Saint Ferdinand: The Iconography

In Seville, Spain, St. Ferdinand III, King of Castille and Leon, known as a saint for his outstanding virture. Famous for his zeal at spreading the Faith, after defeating the Moors he left this earth and ascended joyously to the Kingdom of Heaven. – Roman Martyrology for May 30

St. Ferdinand (King Ferdinand III of Castille) united León with Castille and proceeded to conquer most of the Muslim areas of Spain. Pope Clement X canonized him in 1671.

In the statue at right we see Ferdinand's most common attributes: a sword, a small cross in the right hand, and a "mappa mundi" globe. Most other images also give him a crown.

St. Ferdinand was a third-order Franciscan, but he is not pictured in the habit of that order.

Prepared in 2013 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University

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17th century santo, Pamplona (See description page)

DATES

  • Feast day: May 30
  • Lived 1198-1252

HAGIOGRAPHY

  • Acta Sanctorum, May vol. 7, 280-414. (Note the Vita Brevior, 298-304.)
  • Also see the survey of Fernando's hagiography in Butler, 426.