In the Life of St. Dominic, Father Bede Jarrett, one of the truly eminent Dominicans of our century, presents a portrait of St. Dominic and his times with a brilliance and clarity that result from a perfect understanding of the beloved saint and his ideals.
St. Dominic was plunged accidentally -- and, as it turned out, providentially -- from a quiet choir stall and scholarly life to the active and contentious life of a street-corner preacher. Called upon to dispute with heretics who threatened the very existence of the thirteenth-century Church, he found the vital inspiration of his life to lie in personal austerity, holiness, and ardent dedication of the intellect to Christ. He not only defended the truth of the faith, but through the Order he founded (the Dominicans) he spread the faith throughout existing Christendom.
Austere and joyous, physically hardy, affectionate, compassionate, and full of a lively gaiety of heart, St. Dominic was ideally suited to be a brilliant preacher. He was well-educated, trained expertly to argument, and had that flaming Spanish enthusiasm and radiant character that immediately attracted eager followers to his Order. Father Jarrett's Life of St. Dominic is by far the best English biography of St. Dominic and brings him and his Order -- one of the richest ornaments of the Church and of the entire intellectual world -- to vibrant life for the modern reader.