Rorate Caeli

Good Queen Isabella

Elisabeth Catholica
Castellae Regina
Serva Dei
†  26 Nov. MDIV

From her Last Will and Testament, Codicil, Chapter XII:

When the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, discovered or yet to be discovered, were given to us by the Holy Apostolic See..., that granted us this concession, our main intention was to make an effort to procure and to draw their people and convert them to our Holy Catholic Faith, and to send to those Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea prelates, and religious, and clerics, and other people with knowledge and fear of God, to instruct their residents and inhabitants in the Catholic Faith, and to teach and guide them with good manners, and to put in it due diligence, according to what is broadly established in the Letters of said grant, for which I request the King, my Lord, with great affection, and I charge the Princess and said Prince her husband that they thus do it and fulfill it, and that this be their main end, and that in this they may place great diligence, and that they do not consent or permit that the Indians living in and inhabiting those said Indies and mainland be persecuted in their persons and in their properties; but instead I order that they be treated well and justly. And if they have received any distress, that it be remedied and corrected, so that in nothing may the Apostolic Letters of such grant be exceeded in what it is placed upon us and established.

Notes: 1. Image: Eduardo Rosales (1864), Doña Isabel la Católica dictando su testamento, Museo Nacional del Prado.


  1. Gratias7:52 AM

    From these pious concerns for the Indians of the Americas was to grow the concept of the Natural Rights of Man. Formulated by Priest Francisco de Vitoria and others in Salamanca, the fact that the Indians were made in the image of God gave them certain Inalienable Rights even if pagans. And the rest is history.

    Isabella was a great Catholic Queen.

  2. Jusztinián G. Ratkaj8:17 AM

    Unfortunately the great queen's cause in Rome, mainly because of plump opportunism, has come to a most pitiable standstill in the last 50 years. The same applies to the cause of Cardinal Merry del Val.

  3. Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (Winsome euphony so suffuses his name that to speak it is to sing) is a hero of mine and I love the good and great, and beautiful, Queen and how I would love to live under the rule of Catholic Royalty rather than to have to continue to suffer under the secular Anti-Christs who rule this crummy Country.

    In any event, the Black Legends of Catholic Spain have predominated so long that even to this day one can turn on Food TV and hear the toothy giggling gimcrack host of "From Spain with love" rehearse a truly disgusting recapitulation of the Reign of Isabella and Ferdinand; they kicked-out the Jews don'cha'know; of course, the fact that they had a duty to do so remains unknown in the West where all history is Whig history.

    I have read several books about Spain and I have a tremendous amount of love for them and their history and whenever I am in conversation with a Protestant who begins running down the Spanish I remind them that when the Spanish confronted the Injus a new race resulted whereas when the Judaised Protestants (a redundancy) confronted the injuns dead injuns resulted.

    BIshop David Arias has written a useful little book, "Spanish Roots of America" that is a quick read and might prove to be an eye-opening bit of history for many American readers whom, I suspect, know little of what Spain contributed to this country to say nothing about being aware that had it not been for Spain, we would never have been successful seceding from England.

  4. I would recommend Hugh Thomas's "Rivers of Gold" which is a history of the Spanish in the New World from 1492 till about 1530. It is a very balanced account and a fascinating history of the struggle between those who were mere adventurers looking for gold and those like Bartolome de las Casas who fought with the support of the Catholic Monarchs to preserve the rights of the indigeneous people. Okay the latter were not perfect but they did try!

  5. Unfortunately, it is also known that much of what Bishop de las Casas wrote was not exactly trustworthy.

  6. Spain does indeed have a glorious Catholic heritage (which makes it especially shameful that the Latin American countries seem destined to become Protestant lands). I think a lot of Catholics today fail to appreciate just how much Spain did during the Reformation to hold back the Protestant tide. Here in Ireland in particular, Spanish assistance was absolutely crucial to the failure of the reformation. (C16th/17th Irish history is an extremely depressing subject as it is, but I shudder to think what would happened had it not been for Spain.)

    How sad that we have all come to this.

  7. Barbara5:07 PM

    Good Queen Isabella of Spain!

    What an education one receives from this blog!

    I enjoyed your post Spartacus! I like Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val a lot too!


  8. A Friend5:50 PM

    Her daughter Katherine married Arthur.

  9. Anonymous6:05 PM

    "Unfortunately, it is also known that much of what Bishop de las Casas wrote was not exactly trustworthy".
    Well, no historian is fully trustworthy or infallible.

  10. Augusto6:31 PM

    What's a great book on Ferdinand & Isabella?

  11. Real Change

    Ferdinand & Isabella in 2012

    Our Only Hope


    In other words, we're done. Finished!

  12. Dupuy: do NOT use the "Anonymous" option.

    He was not a historian: he was supposed to describe things that were actually taking place, or had taken place quite recently, as part of his specific position. There is a name for someone who "exaggerates" facts and numbers, and it is not "historian".

  13. Gratias6:50 PM

    The Black Legend about Spain on its civilizing role in the Americas was spread by English Protestants (and freemasons). Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro had a brilliant article on the Back Legend in The Latin Mass magazine a few years back. Today, the majority of Catholics live in Latin America. Thank you Isabella and Ferdinand, Catholic Kings!

  14. That article Gratias refers to can be read here.

  15. Peterman3:24 AM

    All the fabricated bs spoken about her til this day is very similar to Marie Antoinette.

    People in Spain were attacking and undermining the Church and had been for years. She simply and humanely gave them an ultimatum. She could have been much crueler, but in her mercy gave them the option to convert or leave.
    St Isabella pray for us!

  16. Gratias7:31 AM

    Dear Shane:

    Many, many thanks for resurrecting the article by Fr. Ignacio Barreiro. If even a few Catholics read your link it will be a valuable contribution to the propagation of our Faith.

  17. Prayer that the great Cardinal Merry del Val may be raised to the altars

  18. Peterman3:52 AM


    "The Last Crusader, Isabella of Spain" by William Thomas Walsh.


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