St. Dominic is known as a fighter against heresy and giving us the rosary in its present form.
He was born in Caleruega, Spain in 1170. His parents were members of the Spanish nobility. His father was Felix Guzman and was the royal warden of the village. His mother was Blessed Joan of Aza.
St. Dominic received the Rosary during a period of prayer at the abbey in Prouille in 1214. He saw the Virgin Mary, who told him to “Preach Her Psalter.” The psalter was the Ave Maria, or the greeting from the angel to Mary at the Annunciation: “Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with you.”
At the Virgin Mary’s instruction, St. Dominic separated the Marian Psalter into what we know today as the Rosary. The 150 Hail Mary’s that were traditionally prayed were separated into decades of 10 with mysteries to meditate upon. The intercession of the rosary came at a time of great heresy, leading to the papal battle of Muret in 1213.
In July 1215, St. Dominic was granted permission to form his religious order –The Order of Preachers also known as the Dominicans.
St. Francis of Assisi, the other great saint of the time, met Dominic in Rome in 1216. While they each preached the Gospel differently they found common goals and became good friends.