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.
Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November 24, 1713, and took the name of Junipero when in 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village ... 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
There is a saint called Benedict the Black or Benedict the Moor. He was born a slave near Messina, Italy. He was freed by his master and became a solitary, eventually settling with other hermits at ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes