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King St. Ferdinand III

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Saint Ferdinand III of Castile

King & Confessor

Ferdinand was born in the year of Our Lord 1198 near Salamanca, Spain. He was a cousin of King St. Louis IX of France. At the age of eighteen, Ferdinand received the crown of Castile from his mother Berengaria, and later succeeded his father, Alfonso IX, as King of Leon. At the wise advice of his mother, Ferdinand married the virtuous German princess Beatrice, with whom he had seven children. As king, Ferdinand founded the University of Salamanca and countless churches, hospitals, and monasteries. His reform of Spanish law remained in use for centuries after his reign, and he was a firm but just administrator. Through twenty years of fierce crusading, Ferdinand reconquered most of Spain from the Saracen invaders. He sternly enforced morality in his army, and prayed and fasted before each battle. Ferdinand marched into the grand city of Seville just before Christmas in 1248, and immediately turned the mosque into a cathedral. Only the tributary state of Granada remained in Muslim hands at the time of Ferdinand’s death in 1252. His incorrupt body, clothed in his Franciscan tertiary habit, rests in the Cathedral of Seville.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 30th

AT Rome, on the Aurelian road, the birthday of St. Felix, pope and martyr, who was crowned with martyrdom under the emperor Aurelian.

At Torres, in Sardinia, the holy martyrs Gabinus and Crispulus.

At Antioch, the Saints Sycus and Palatinus, who endured many torments for the name of Christ.

At Ravenna, St. Exuperantius, bishop and confessor.

At Pavia, St. Anastasius, bishop.

At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the Saints Basil and his wife Emmelia, parents of St. Basil the Great, who lived in exile in the fastnesses of Pontus during the reign of Galerius Maximian, and after the persecution rested in peace, leaving their children the heirs of their virtues.

At Seville, in Spain, St. Ferdinand III., King of Castile and Leon, surnamed the Saint, on account of his eminent virtues, and celebrated for his zeal in propagating the faith. Having conquered the Moors, he quitted his kingdom on earth
to pass happily to that of heaven.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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