170, in Caleruega, Spain. At age 14, he was sent to the Premonstratensian monastery in Santa Maria de La Vid to complete his basic education. However, he transferred to Palencia where he studied six years of art and four years of theology. It was at this point in his life that he discovered his personal relationship with God and pursued a life of serving him. In 1194, he was ordained as a priest and joined the Cathedral of Osma, By 1198, Bishop Diego the Acebo assigned Dominic the superior of the chapter.
The foundation of the Dominicans started in 1215 when Dominic established himself with six followers. He felt the need to start a new organization to address the needs of the people spiritually through a systemic education and organization flexibility. He then sought the approval of the pope for this formation and was granted authority in January 1217 by Pope Honorius III.
The formal foundation of the Dominican convent in Basilica de Santa Sabina in Rome happened on June 5, 1222, after a legal transfer of property from the Pope himself. He also founded the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, which would later be transformed into the College of Saint Thomas, and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 20th century.
Saint Dominic passed away on August 6, 1221, at the age of 51. He was canonized by the church in 1234.
Ascent of Saint Dominic timeline
Saint Dominic is born in Caleruega, Spain.
He becomes a priest and is invited to the Cathedral of Osma.
The pope officially approves the Dominican convent with its headquarters in Rome.
Saint Dominic passes away at the age of 51.
The Catholic Church officially canonizes Saint Dominic.
Ascent of Saint Dominic FAQs
Why does Nicaragua celebrate Saint Dominic?
This was due to the discovery of a small statue of Santo Domingo de Guzman in the 19th century.
What is the Dominican motto?
The first Dominican motto is ‘veritas,’ which means ‘truth,’ and the second is ‘laudare, benedicere, praedicare,’ which means to ‘praise, to bless, and to preach.’
What are the four Dominican pillars?
The four Dominican pillars include the value of study, the importance of community, service to others, and spiritual practice.
How to Observe Ascent of Saint Dominic
Join the parade
The most traditional way of celebrating the Ascent of Saint Dominic is by joining the parade at the Las Sierritas Parish Church. You may bring your statuettes and images of Saint Dominic to the event.
Reflect at home
As a public holiday, others choose to spend this day as a form of rest and reflection. Meditate at home and say a little prayer — it’s a day of peace and serenity.
Watch “Dominic: The Light of Church”
You may also watch the 2011 film “Dominic: The Light of Church” to learn more about the life and legacy of Saint Dominic. Invite your family and friends and turn this day into a film viewing holiday.
5 Interesting Facts About Saint Dominic
He was philanthropic as a child
Even as a child, Saint Dominic used to sell his books and use the money to help the poor.
The patron saint of astronomers
During his birth, his mother saw a shining star on his chest, which made him the patron saint of astronomers.
His iconography includes a dog
Most artists depict Saint Dominic with a dog by his side as a symbol of chastity.
He used to be an Augustinian
He was a former Augustinian before establishing the Dominican Order.
The origin of his name
He was named after Saint Dominic of SIlos.
Why Ascent of Saint Dominic is Important
It has a long history
Learning about the life and legacy of Saint Dominic is always fascinating. His contributions to the Catholic church were so immense and influential that they’re still acknowledged to date.
He’s a philanthropist
We love a religious figure whose heart and soul have always been devoted to helping others. While his life was short, the way he spent it is awe-inspiring.
He stood by education
The schools that Saint Dominic founded honed many individuals. The youth, in particular, are greatly influenced by his vision of systemic education.
Ascent of Saint Dominic dates