The saints of our Church Diocese
Sainthood is up to God, but he wanted the people to participate in it. It is an inherent skill, but it also has the function of bringing with it a process, by means of which the baptized person adopts some behaviors according to the holy Trinity, which culminate in brotherly love, as affirmed by Saint Thomas following Saint Augustine, and who, through time, realize this, according to each one’s vocation.
Each Diocese celebrates the baptized people, whom we could say belong to them, and dedicates a special worship to them.
These are our saints that, over time, have been a model for us and whose celebration fill us with joy.
Saint Eulogius, the Presbyterian, and Saint Lucrecia the Virgin, both were martyrs.
Saint Eulogius was born in Cordoba in the early 9th Century and exercised his holy ministry in that city. He was always a solace and inspiration for all those persecuted.
He lifted the crown of martyrdom after being decapitated in 859. He is the main writer of the Mozarabic Church.
The Virgin Lucrecia was baptized by Saint Eulogius and also went to heaven after being decapitated for not renouncing her faith. Once their bodies were brought to Oviedo, their relics are now venerated in the Cathedral of Our Holy Savior.
Saints Julian and Serrano, bishops.
Saint Julian was the Archbishop of Toledo. Assiduous in prayer and impassioned by divine worship, diligent conserver of sacred ceremonies, he enriched the position with new prayers. He presided over the Councils of Toledo, where errors were corrected. He wrote the Prognósticon, among other works. He was called to heaven in 690. The relics of his body were brought to Oviedo during the Muslim occupation, and they are venerated in the Cathedral along with the relics of Bishop Serrano.
Saints whose relics are kept in the Holy Chamber of the Cathedral and in the Archdiocese of Oviedo.
In memory of the Cathedral of Oviedo, called “Sancta Ovetensis”. The reason for that name is due to the many relics that, from the 9th Century, have been kept in the Holy Chamber, which was a place of pilgrimage over time. In the beginning, they were kept in the Holy Arch, and it was solemnly opened on March 13 of 1075 in the presence of King Alfonso VI of Castille, and was accompanied by the Bishops: Bernardo of Palencia; Simeon of Oca, and Ariano of Oviedo. The veneration was felt among God’s people, especially the “Cross of the Angels” and the “Holy Shroud,” which were brought to the Chapterhouses of this church to bring the grace of Jubilee to the Apostle Headquarters. It was conceded by Pope Eugenio IV and confirmed by Pio II, Sixto IV and recently by Paul VI. These holy relics were visited by Pope John Paul II on August 20 of 1989, in front of which he prayed.
Saint Peter Poveda Castroverde, presbyterian and martyr
He was born in Linares (Jaen, Spain) on December 3, 1874. He was ordained presbyterian in Guadix, Granada on April 17, 1897, where he soon started Apostle duties with the population living in the caves that surround the city. He moved in 1906 to Covadonga (Asturias) and in 1911 founded the Teresian Institution. In 1913 he moved to Jaen and in 1921 to Madrid, where he was actively committed to educating children and the poor. His desire to collaborate with Jesus Christ culminated in giving his life to him, and he died in Madrid, a martyr of faith on July 28, 1936. The priesthood was his deepest identity. “I am a priest of Jesus Christ” he responded to those who led him to martyrdom.
Saint Rafael Maria Arnáiz Barón, religious
Saint Rafael Maria Arnáiz Barón, was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain where he was also baptized and confirmed. He was precocious, given that from his early childhood, he gave clear signals of his inclination toward God’s things.
After his family moved to Oviedo, there he continued his studies and after finishing them, he registered in the Upper School of Architecture in Madrid. In his heart, God wanted to bring out the invitation to a special consecration in the monastic life. He came into contact with the Cistercian monastery of Saint Isidor of Dueñas and felt strongly attracted by it. There he returned on January 15, 1934.
God wished to mysteriously test him with a painful disease that required him to leave the monastery three times, each time responding to what he felt was the call of God.
He was sanctified for his fidelity to monastic life and the loving acceptance of the plans of God, he died April 26, 1938, just after turning 27 years old, and was buried in the cemetery of the monastery.
Saint Pelayo, martyr
He was born in Albeos, Vigo in 911. He was martyred in Cordoba in 925 during the caliphate of Abdelrahman III and was later canonized as an example of the virtue of youthful chastity. His relics are kept in a Benedictine monastery in Oviedo. These are his words:
“Yes, Oh King, I am Christian. I have been and will continue to be by the grace of God. All of your riches are worth nothing. Do not think that for mere things I am going to renounce Christ, who is my Lord and yours as well, even if you don’t want him to be.”
Saint Melchor García Sampedro, Bishop and martyr
Melchor García Sampedro was born in Cortes de Quiros (Asturias) in 1821 and studied philosophy and Theology at the University of Oviedo. Later, after overcoming his parents’ resistance, he followed Saint Domingo in Ocaña to become a missionary. He was sent to Manila and asked to be moved to Tonquin, Vietnam. There he joined the prayer and mortification to his indefatigable commitment to propagating the faith, by word and in writing.
As bishop, on July 28, 1858, he was dismembered due to his faith. He was canonized in 1988, and is the Asturian martyr, and his relics are venerated in the Cathedral of Oviedo, in the Chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Covadonga.
