III. Services rendered by the Servant of God to the world and to the Church

  1. The reconquest and evangelization of the Kingdom of Granada unjustly occupied by the Moors which was a true menace not only for Spain, but for the whole of Christendom. According to an author, the reconquest of the Muslim Kingdom of Granada, was the most important event in all the contemporary political scene. The taking of the city of Granada "aroused an infinite jubilation in all the Christian world" (Pastor); and in a very special way, in Rome. A predecessor of Isabel, St. Ferdinand III of Castile had previously conquered from the Moors from Toledo to Seville.

    For the city of Granada "which she loved more than her own life" she gave up her confessor and she pawned her jewels until she conquered it. During the campaign that lasted for ten years, she organized on the front movable tents which everybody called "the hospital of the Queen". With this fact she anticipated what centuries after would be the Red Cross. Since minted money was lacking, she invented notes of money (bank bills) or paper money which has been universally accepted. The army was given an organization which has been imitated for centuries by all the nations. She generously protected the safety of the soldiers and the animals. In conquered Granada she established a mental hospital in which St. John of God worked and founded his religious order of Hospitallers.

  2. The unity of the Catholic Faith in Spain and in all the empire created by her where Protestantism did not penetrate and was not wanted, avoiding the religious wars that were devastating and other consequences that have lasted until today.

  3. The evangelization of the vast archipelago, the Canary Islands, perhaps the only Christian territory in all of Africa for almost five centuries.

  4. With the ecclesiastical reformation taken to a happy end in Spain a century before, the Council of Trent would apply it to the whole Church. She obtained an episcopate which was unknown in the Church of Spain for many centuries (Santiago Riol to Felipe V). With this reformation she left the Spanish Church well-prepared for the undertakings of universal service to which it was destined. The Spanish bishops had also a relevant role in the development of the Council of Trent.

  5. Parallel to the ecclesiastical reformation, was the reformation of religious orders of men and women which gave to the Church a legion of saints and missionaries who spent themselves generously especially in the evangelization of America, the kingdom of Granada, the Canary Islands and later in the Philippine Islands. The movement of reformers promoted by Queen Isabel was at the hour of her death general and irreversible.

  6. The discovery and evangelization of America was started by Isabel and recommended in her last will as a constitutional law to her heirs. In the Iberian American continent lives more than half of the Catholic world thanks to Isabel the Catholic: "It is the continent of hope for the Church", the Holy Father has repeated to the religious of Latin America in his Apostolic Letter, "The Ways of the Gospel", June 29, 1990. In it we read sentences like this: "Latin America remains faithful to the Faith in the heart of its people" (nn 8,12,14, etc.).

  7. The prohibitions of slavery of the aborigines in the American continent was always respected by her successors when at the same time the practice of slavery continued for a long time outside of America and even by the Spanish themselves with the blacks in Africa. Isabel the Catholic laid the foundation of international human rights which the University of Salamanca would later develop.

  8. For all practical purposes, liberation from the Muslim invasion of Italy and Rome through means of the continuous presence of the army and the fleet of the "Gran Capitan" in the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily for this purpose and with the dispersion of the Turkish squadron by the same Spanish fleet by the express order of Isabel (y. 1500). The occupation of Italy and Rome without a doubt would have changed the history of catholicity as happened in the Middle East with the occupation of Jerusalem and Constantinople by the Turks.

  9. A great part of European Catholicism was saved thanks to the fidelity of the emperor Charles V to the recommendations of his maternal grandmother, Isabel. Added to that of Spain, America, the Philippines...represents considerably much more than half of world catholicism: all this due to the determined action of Isabel the Catholic.

  10. The long Spanish "golden age", which knew its springtime with Isabel, and which has had great influence in all the western world with its Catholic spirit and with its effects that have lasted up until our day.

  11. The creation and consolidation of the modern state (the first in history), which was better called "empire" and of a monarchy without which would not be possible the evangelization of America and of the Philippines and whose monarchs were always proud to use the title of Catholic Kings inherited from its founders, Ferdinand and Isabel.

The life of the Servant of God seems to constitute an important chapter in the divine plans over the world and over history, not only of the Church but of universal history also. She, according to William Thomas Walsh, changed the course of civilization and the aspect of the entire world. The Church and the world itself would be very different if we erased from history the feats of Isabel the Catholic. To understand a good part of the history of the last five centuries, it is necessary to have in mind our Servant of God as a first determinant cause and link of an uninterrupted chain of events with historical and universal imprint. Regardless of the "black legend" it is not possible to write the true modern history, political and religious, (and not negative in everything) without taking Spain into account; neither the history of Spain without taking into account Isabel the Catholic. The evangelization of America only finds parallels and perhaps in some different points of view is greater than the evangelization of the Mediterranean peoples and of the barbarian peoples of Europe.

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