Home Catechetical Corner Our Lenten Journey, April 4: St. Casilda of Toledo

Our Lenten Journey, April 4: St. Casilda of Toledo

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St. Casilda of Toledo was the daughter of Moorish king Yahya ibn Ismail al-Mamun, who ruled when parts of northern Spain were under Muslim control in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

Saint Casilda, by Francisco de Zurbarán (Wikimedia Commons, in the public domain)

Casilda was well known for her kindness to Christian prisoners. She often brought them bread in a basket hidden in her skirts. Once when stopped by soldiers to ask what she was bringing to the prison, she replied ‘roses.’ When she showed the basket to the soldiers, it was full of roses, thus hiding her charitable mission.

Casilda became ill, most likely with women’s health issues, and Muslim doctors had not been able to heal her. She travelled to the healing springs at San Vicente near the northern coast of Spain and was miraculously cured.

Casilda then converted to Christianity and was baptized at Burgos. She returned to San Vicente and lived the rest of her life as a prayerful hermit, not far from the springs that healed her. It is said that she lived to be 100 years old, dying sometime around 1050.

St. Casilda’s feast day is April 9.

She is the patron saint of infertile women and Muslim converts to Christianity

St. Casilda is not the only saint to experience “the miracle of the roses” while helping others. Read more about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_roses

The above painting has an interesting history of its own. Read more about it here:

https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/zurbaran/saint-casilda