Santo Domingo de Guzmán remains all year round in the parish of Las Sierritas, a residential area located south of the city, to the west of kilometer nine of the Carretera a Masaya. But that changes in August, when he is taken out in procession to visit the center of Managua where he stays for several days until he is returned to his “home” in a reverse procession to the first.
The story tells that one day in 1885, in that area of Managua known as Las Sierritas (for the time it was not the residential area of today, but a rural area occupied by productive farms), a farmer named Vicente Aburto cleaned a ground when, in the hollow of a burned tree, he found a truly curious object: a 20-centimeter statue representing a saint from the Catholic tradition.
Soon the family and neighbors of Aburto gathered in amazement to observe the statuette and decided to travel to the city in search of a priest who could tell them what saint it was. In a church that does not currently exist, located near the old center, the local priest told them that it was an image of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, and together with him they decided to leave the statue in the church.
After returning to Las Sierritas, the people of Aburto found an unimaginable surprise: the statuette was in the same place where it had been found. Surprised, they returned to the father to report the event. This, incredulous, told them that it was impossible, because the statue was still in the church. But the image was gone.
The mysterious fact led the priest to consider that the little saint wanted to remain in Las Sierritas. He proposed to his visitors that they build a hermitage (which later evolved into the current parish) on the site of the discovery, and that every year they bring Santo Domingo with dances and joy to visit Managua. The chosen date was from the first to the 10th of August, according to the Catholic calendar the day of Santo Domingo is the 4th of that month.
Notes of interest on Santo Domingo
According to the catholic-link.com site, he was the founder of the Dominican Order and the man whom the Virgin Mary chose to grant her the Holy Rosary. In the delivery of this great gift, the Blessed Virgin taught him how to pray it and entrusted him with the mission of spreading the devotion throughout the world.
1. Disclosure: Juana Garcés, mother of Santo Domingo, chose this name for her son in honor of Santo Domingo de Silos. Who revealed to him that the meaning of her dream in which a dog carried a torch in his mouth was that her son would light the fire of Jesus Christ in the whole world through preaching. Hence, Santo Domingo is represented with a dog.
2. Name: His name means “the Lord’s dog” or “the watchman of the Lord’s vineyard”.
3. Studies: He studied art, higher humanities, philosophy and theology and was ordained a priest at the age of 24.
4. Sacrifice: He offered to be sold into slavery to redeem Christian captives and sold all his books to help the poor.
5. Petition: In 1215 he established the first male house of his Order of Preachers and asked Pope Honorius III for approval as a religious organization of canons regular.
6. His remains: His remains are buried in Bologna (Italy), in a basilica that bears his name.
7. Canonized: He was canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX.
8. Honour: The capital of the Dominican Republic is named in his honor.
9. Lilies: Sometimes Santo Domingo is represented with lilies, in honor of his purity and chastity.
10. Star: It is said that during his baptism a star appeared on his forehead, which is why he is also depicted next to one. He was also recognized as a beacon that guided souls to the Lord.
11. Three elements: The cross, the banner and the Rosary are the three elements with which he is identified. The cross as the founder of great religious families, the banner as the Dominican emblem and the Rosary as a divine gift from the Blessed Virgin Mary.
12. Vision: In a vision Saint Dominic was able to see Saint Paul and Saint Peter, who told him: “Go and preach, because you have been called to this ministry”, this is the reason why he always carried with him the Gospel of Saint Matthew and the Letters of Saint Paul.