Wednesday 2 August 2017

# Saints

Blessed Joan of Aza

Juana de Aza with her son St Dominic
The 2nd of August is the feast day of Blessed Joan of Aza.

Blessed Joan of Aza, also known as Jane, Juana or Joanna of Aza died in the 12th Century and was born to Spanish nobility. She married young to a nobleman and had five children. She was a pious woman and her two eldest sons entered the priesthood. When this occurred, she went to the church of Saint Dominic Silios, who is the patron saint of pregnant women and prayed for another son who will be able to carry on the succession of the family. She dreamt that the saint appeared to her and said she will have a son who would be a shining light to the Church. She also dreamt of a dog leaping from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth, lighting the world on fire. She gave birth to a son and named him Dominic after the saint, and brought him to the altar of Saint Dominic Silos and offering him to God. During her son's baptism, his godmother witnessed a star shining from his forehead. The child grew in sanctity and virtue. Blessed Joan gave Dominic to be educated as a priest when he reached the age of seven, even though this meant that the family would be left without a male heir. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers or Dominicans and became known as the Hounds of the Lord, preaching against heresy and in defence of the Catholic faith.