Raymond of Fitero, Bl.
RAYMOND OF FITERO, BL.
Abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Fitero in Navarre; d. probably before 1161. He is considered the founder of the military Order of calatrava. In January 1158, King Sancho III of Castile, accepting Raymond's offer to defend Calatrava against the Moors, granted the fortress to him. Raymond transferred most of his monks to Calatrava and welcomed warriors who offered their help. Many of them also assumed the monastic habit. In this way the Order of Calatrava came into being, though it did not receive papal approbation until 1164. Raymond was buried at Ciruelos, "where, as it is said, God worked miracles through him," but his remains repose today in the cathedral of Toledo. He was never formally canonized, but his cult was confirmed in 1719.
Feast: March 15.
Bibliography: j. f. o'callaghan, "The Affiliation of the Order of Calatrava with the Order of Cîteaux," Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis 15 (1959) 178–191. f. gutton, "Le Culte de Saint Raymond, Abbé," Cîteaux 14 (1963) 25–32.
[j. f. o'callaghan]