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 city’s 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.
St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important ... 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
On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she was known within her order -- died in the Sainte Croix (Holy Cross) Infirmary of the Convent of Saint-Gildard. She was ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes