The heavenly grace which once flowed onto Spain when it became known as The Catholic Kingdom was due, no doubt, to the efforts of its many saints. One of the most important and instrumental in the Spanish Reconquista was Isidore of Cartagena (d. 636)
Isidore was one of the leading thinkers of the glorious Middle Ages whose thoughts were included in Canon Law and whose words Pope St. Leo IX believed should be held with “the same respect as to those of Jerome and Augustine, as often as a difficult case which could not be settled by Canon Law.”* Not only was he a great intellect, but Isidore was an indefatigable defender of the Faith who led the fight against the Arian heresy.
Isidore’s struggle against the Arians was crucial in Spain’s Reconquista, for if the heresy had not been expunged from the Kingdom, it may never have succeeded in ridding itself of Islam domination. Dom Guéranger, in his magnificent The Liturgical Year, insightfully explains that the lands which were overrun by the Moslems were never able to liberate themselves because they had embraced false teaching and crazily separated from Rome:
Contemporaneously with Spain, Asia also and Africa fell under the Mussulman yoke,
and have continued in their slavery up to the present day. . . . Spain, at the period
of her invasion, was Catholic, and Catholicity was the very spirit of the land:
whereas those other nations, that yielded themselves slaves to the Saracens, were
already separated from the Christian Church by heresy and schism.
God abandoned them because they had rejected both the truth of faith, and unity
with the Church; they fell an easy prey to the infidel conqueror.**
Isidore’s life and heroic deeds are more than just a part of Christendom’s neglected past, but can and should inspire those today who combat the apostates, heretics, rapists, perverts, and embezzlers who have taken over Christ’s Church. Isidore did not compromise, “dialogue,” or seek recognition from the Arians, but condemned them forthright. In doing so, he laid the groundwork for Spain’s glorious recovery and the creation of a vast Christian world empire which led to the conversion and salvation of millions of souls.
*Don Prosper Guernager, The Liturgical Year, Vol. VIII – Book Two, 280-284.