- Dominic of the Mother of God
- Apostle to England
Born to a poor farm family, orphaned by age eight, and raised by an aunt and uncle on a farm in Merlano, Italy. An uneducated shepherd boy, he spent his time with the flocks in prayer. Met many Passionist priests exiled from France during the repressions of Napoleon. During prayers with them he received a divine message that he would work in northern Europe and England. One day in 1814, just before he entered into an arranged marriage, he slipped away from his family and joined the Passionists, taking the name Dominic of the Mother of God.
Though he had no education, Dominic proved to be an excellent student, quick to grasp philosophy and theology. Ordained in Rome on 1 March 1821. Teacher and spiritual director, writer on theology and homiletics. One of his works was based on the idea of bringing modern science to philosphical studies; condemned in its day, it’s now seen as preparing the way for some of the reforms of Pope Leo XIII. Feeling always drawn to England, he worked to learn English, and met with any English visitors to Rome that he could find.
Delegate to the general chapter of his Order in 1833. With Father Peter Magagnotto, Father Seraphim Giammaria, and Brother Crispin Cotta, he established the first Passionist presence at Ere, Belgium in 1840, the first Passionist monastery outside Italy. Dominic, however, continued to press the need for work in England, and he was finally assigned to work there, establishing the first residence during Holy Week of 1842. Tireless preacher and home missioner, working for the return of anti–Catholic England to unity with Rome. Received many to the faith including John Henry Cardinal Newman’s conversion to Catholicism and Father George Spencer’s entrance to the Passionists; both their Causes for beatification are being investigated.
- 3pm 27 August 1849 at Reading, Berkshire, England of a heart attack
- buried in the Passionist church in Saint Helen’s, Lancashire, England
O God, who so lovingly raised Blessed Dominic to the heights of holiness, learning and apostolic zeal and made him a powerful minister of Thy mercy for the return of many of our separated brethren to the Catholic Church, grant to us here below, an abundant share of his virtues and deign, through his intercession, to grant us this particular grace…… May we too, according to our state, contribute to the realisation of his desire for the union of all Christians in the one True Fold under the one Shepherd, Amen. – novena prayer to Blessed Dominic Barberi CP, Apostle of England
- “Blessed Dominic Barberi“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 November 2012. Web. 7 July 2015. <>