A Garner of Saints – Saint Ildefonso

detail of 'Saint Ildefonso' by El Greco, c.1608, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia, USAArticle

Born at Toledo in 607. He was placed in his early youth under Saint Isidore of Seville. He entered the Benedictine Monastery of Ogli, near Toledo, and became its superior, ultimately succeeding to the see of Seville, where he presided over a council held in 659. He cherished the warmest devotion for the Virgin Mary, and one day as he was present in her church to celebrate her feast, she appeared to him in a vision holding a shining white stole, and assigned an ivory seat to him, saying that he alone was worthy to sit in it, and his successors were unworthy to do so. When after his death his successor Siagrius put on the stole and placed himself in the seat, he fell to the ground and lost the use of his limbs, only being healed after a severe penance. The vestment and the seat are present in the church as relics. On another occasion Saint Leocadia, to whom Ildefonso had vowed a particular devotion, rose out of her tomb clad in a Spanish mantilla to inform him of the favour with which the Virgin regarded his treatise written in her praise. Before she disappeared Ildefonso was able to cut off a corner of her mantilla, which was long preserved as a relic. Ildefonso died in 667, and was buried in the Church of Saint Leocadia at Toledo. 23rd January.

Attribute

  • Habited as bishop, the Virgin delivers the stole to him.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Ildefonso”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 April 2017. Web. 29 April 2017. <>