Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian in the 16th century. He was one of the founders of the religious order called the Society of Jesus and served as its first Superior General at Paris. He was an inspired spiritual director and the founder of what is today known as "Ignatian spirituality."
Junípero Serra was a Roman Catholic priest who is credited with founding the Franciscan Missions of the Sierra Gorda. He is also credited with founding nine of the 21 Spanish missions in California. On 25 September 1988, Junípero Serra was beatified in the Vatican City by Pope John Paul II. On 23 September 2015, he was canonized by Pope Francis.
Initially a professor of theology, Vincent Ferrer later traveled across Europe to preach. He became known for his austere lifestyle. The Catholic saint is now revered as the patron saint of builders, fishermen, prisoners, and others. He had a major role in ending the Great Western Schism.
Revered as the patron saint of Madrid and of farmers, Isidore the Laborer initially worked for a rich landowner of Madrid. One of the five saints of Spain, he is remembered for his love for animals and the poor. He symbolizes the fact that there is dignity in physical labor.
Pope Callixtus III was initially a professor of law. He later helped King Alfonso V with Pope Martin V reconcile. He was infamous for his nepotism, as he was highly biased toward his nephew, Rodrigo Borgia, whom he made a cardinal and who later took over as the pope.
Didacus of Alcalá was a Franciscan lay brother best remembered for his missionary work in the Canary Islands. Many miracles have been attributed to him and he is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Didacus of Alcalá is the patron of the Diocese of San Diego.
Peter Claver was a Spanish Jesuit missionary and priest. His lifelong work with African slaves made him the patron saint of slaves. Peter Claver was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888. Many organizations, religious congregations, schools, missions, parishes, and hospitals have been named in his honor.
Franciscan abbess and spiritual-writer María de Agreda was a noted mystic of her era. She served as the spiritual and at times political advisor to King Philip IV of Spain for over two decades and is best-known for the correspondence she had with the King besides reports of her bilocation. She penned 14 books, including the most notable Mystical City of God.
Catalina de Erauso was a Spanish nun who fled from the convent and travelled around Spain and Spanish America. She did several odd jobs disguised as a man and also served as a soldier of fortune in Bolivia, Chile, Perú, and Argentina before returning to Spain where she supposedly visited the Pope. She became a muleteer in her later life.
Saint Dominic was a Castilian Catholic priest who is credited with founding the Dominican Order. Dominic is said to have abstained from meat throughout his life. He is also remembered for putting himself to undue hardship like traveling barefoot and rejecting the luxury of a bed. He is regarded as the patron saint of astronomers.
Spanish Catholic priest Joseph Calasanz founded the Pious Schools, whose followers, the Piarists, dedicated themselves to the service of the poor. He was the man behind Europe’s first free school for children from impoverished homes. A friend of Galileo Galilei, he supported the heliocentric system, unlike other religious orders.
Francis Borgia, 4th Duke of Gandía was a Spanish Jesuit priest. He helped establish the Gregorian University in Rome and a dozen colleges in Spain. Despite being an inlfuential person, Francis led a simple life and was acclaimed as a saint in his own lifetime. Francis Borgia was canonized by Pope Clement X on 20 June 1670.
John of the Cross was a Spanish Catholic priest, mystic, and Carmelite friar. One of the 36 Doctors of the Church, he is a major figure of the Counter-Reformation in Spain. He was a prolific writer and poet, and his writings are counted among the greatest works of all Spanish literature. He was beatified in 1675 by Pope Clement X.
Eighteenth-century Spanish essayist Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro was a monk of the Benedictine order and also taught theology and philosophy at the University of Oviedo. He later wrote on a variety of subjects such as medicine, philology, and law, in Teatro crítico universal and Cartas eruditas y curiosas.