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.
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12 (USA) When we reflect on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we learn two important lessons, one of faith and one of understanding. Missionaries who first came to Mexico with the conquistadors had little success in the beginning. After ... 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
Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of an order of nuns now called "Poor Clares." When she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, her heart burned with a great ... 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