Cistercian abbot and founder of the Order of Calatrava, also called Ramon Sierra. Born in Aragon, Spain, he served as a canon at Tarazona Cathedral and then joined the Cistercians at Scala Dei Monastery in France. He was sent to Spain to establish and serve as abbot of the Fitero Abbey in Navarre, a post which brought him into the forefront of the struggle between Christian Spain and the Moors. Thus, when the Moors were on the verge of attacking the Toledo outpost of Calatrava in 1158, Raymond convinced King Sancho HI of Castile to aid his call for an army to march to the cityís defense. Assisted by Diego Velasquez, a one time knight who was then a humble monk, Raymond enlisted the aid of the archbishop of Toledo and created a vast host of Christian soldiers. The Moors failed to attack, but Raymond suggested that the knights be formed into the military order of the Knights of Calatrava. The members accepted the Benedictine rule and soon distinguished themselves as one of the most ardent forces advancing the cause of the Reconquista. The cult of Raymond as a saint was approved in 1719.
Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Upplandís Lagman, Birger Petersson and his wife, Ingeborg, who was a member of the same clan as the reigning family. Birgittaís family was pious; her father went to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Elizabeth was born in Hungary in 1207, the daughter of Alexander II, King of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Lucy's name means "light", with the same root as "lucid" which means "clear, radiant, understandable." Unfortunately for us, Lucy's history does not match her name. ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes