|THE BLESSED NUNO SOCIETY, INC.
P.O. Box 3484
Duluth, Minnesota 55803
Friar Nuno of St. Mary (Nuno Alvares Pereira) died as a simple
Carmelite brother on Easter Sunday 1431. Before entering the
monastery as a widower, Nuno lived as a great knight, husband, and
father, and patriotic hero of his native Portugal. He was the Third
Count of Ourem and Founder of the Royal House of Braganca.
After the marriage of his daughter, he renounced his many titles and
gave away all his possessions. One third of his wealth was given to the
poor and orphans. He built several churches including the beautiful
Carmelite monastery in Lisbon, which he later entered as a humble
brother. He did much to spread the devotions of the rosary and the
scapular in Portugal and is known as the "Precursor of Fatima", "The
Holy Constable", and the "Peacemaker". His memorial Mass was
celebrated in Portugal and by Carmelites and the Knights of Malta on
April 1, but has now been fixed universally on the Roman Calendar as
Saint Nuno was selected as our Patron because of his devotion to Our
Lady, his great awareness of the need for prayer, his love of poor
children, and his spiritually heroic victory over self and the world.
The life of Saint Nuno reflected a balance between spiritual and
corporal acts of mercy which continues to inspire the members of this
charitable prayer apostolate.
About Saint Friar Nuno of St. Mary, our holy patron
Blessed Nuno Society
Blessed Nuno is remembered in secular history for his military victory
at Aljubarrota in 1385, yet he hated war and is often referred to as
"the Peacemaker". Although he died in 1431 (the same year as Joan
of Arc), the great knight known as the "Precursor of Fatima" was not
beatified until January 23, 1918, just 102 days after the Miracle of the
Sun at Fatima.
At Aljubarrota, Nuno led a group of 6,500 volunteers against a
Castilian force of 30,000 soldiers. By human estimation, he could not
win. Indeed, his death in that battle seemed certain. At stake was the
very independence of Portugal and the determination of whether
Portugal would reject the legitimate pope.
Miraculously, by the end of the day, Nuno had secured victory for
Portugal and the Castilian army was in retreat. Had Nuno died at
Aljubarrota during that battle on August 14, 1385, history, as we know
it, would be impossible to recognize. His direct descendants included
Isabella the Catholic, supporter of Christopher Columbus, Emperor
Charles V, who ruled over more territory that any other European
monarch (including most of the Americans), and Archduke Ferdinand,
whose death triggered the World War which was tearing Europe apart
at the time of Our Lady's Fatima apparitions.
Also descended from Blessed Nuno were the members of the Royal
House of Braganca, monarchs of Portugal and Brazil, including
England's Queen Catherine, for whom the Borough of Queens, New
York was named. Nuno himself was born out of wedlock, an unlikely
candidate to become the founder of Royal Houses. But it happened
because of a victory at Aljubarrota ....a victory he attributed to the
Blessed Virgin, whose name, Maria, was inscribed on his sword.
What sort of man was Nun' Alvares Pereira? He would kneel in the
heat of battle to pray. In time of war, he fed the hungry populations of
his Castilian opposition at his own expense. He customarily refused to
share in the spoils of battle.
Once, he was so hungry that he traded his horse for six loaves of
bread, then gave every loaf to a group of English knights who were
looking for food. He allowed squires from the enemy forces to meet
him in peace, just because they wanted to see "the Great Nuno" about
whom they had heard so many stories. He grew up wanting to be a
pure and perfect knight like Sir Galahad of legend and became,
perhaps, the only knight in history to ever truly achieve that dream.
He supported the ideas of his close friend, Prince Henry the Navigator,
and traveled with him to Ceuta, thus beginning the "Age of
He remained a faithful and loving husband to the daughter of King
John until her death, then entered the very monastery he had paid to
construct. He helped to spread the devotions of the Rosary and the
Scapular throughout Portugal.
Blessed Nuno gave away his wealth to assist the poor, including
countless orphaned children, and even agreed to become godfather to
many of them. He died in poverty as a Carmelite brother on April 1,
1431 just as the priest, who was reading the Passion of Christ to him
pronounced Our Lord's Words from the Cross: "Behold thy Mother",
"Ecce Mater Tua"...now the motto of the Blessed Nuno Society.
Copyright 2001& 2007, The Blessed Nuno Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Blessed Nuno, Our Patron
|Ruins of Blessed Nuno's
Carmel in Lisbon
Nuno's castle overlooking
Fatima in Ourem, Portugal
Statue of Blessed Nuno on the
Basilica in Fatima, Portugal
|Monument to Blessed Nuno
Statue of Nuno at the Castle
of Ourem Park in Portugal
Dom Nuno's Personal Flag
In the upper left field is Our
Mother of Sorrows, upper
right field Mary with the
Christ Child, lower left field
St. James the Greater, lower
right field St. George
Blessed Nuno's Relics in Lisbon
Blessed Nuno is listed in some editions of
Lives of the Saints under the Latin name
Nonius , and even some recent editions still
record his previous memorial dates of
November 1 or November 3 and April 1.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said:
"Orphans and abandoned children are
unfortunately the kind of children that are
never in short supply".
Saint Nuno, Pray for us and touch the
hearts of those who read these pages
SAINT FRIAR NUNO de SANTA MARIA
On July 3, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI signed two decrees in
Rome promulgating the heroic virtues of Nuno and recognizing
the authenticity of a miracle (the cure of Guilhermina de Jesus,
a blind woman in Portugal). By these acts, the Holy Father
formally canonized our holy patron. The public celebration of
his canonization took place at St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday,
April 26, 2009. To see photos of the event click here.
Above: English ceramic of Blessed Nuno
Painting at St. Albert Center in Rome
of Nuno receiving the Carmelite habit
|Medal of Blessed Nuno distributed in
Portugal during the 1960's
RELIC OF ST. NUNO
Nuno Window at the National Shrine of
Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Middletown, New York