Today the Dominicans observe the memorial of Blessed Jane of Aza (note, she is also known as Joan of Aza as both Jane and Joan are English equivalents of the Spanish name Juana). We know relatively little about Blessed Jane, but what we do know tells us a lot about her character.
According to Delaney's Dictionary of Saints, for example, Jane was born in Aza, in Old Castile. She was eventually married to Felix de Guzman, a "warden of Calaruega in Burgos." It is thought that the couple had four children, perhaps three sons and one daughter. The daughter's name has been lost to history (so I call her St. Fanny). The son's names we do know: Anthony, Mannes (or Manez), and Dominic. All three sons gave their lives to the service of God as priests.
Anthony and Mannes were already well on their way to being young men when Jane conceived another child. While she was pregnant, she had a dream. In the dream, she saw a dog with a torch in its mouth circling the world, setting it ablaze. She was told that it was an omen that the child she was carrying would be great. That child was Dominic. I think it says a lot for a Christian mother that all three of her sons became priests. If we knew nothing else about Blessed Jane, this would be enough to tell us that her sons learned something from her, or saw something in her daily example that led them to put God before all else. It also says that God favored her abundantly, by giving her pious children. No doubt, Blessed Jane encouraged her sons to abandon themselves to their vocations. Would that more Christian mothers would urge their children to do so.
An example of her own holy way comes down to us through a simple story of charity related by Rodrigo oof Serrato in the Chronicle of the Saints. The story goes that Blessed Jane had a deep concern for the plight of the poor, and had no qualms about giving to the poor out of her own property (which was also the property of her husband). One of the most valuable treasures the de Guzman household had was a cask of fine wine. Jane, in a burst of charitable liberality, gave the wine of this cask to the poor. Sure enough, on that very same day, Felix, her husband, eventually comes home with a few of his friends, and naturally requests some wine. Blessed Jane, knowing that they had no wine, went down to the cellar herself. According to Rodrigo, she fell on her knees and prayed, "Lord Jesus Christ, even if I am not worthy to be heard by reason of my merits, hear me for the sake of your servant, my son, whom I have placed at your service." In reply to her prayer, the Lord replenished the wine, and there was plenty to serve at the party--even more than what was expected.
St. Dominic wasn't the only one of her sons raised to the altar of the Church. Mannes (who joined with his brother in the founding of the Order of Preachers) was beatified, as well, and his feast days is observed by the Dominicans on August 18th.
Despite the lack of information about Blessed Jane, her memory has not been lost by the locals of her home region. Her feast day is, I am told, as celebrated as St. Dominic's is. She was beatified only in 1828. I pray that she and all worthy Dominicans will be canonized.