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Virgin of the Kings: "[The amazing life story of the little known incorrupt saint] Fernando’s second wife, Queen Joan, knew her husband well. Although Fernando tried to hide his sufferings behind a confident smile, she felt certain he was enduring a great trial, perhaps the greatest of his life. She made it her duty to help him through this crisis, and to see him at peace once again"

Virgin of the Kings


The Virgin of the Kings

In the year 1248, King Saint Fernando III of Leon and Castile was laying siege to the city of Seville. The long months of sacrifice and constant labor dragged on one after another, a continuous ordeal that seemed never ending. With the coming of summer, the trial passed almost beyond human endurance. Men literally died from the stifling heat, and the “severe conditions gave the impression that boiling air had been sent up from the pits of hell.”

As if this new affliction were not enough, at the same time a deadly sickness struck Fernando’s camp that also began to take the lives of many of his men. One of those who died was Don Gonzalo Ruiz Giron, the king’s chamberlain, personal advisor, and more than anything else, his close friend. To lose such a friend, for King Fernando, “was like watching the last line of land disappear on the horizon, and finding himself suddenly alone between the sky and the open sea.” These severe trials “...had a demoralizing effect on Fernando’s spirit, submerging him in a deep anguish that he had never before experienced.”

This was the beginning of Fernando’s dark night of the soul, as for the first time in his life he was experiencing grave personal doubts, and a severe spiritual conflict that included feelings of utter despair and complete isolation. King Fernando had only to look around himself to see how his knights were fighting for their lives in daily combats, suffering from incredible heat and privation, sickened and dying from the malady that had struck his camp. “He, who had always been energetic and optimistic in human affairs, and full of faith and hope spiritually, had always been able to face situations that others would have considered desperate, without the slightest mistrust in God’s help ever entering his mind.” Now it was different.

Fernando’s second wife, Queen Joan, knew her husband well. Although Fernando tried to hide his sufferings behind a confident smile, she felt certain he was enduring a great trial, perhaps the greatest of his life. She made it her duty to help him through this crisis, and to see him at peace once again.

Dona Joan had always known of her husband’s special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She sent a message requesting that the finest artist in the entire kingdom be sent to her to create an image of Our Lady more beautiful than any he had ever seen.

After a while, two young artists arrived, stating that they had responded to the summons. Dona Joan found a private room in an old tower for them to work. A guard was set to keep the artists safe from Muslim attacks, and the pair kept their door locked from the inside as they went about their work.

The day finally came when the artists sent a message for the Queen to come and view their work. Responding at once to the work room, Queen Joan was dismayed to find that there was no response to her knocking, and that the door remained locked from the inside.

When the door was finally forced, no sign of the artists remained. There was only the completed statue, a statue of regal beauty that surpassed all other known images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Dona Joan knew at once that the statue had not been made by human hands, for only angels could have vanished from that locked work room, and only angels possessed the wisdom and skill necessary to have produced such a wondrous work of art...

...*From the book "St. Fernando III, A Kingdom for Christ" by James Fitzhenry []

The amazing life story of the
little known incorrupt saint
- King Fernando III!
This highly acclaimed book is
inspirational to young men
and a guide to building a strong
masculine, Catholic character!

Also available as softback!



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