The glorification of Blessed Fernando in Portugal (29/09)

Blessed Fernando or the Persistent Prince ( Fernando ( Blessed ), the Saint Prince, September 29, 1402 — June 5, 1443 ) has always been revered by the Portuguese as a saint. He was the youngest of the five sons of Juan Avissky and his wife, Philippe Lancashire, daughter of John Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

As a child, Fernando was weak and painful, but smart and kind. In the royal court there were legends about his meekness, purity and generosity, as well as an unusually strong character.

Prince Fernand has always been revered by the Portuguese as a saint. Many miracles happened due to his intercession, and in 1470 he was betified by Pope Paul II. Pedro Calderon dedicated one of his best tragedies to him « The St. Prince » ( translated into Russian by K. Balmont, B. Pasternak ).

The brief story of the life of the blessed Fernando is as follows. After the death of his father, King Fernando received a modest inheritance, and the brother of Duarte took the monarchist throne. To be able to help the poor and the unfortunate more, Fernando accepted the position of Grand Master of the Avis Order. And then he rejected the rank of cardinal proposed by Pope Eugene IV, citing the reluctance of « to burden the conscience of ». Fernando led a recluse, monastic lifestyle. Meanwhile, he was not a hermit and dreamed of heroic actions for the glory of the Fatherland.

In 1437, as part of an expedition against the Moors, he went to Africa. On the eve of the dispatch, Don Fernando fell ill, but hid it, and on the way the disease escalated, and the amendment went so slowly that it did not allow participation in the first battle. Events developed difficult, Portuguese soldiers were less than half of the amount prescribed by royal decree, and they failed in battles with superior enemy forces.

As a result of the negotiations, it was possible to reach a decision to return the expedition to their ships in exchange for the return of the Moors of Ceuta, but a hostage was requested for this. Prince Fernando proposed his candidacy and remained in captivity with a small group of fellow tribesmen following him...

He was not destined to return to his homeland, and the rest of his life the high-born captive spent in hardships, suffering, humiliation and disease. When the news came from Portugal about the Cortes' refusal to recognize the return of Ceuta to the Moors, his position became fatal. Following this, unsuccessful attempts were made to save Don Fernando, as a result of which he suffered greatly: he was sent to Fesh and transferred to the hands of the brutal vizier Lazurak. He spent several months in a dungeon with cold stone floors and wooden block instead of pillows, and then sent to slave labor in royal gardens and stables.

To the credit of the steadfast prince, he never lost the presence of spirit. Reject offers to flee in order to prevent new suffering for the remaining captive comrades. Worthy and respectful treatment of the persecutors, he never went down to the prayer to facilitate his fate.

Don Fernando died in the evening after confession. Of the soldiers accompanying him, four followed him to the grave, one joined the ranks of the Moors, and the others were released after the death of Lazurak, including the faithful secretary of the persistent Prince, Juan Alvarez, who brought his heart to Portugal in 1451. Fernando's later relics were transferred to the royal tomb in Battalya with all due honors.