Blessed Alvarez of Cordova
Bl. Alvarez of (Córdoba) Cordova (1350-1430) was born to a noble family in Zamora, Spain. He joined the Dominican Order and preached throughout Spain, and served at the court of Queen Catherine. He went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and upon his return preached the crusades against the Muslims. He founded the famous priory of Scala Caeli (Ladder of Heaven) at Cordova, a convent of strict observance, and it is said that angels helped provide its building materials. He erected pictures of the holy places in Jerusalem in its gardens, popularizing the custom of the Stations of the Cross. He lived a life of great austerity and begged for alms even though he could easily obtain what he needed from the royal court. Numerous miracles are attributed to him. It is told that he once found a dying beggar, wrapped him in a blanket, and carried him back to the convent. Upon unwrapping the cloth he found only a crucifix. Blessed Alvarez was dedicated to Christ’s Passion and helped spread devotion to the Way of the Cross throughout western Europe. He also successfully led a resistance against the anti-pope and brought Spain under allegiance to the true pope in Rome. His feast day is February 19.
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