San Pedro Regalado [La Aguilera]

♦ En Ingles ♦


St. Pedro Regalado was born in Valladolid in 1399. His parents were Pedro Regalado and Maria de Costanilla, both Valladolid citizens. When he was 14 years old, he entered the Franciscan Order and eventually came to the Hermitage of La Aguilera founded in 1404 by Fr. Pedro Villacreces, who had started the reformation of the order in Spain.The Franciscan wanted to bring back the simple style of life of St. Francis and his first brothers who lived among simple people in the outskirts of villages and towns. Pedro Regalado was an enthusiastic promoter of this form of life. Living in this convent he could devote his life to prayer, sharing the needs and longings of the simple people of those villages and to preaching the good News of Jesus. He was ordained priest in 1412 and celebrated his first Mass in the original hermitage (now the Chapel of glory). In 1413 he was made Superior of this convent and later Abrojos superior close to Valladolid. God rewarded his virtues by granting him the gift of prophecy and miracles. He died on the 30 March 1456, and was beatified in 1683 by Pope Inocencio XI and canonized on the 29 June 1746 by Benedict XIV. His feast is celebrated on the 13 May, the day his body was taken to the side Chapel’s urn where his remains are venerated today. He was declared the bullfighters patron Saint because he calmed down a wild bull running away from the bullring of Valladolid to the Convent doors of Abrojo in Laguna de Duero (Valladolid).

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Important historic events have taken place within the walls of this Sanctuary. It was visited by the Catholic King and Queen especially the latter. She used to tell her retinue: “Come quietly, for you are walking on the bones of Saints”. Cardinal Cisneros conquering the resistance of Castilla’s nobility proclaimed, in this place, Carlos I heir to the throne, and future Emperor, Carlos of Spain and V of Germany. The same Cardinal Cisneros, few months before his death in Roa 1517 wrote from here to the Flanders Ambassador, Diego Lopez de Ayala asking to finalize the arrangements towards Carlos I becoming a King of Spain who next here would live his First Holy Week on Spanish soil. Later, all the descendants of his dynasty would visit this Sanctuary. Felipe II, Margarita of Austria and Felipe III who used to spend long periods of time around here, together with the Duke of Lerma, Felipe IV, who was personally favoured by Pedro Regalado and who personally intervene before Rome to speed up the process of his Canonization. But above all, it was the simple people belonging to these particular surroundings of Duero that have written the most beautiful things on this Sanctuary, and on their dear Saint Pedro Regalado.


The chapel of Glory. This Chapel was built in 1593 in the same place as the primitive hermitage that was original of the Sanctuary. It was built by Don Juan Lopez of Zuñiga, Duke of Peñaranda and the governor general of the King in Naples during the reign of Felipe II. On the left hand side stands out the stone that covered the Saints first Sepulcre. On the right, there is an urn made of Ebony, turtle shell and rock crystal. In the centre, the laying stature of the Saint made of alabaster, the sepulchre crowning touch ordered by Queen Isabel to Countess of Haro Doña Mencia de Mendoza.
The reliquary that you can see in this Chapel was a gift from the Vatican to the Duke of Peñaranda, and contains relics of Saints from the early years of Christianity. On the burial place of the Duke and Duchess, this epitaph can be read: “Here lies the most excellent Señor Don Juan de Zuñiga Abellaneda and Baztán, Duke of Peñaranda proprietor and Count of Miranda from the side of his niece and wife the most excellent Señora Doña Maria de Zuñiga whose great hero was the gentleman of the Chamber of His Majesty and General Captain of the Kingdom of Cataluña and Naples, president of the Supreme Councils of Italy and Castilla. He died on the 4 of September 1648.

The Church:
Erected in 1438 by St. Pedro Regalado and dedicated to the mystery of the Annunciation. It is here where he was buried. Due to a fire in 1699, it was rebuilt in 1706. The present building revetment gives an aspect of Renaissance and Toscan art. The nave is presided by a crucifix, a sculpture of XVIc. At both sides of the crucifix in the vault there is the Marian symbol of a jar with lilies, theme which is repeated in this same vault. In the curve triangles we can observe four paintings that represent Sr. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Diego and St. Bonaventure. On the walls we can see the portrait of Fr. P. Villacreces and fifteen canvas, work of Fr. Diego Frutos (XVIIIc) representing the life of St. Pedro Regalado. Here you are the cronological and thematic sequence: 1. The Saint receives the franciscan habit (1404); 2. The Saint´s passionate prayer makes D. Pedro de Castilla exclaim: It´s really God´s house (Domus Dei); 3. Let the children come to me; 4. The food tourned into roses; 5. He carries cripples and hadicaped people; 6. He picks up the corpse of a drown woman and buries it; 7. A baby praises the Saint in middle of the mockeries; 8. He calms a brave bull in Vsalladolid; 9. He crosses the river on his mantle; 10. Among the angels; 11. He visits Fr. Lope de Salinas in Fresneda (January, 1456); 12. He receives the extreme unction from the Bishop D. Pedro de Castilla and cures Diego Gómez de Sandoval, D. Pedro´s nephew (March 1456); 13. He helps a poor beggar from his tomb; 14. Poor and ill people in front of the Saint´s tomb; 16 Queen Elisabeht visits his tomb in 1492.

