Mindful of the first nuns whom the blessed Dominic established in the monastery of Prouilhe at the heart of the Holy Preaching, the nuns, while living together in harmony, follow Jesus as he withdraws into solitude to pray. In this way they are a sign of that blessed city Jerusalem which the brethren build up by their preaching. ~LCM35.
Before St. Dominic had sons, he had daughters--the first fruits of his Holy Preaching and the foundation stone of the Dominican Order. The year was 1206, and Dominic de Guzman had come to southern France to preach the Catholic Faith against the Albigensians. The Church of the age was weakened by moral laxity, clerical opulence, and poor catechesis, and the heretical sect had made great inroads by its witness of a seemingly more excellent way. Through both word and example, St. Dominic countered their false doctrine, a dualism that condemned the natural world and the human body. He, too, adopted a life of radical poverty and self-denial, but in a truly evangelical spirit--a spirit which testifies that "the body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body"; that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us"; and that He invites us to follow after Him in poverty, chastity, and obedience, a "living sacrifice" unto God.