Sainthood Runs in the Family

San Geraldo (aka Jerry) is not the first saint in his distinguished family lineage. One of his 22-greats-grandfathers was Fernando III of Spain who lived from 1199 to 1252 and was King of Castile as well as King of León. He greatly expanded the dominions of Castile into Southern Spain, annexing many of the great old cities of Andalucía, including Sevilla.


Fernando III was canonized San Fernando in 1671. He’s buried in the Cathedral of Sevilla in a gold, crystal, and silver casket. That area of the Cathedral is currently undergoing restoration and therefore covered in scaffolding and tarps, so a photo of his opulent tomb will have to come some other time. But, I was pleased yesterday to discover a terra cotta portrait bust of San Fernando among the famous Spaniards depicted between the arches of the Plaza de España built in 1929.


Jerry comes from a long line of royalty, but this is the only saint (other than Jerry) I am so far aware of. And, as my father used to say in the 1960s, “That and a nickel will get you on the subway.”

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

35 thoughts on “Sainthood Runs in the Family”

  1. Hello Mitch:
    A nickel on the subway sounds rather like a penny lolly in England…..those were the days!!!

    To be able to lay claim [however distant] to Fernando III is indeed impressive. How do you cope in the presence of such royalty?!!!

    1. J&L: It started at a nickel in 1904 and didn't go up to 10 cents until 1948. From 1953-1966, but the expression stuck. It's now $2.25 or $2.50.

      As for "His HIghness," I try to keep him in his place. Fernando III is the least of it. He's got royal lines everywhere, including William the Conquerer, Henry II of England, Harald III of Norway, Phillipe I of France, and all those Malcolms (kings of Scotland). It's why my father and the Dowager Duchess so willingly welcomed him into the family.

  2. Or, "that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee." Yup, those were the days. Or as the book says, "The good old days, they were awful!"

  3. Nevertheless, there is a little bit of ego boost in knowing that one had noble ancestors. As far as I can tell, I'm descended from peasant farmers! Hooray for Jerry!

    1. YONKS: LOL! In Sevilla, that is known as cielo (sky). There's usually more of it. I don't know what the white stuff was that day; it looked very UK-ish to me.

  4. Wow. I had a college friend who had Mae West for an ancestor. That's all I have…

    Shacking up with royalty? Cool.

    1. Catherine: I think that's why Jerry decided to grow the beard (just in time for his procession). Next, the hair will be shoulder length. (It's definitely the same crown.)

  5. Hi Mitch,
    I hope you and Jerry are well. I have not been following your blog for a few weeks due to the some end of life issues with my Father. I am slowly getting back to some normalcy of my life. I am looking forward to catching up on your escapes and writing again myself.

    Take care, I'll be catching up


    1. Scott: I was about ready to leave you a comment wondering why you hadn't posted yourself for three weeks. So sorry for what you've been going through and sending you warmest wishes for better times.

    1. John:

      I guess a loss of "topcoat" will do that to anyone.

      I somehow managed to NOT have the ABBA song playing in my head recently. It's back. Heaps of thanks!

  6. I have in my family tree a famous painter, a well known Mormon, and an infamous reprobate Nazi sympathizer. Alas no Saint. I would rather fancy one.

    1. Ur-spo: So much better than a reprobate Nazi sympathizer… or a well-known Mormon! But who's the famous painter? (I don't have any of the above!)

  7. As a Royal you never can do something naughty, because all the paparazzi will be swarming around you taking pictures.

    As heir and successor in training, you still can dance in your underwear around the house and no-one will blink an eye. Of course you have to wait a long time for Sainthood.

    1. Spain's history is endessly fascinating to me, particularly with the rich mix of peoples who have poured into the peninsula over the centuries. Thanks again for bringing me back there with every post.

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