These "sargas", from the beginnig of XVIII Century, are part of a Franciscan Diego de Frutos huge production divided between this Sanctuary and the St. Francis´Monastery in Valladolid. This last one was knocked down in 1836 and his holdings were taken to the Sculpture National Museum in Valladolid. Some of these "sargas" were displayed in the Vatican when the Saint was canonized (1746). Between 2003 and 2004 the Govrnemen of Castilla and León restores the whole collection.

On the walls we can see the portrait of Fr. Villacreces and ten canvas, work of Fr. Diego Frutos (XVIIIc) representing of the life of St. Pedro Regalado: Coming from right to left and from top to bottom. 1 The crossing of river Duero over his clock 2. The food turns into roses 3. Ecstasy 4. While people laugh at the Saint one child praises him. On the opposite wall: 1. The poor and sick people visit the Saint’s sepulchre. 2. The Saint teaching catechism 3. The Saint carried by angels 4. The Saint receives the habit from Fr. Villacreces 5. Queen Isabel visits his sepulchre 6. The Saint calms down a wild bull in Valladolid.
These canvases are part of a collection shared between the sanctuary’s museum and the National sculpture museum of Valladolid. When he was canonized in 1746 they were exhibited in the Vatican.


The chapel was built in 1692 as a funerary chapel. It is very symbolic; it is about a sepulchre of a believer where death has been vanquished by Life. The cover of this sepulchre is not a cold stone but an oval vault that is crossed by the lantern’s light arch and by the lateral windows and it is overflowed with colour. The lunettes painted in the vault were for St. Pedro Regalado many other fountains of light and represent: Mary in the mystery of the Assumption and Franciscan Saints that light up the way for St. Pedro Regalado. In the windows there are symbols referring to Mary as the Ark of Covenant, the Mystical Rose, the Palm Tree, the Fountain, the Tower of David, The Well, the Cypress and the Lily…
The baroque altarpieces from the school of Valladolid (XVIIIc) are brimming with life. St. Joseph and St. Anthony with the child Jesus – the life that begins- in his arm, the columns full of generous bunches of grapes, the decorated pilasters with ascended spirals opening up at the top as palm trees, and presiding it all, as a whole, there is St. Pedro Regalado in a transit state, participating in the experience of the first believer. Mary, placed in the main altarpiece, the angels, as if dancing accompany the Saint who carries a stick in his hand, while the angel at his right carries his hat that protects him from the sun and the rain.
The longing to go to those in need gives him wings the artist has accomplished a double objective: To leave us a beautiful altar piece, and realized us to see the urn that keeps the sacred remains of the Saint in the Side chapel at the back.
The dim pictures that hang on the wall represent St. Pedro Regalado praying- crossing the river Duero on his cloak- turning food into roses. These paintings are of the end of XVII, or of the beginning of XVIIIc.

The side Chapel
. This Chapel dates from 1692. It is noteworthy for the wall’s decoration. Three canvases from Velazquez’s school describe three different scenes:
* Queen Isabel once accomplished the conquest of Granada, and leaving her spouse there, goes to Castilla to venerate the Saint’s body buried there 36 years ago. Overcome with emotion by the State of the Saint’s body the Queen wants a relic from him and that his body be removed and placed in a more dignified sepulchre. The Countess of Haro would carry out the Queen’s wishes.
* The healing of the Infant Felipe IV by the Saint’s relics when the Royal Retinue passes through Aranda.
* The Saint continues helping his friends, the poor, after his death. The side Chapel’s vault is an apotheosis of the Immaculate Conception.

The sepulchre.
The Saint’s remains are kept in an alabaster urn placed in the Centre of the Side Chapel built in 1910 with pieces of the original sepulchre which Queen Isabel ordered to Countess of Haro in 1492 and constructed in the Colonia’s family workshop in Burgos. The French troops destroyed it during the Convent’s occupation in 1808.
The urn panels represent:
1°. The Epitaph in Latin and gothic writing showing that St. Pedro Regalado partakes of the Resurrection of the Lord to whom he served, with these words: “His glorious flesh and shining bones rests here”. “He served Christ constantly, and he left the world in his childhood”. “The Saint despised the honours of this world”. “Pedro Vicar of Domus Dei and scala Coeli”. “He ended his life here under the rule of poverty of St. Francis”. “Not looking for a reward on earth, but for the grace of Christ”. “The countess of Haro embellished his sepulchre, and he showed his gratitude by praying to Christ for her constantly”. ”He ended after the labours of the flesh the day after the Resurrection of Christ in the year 1456”.
2°. St. Pedro Regalado and his brothers’ prayers save a woman in the River Duero.
3°. The Saint, with St. Louis Bishop of Toulouse and St. Anthony of Padua.
4°. Pedro receives the Sacrament of the Sick.
The urn is crowned by five angels, four of them with the cote of arms of the Franciscan Order, the Dukes of Peñaranda and the city of Valladolid, cradle of the Saint. The fifth raises up with close eyes as symbol of the faith that contemplates the Victory of Life over death