Memorial of Blessed Jane of Aza,
Today being the day when we give thanks for the blessed life of the mother of St Dominic, it seems fitting to spare her a thought as we approach his feast day. 
For most of us, mothers are the most influential people in our lives in so many ways; and from what we know of Blessed Jane, it seems certain that she was so in the life of St Dominic.
The advantage, and also danger, of leaving very little writing behind, means for us who would want to know St Dominic, that he can be the kind of saint we would want him to be; we cane make him and shape him after our own thoughts and imaginings.  And still, what we know from the accounts of the brothers who followed him, enables us to know him truly, because his whole life was lived out of the strength of his attraction to Jesus.  We have been – ourselves – attracted by the Person of our Saviour – and year by year, as we come to know St Dominic more and more, our friendship and communion with him is strengthened, because in his own lifetime, he seemed to reach such a deep intimacy with the LORD, that he was utterly absorbed by his contemplation of him, no matter where he was, or with whom.  He knew with his every breath, that he belonged to God; that everyone he encountered and his brethren who followed him – also belonged to God; and so, his embrace was wide enough to welcome every kind of person one could imagine, and every single one of them felt in himself that he was loved: loved by St Dominic, and loved by Christ.
In reflecting on Blessed Jane’s influence, and being Our Lady’s day, one might be inclined to think that the conviction in St Dominic of who he was, came in no small way from his mother.  Like Mary in very many ways, she too knew before the birth of her son, that he would be a light for the world, reconciling men with God; in her prayer to the Father, she seemed to understand that her son was given her so that she might return him to God, as Mary also did; and with Mary, she could rejoice from her soul in the magnificence of God, Who was pleased to call her to be mother to such a beloved son and through whom she herself would be called blessed.
I think that the boy Dominic must have been deeply impressed by the prayer and the love of his mother, for the LORD; and that in her contemplation of all the wonderful things God had done for her, most especially in the gift of Dominic himself – she must have shared with him the fruit of her contemplation; and thus, he understood who he was, what he must do for the glory of the Father; and the importance he wanted his brethren to accord to the blessed Mother of God: the trust in her protection and in her nearness to us at all times; that he would wish us to have.
And that in Blessed Jane, through St Dominic, we have gained a mother who, in prayer, learned to say to us with love and confidence – what Mary once said at a wedding in Cana – ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

As we bless God for all He has given us, in giving us St Dominic, we thank Him very particularly today for Blessed Jane, for our own mothers, and for Mary who never ceases to care for us and protect us.