Friday, January 05, 2007

Bologna: Saint Dominic and the Basilica of San Domenico

Shrine of Saint Dominic, Basilica of Saint Dominic

Frontside of the Ark of Saint Dominic

Ark of St. Dominic (lower part)

Angel holding a candlestick by Michelangelo

St Dominic resurrects Napoleone Orsini after a fall from his horse and delivers him to his mother by Nicola Pisano and assistants

Left side : Miracle of the Bread; Back side : (left) Healing of Reginald, (right) Vision of Pope Innocent III

Baptism of St Dominic; Dominic sleeping on the floor; Dominic sells his parchments to feed the people (by Nicola Pisano and assistants); candlestick-holding angel (by Niccolò dell' Arca); (left lower side of the)

Golden reliquary with the head of Saint Dominic by Jacopo Roseto (1383)

Photo of the remains of Saint Dominic, Chapel of Saint Dominic

Saint Dominic, Dominic of Osma, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo de Guzmán Garcés (1170 – August 6, 1221) was the founder of the Friars Preachers, popularly called the Dominicans or Order of Preachers (OP).

When arriving in Bologna in January 1218, he saw immediately that this university city was most convenient as his centre of activity.

Soon a convent was established at the Mascarella church by the Blessed Reginald of Orléans.

Soon afterwards they had to move to the church of San Nicolò of the Vineyards.

St. Dominic settled in this church and held in this church the first two General Chapters of the order.

Saint Dominic died in this church on 6 August 1221 and was moved into a simple sarcophagus in 1233.

This church was later expanded and grew into the Basilica of Saint-Dominic, consecrated by Pope Innocent IV in 1251.

In 1267 Saint Dominic's remains were moved to the exquisite shrine, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with later additions by Niccolò dell' Arca and the young Michelangelo.

At the back of this shrine, the head of St. Dominic is enshrined in a huge, golden reliquary, a masterpiece of the goldsmith Jacopo Roseto da Bologna (1383)