Dominic was born to a knightly family in Castile around the year of 1170. Already as a boy, he showed a lot of compassion for the poor and distressed; during a famine, he sold all his books and gave the money to the most needy. After his studies, he was ordained and became a canon. In his travels to Northern Germany, he encountered heretic Albigensians and Cistercian missionaries who, dressed in beautiful vestments, tried in vain to convert the Albigensians to the Christian faith. Dominic, dressed in poor clothes and barefooted, started preaching to the Albigensians, bringing them peacefully back to the arms of the Church. In the year of 1216, Dominic founded the Dominican Order of Mendicant Friars, which is based on total poverty. The year Dominic died (1221), the order already had over 300 friars in 25 monasteries. Pope Gregory IX canonized Dominic in 1234. Dominic is a patron of tailors and a protector against fever and hailstorms. His attributes are a dog with a burning torch in his mouth, book, lily and stone.