Saint Dominic of Silos

detail from 'Saint Dominic of Silos enthroned as Abbot', by Bartolomé Bermejo, worked 1474 to 1495; currently in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Domingo of Silos



Born to a peasant family, he worked as a shepherd in his youth. Benedictine monk at San Millán de Cogolla monastery. Priest. Novice master. Prior of the house. Ordered by King Garcia III of Navarre to give him the monastery‘s lands, Dominic refused, and with two of his brother monks was driven from the house by force.

They sought protection from King Ferdinand I of Old Castile. They found a new home in the San Sebastian monastery at Silos, diocese of Burgos where Dominic was appointed abbot. Founded in 954, the house had fallen on hard times, had only six monks, and was in terrible shape physically, financially and spiritually. He turned around the house’s spiritual life, straightened out its finances, rebuilt its structure. The house was soon a spiritual center noted for book design, printed art, its gold and silver work, and charity to the local poor. The rebuilt abbey cloisters survive to today, and are considered a great architectural treasure. Reported to heal by prayer. He got wealthy patrons to endow the monastery, and raised funds to ransom Christians taken prisoner by the Moors.

One of the most beloved of Spanish saints, there were churches and monasteries dedicated to him as early as 1085, and the monastery he rebuilt is now known as Saint Dominic’s. Many miracles were attributed to his prayers after his death, especially with regard to pregnancy. Dominic’s abbatial staff was used to bless Spanish queens and was kept by their beds when they were in labour. Blessed Joan de Aza de Guzmán prayed at his shrine to conceive the child whom she called Dominic, after the abbot of Silos, and who founded the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans).





MLA Citation

  • “Saint Dominic of Silos“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 August 2020. Web. 22 October 2021. <>