New Catholic Dictionary – Blessed Ferdinand


Confessor, Prince of Portugal, born Santarem, Portugal, 1402; died Fez, Morocco, 1443. He was the son of King John I of Portugal, and from his youth led a life of sanctity at court, reciting the canonical hours daily and devoting himself to the poor. Though not a cleric, he was so highly esteemed that Eugene IV offered him the cardinalate, which he declined. In 1437, with his brother Henry, he commanded an expedition to Morocco against the Moors. The Portuguese were defeated at Tangiers, and Ferdinand offered himself as a hostage to secure the cession of Ceuta to the Moors. The Cortes, however, declined to surrender Ceuta, and offered to ransom Ferdinand. The Moors refused and Ferdinand was flung into a dungeon at Fez, where after five years of insult and torture, borne patiently, he died. Calderon has made him the hero of his drama, “El Principe Constante.” Beatified, 1470. Body in the royal crypt at Batalha. Feast, 5 June.

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Ferdinand”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 January 2013. Web. 24 November 2020. <>