Monday, February 14, 2011

BEATA JUANA DE AZA: Mother of Saint Dominic de Guzman

c.           –c.1190
Mother of Saint Dominic de Guzman

            Beata Juana was born of the d’Aza family, which ranked among the highest nobility in Old Castile.  Married to Felix de Guzman, a man “rich and revered among his people”, was said to have prayed for a son when her two eldest boys were grown and dreamed she bore a dog in her womb, while she was bearing Dominic, which would set the world afire with the torch in its mouth.

            She bore at least three sons who were given over to the service of the Church and became priests: Santo Domingo, Beato Mannes and Antonio.  One died a death of heroic charity and two were raised to the honours of the altar.

          According to the earliest and most reliable source, Beata Juana, who was known for her physical and spiritual beauty, was described as being “virtuous, chaste, prudent, most compassionate to the poor and afflicted” and “of all women in that place she was outstanding of her good reputation.”

          A valiant and a saintly mother and woman, Beata Juana died at Caleruega and was buried at the churchyard there.  Her relics were transferred first to San Pedro de Gumiel, then to Penafiel between 1334 and 1340.  Pope Leo XII confirmed her cult in 1828.

                       OPTIONAL MEMORIAL

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