Our Lord of Covadonga, Main Patron of Asturias
The name Covadonga appears to come from Cova-Dominica, Cave of Our Lady, and therefore, the name itself confirms the tradition that a special protection of the Mother of God is given after first defeating the Muslim invasion around 718. And it also justifies that Covadonga is called “The cradle of Spain.”
In the cave, the Virgin is venerated with the image of “The Saint”. Pilgrims go there to give thanks and ask for favors, especially Asturians, for them it is their patron saint.
Saint Vincent, abbot and martyr
Saint Vincent was the abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Saint Claude outside of Leon. He was called to attend the council that the Swabian King manifested his undying fidelity to the Trinity Doctrine of the Council of Nicaea. He was flagellated for that and suffered martyrdom in 630. The relics of his body were later brought to Oviedo, and were faithfully venerated in the Holy Chamber of the Cathedral.
Saint Innocence de la Inmaculada Canoura Arnau, presbyterian and companions, martyrs
The eight religious Brothers of the Christian Schools of the Lasalian School of Turon (Asturias), CIRILO BERTRÁN (Director of the Community, was born in Lerma, Burgos, 46 years old, MARCIANO JOSÉ (El Pedregal, Guadalajara, 33 years), VICTORIANO PÍO (San Millán de Lara, Burgos, 29 years), JULIÁN ALFREDO (Cifuentes de Rueda, León, 30 years), BENJAMÍN JULIÁN (Jararnillo de la Fuente, Burgos, 25 years), AUGUSTO ANDRÉS (Santander, 24 years), BENITO DE JESÚS (Buenos Aires, República Argentina, 23 years) and ANICETO ADOLFO (Celada Marlantes, Santander, 22 years), along with Pope INNOCENCE DE LA INMACULADA (Saint Cecilia, Valle de Oro, Lugo, 47 years), Priest of Comunidad de Mieres del Camino, were arrested by the Revolutionary Committee on October 5, 1934 when the Eucharist was celebrated in the Chapel. They were driven to a rural home that had been used as a jail and all were ordered to be killed for being religious. In the morning of October 9, 1934, they were brought to the cemetery of Turon, where they were already preparing a mass grave to bury them and they were shot and immediately buried there. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 29, 1990 and canonized on November 21, 1999.
Anniversary of the dedication of the Holy Cathedral Basilica.
The Holy Cathedral of Oviedo is among the most celebrated temples in the world. The history of its construction offers us a splendid testimony of piety of the Asturian kings. It is known by all, as can be read in the venerable Positions of his Dedication, that it was erected by King Fruela, after defeating the Saracens. His son Alfonso expanded the building and added to it with profits and donations and honored it with great privileges, to the point that the name of its founder has remained indelibly linked to this Holy Church. This Catholic King made twelve altars to honor the Apostle Saints and to the extent of their possibilities, restored the Gothic order, as it was in past times in the city of Toledo. For all of these reasons, this Cathedral deserves the title of “Royal” and the Basilica is adorned with it.
The same king, full of piety, after building this church, brought the relics of many saints here, according to the venerable tradition, from Monsacro in the 9th Century, accompanied by a large committee of Bishops, clergymen and faithful townsfolk, among the greatest displays of veneration, to place them on the altar and Chapel of Saint Michael. The Christians from all over the world come to venerate these Holy Relics, proclaiming the thanks that our Lord Jesus Christ concedes to those who serve him.
Among the main relics of the Holy Chamber, those that belonged to Our Saviour on Earth must be highlighted, such as the thorns of his crown, the holy wood of the cross. It is notable for its uniqueness, fame and well venerated Shroud, which Saint John refers to in his Evangel that was placed on the head of the Lord, in addition to the venerable bodies and relics of many Martyred Saints. In 1989, John Paul II prayed with devotion before these relics.
The precious golden cross must also be mentioned. It is said to be made by angels. Another cross, called the Cross of Victory, is venerated with most reverance as a symbol of all of the Diocese.
The Roman Pontificates have granted innumerable privileges of Jubilee to this Holy Cathedral. The faithful come to celebrate during the Festival of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and on the subsequent 8 days of prayer.
Saint Leocadia, virgin and martyr
Saint Leocadia was born in Toledo to Christian parents in the late 3rd Century. Consecrated to God in the Order of the Virgins, she stands out for her dedication to charity and prayer. Jailed during the persecution of Diocletian, they tried to take away her faith, first with flattery and later with the threat of storms. She bravely confessed her faith and was inflexible in the face of tyranny. She died as she prayed in jail on December 9, 303.
Saint Eulalia of Merida, virgin and martyr, patron saint of the Archdiocese
Eulalia was born at the end of the 3rd Century in Merida. Here, at the age of 12, she lifted the double crown of virginity and martyrdom, as described by the poet Prudencio in the Peristephanon.
After the Muslim invasion, the body of Saint Eulalia was brought to Asturias. Currently the relics are venerated in the Cathedral of Ovied, in the chapel dedicated to the martyr. In 1639, she was declared patron of the Oviedo Diocese. Her worship and devotion became so popular that dozens of parishes in the Principality are under the patronage of Saint Eulalia.
Your people, Lord, with grateful love venerates Saint Mary and the saints whose relics are stored here in this Oviedo chuch as a sign of your saving presence. We ask you to increase your faith, and to remember it with joy, and that you feel impulsed toward the realities of heaven, without ever forgetting those of earth. Amen.