DOMINIC of SILOS (Saint) Abbot (December 20) (11th century) He was born of poor parents in Cantabria (north-west of Spain). He was at first a shepherd; but having shown great piety and aptitude for learning, he became a priest, and embraced a hermit’s life under the Rule of Saint Benedict. Elected Prior of Saint Millan in Aragon, he refused to surrender certain goods of the monastery to the King of Navarre and, banished from that country but welcomed by the King of Castile, was appointed by him Abbot of Saint Sebastian’s at Silos. This monastery he thoroughly reformed. His fame spread far and wide on account of the many miracles he wrought in his lifetime. After his holy death (A.D. 1073) he miraculously delivered more than three hundred prisoners taken by the Moors, and his shrine is still decorated with many chains brought as “ex votos”. The Countess Guzman having recommended herself to his intercession, in answer to his prayers, gave birth (A.D. 1170) to the great Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Friars Preachers. Even to our day the Abbot of Silo brings to the Queens of Spain, when in labour, the staff of Saint Dominic which remains by her bedside till the birth has taken place.