Saint Nuño of Portugal: The Founder of the Braganza Dynasty and Father of Modern Portugal was Beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1918 and Canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Don Nuño Alvarez Perreira went to war, in defense of his country. He fought, he killed, and he received many decorations. He was wounded, but he was “lucky” enough to come home. Five hundred years after he fought his battles, the Blessed Virgin made what was perhaps her most spectacular appearance on earth—her appearance on October 13, 1917, at Fatima, on the very ground on which Nuño fought, and holding in her hands the very symbols under which Nuño led his troops in that place, five hundred years before. This amazing Nuño—Our Lady’s Knight—led a life bridging centuries, stranger than fiction, fraught with the mystery of war and evil, gold-touched by the sun of the promise made in 1917 by Our Lady at Fatima: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph and there will be peace.”
Long before world War II, when he was a student in Rome, the Very Reverend Gabriel N. Pausback, since become Assistant General in his venerable Order of Carmelites, translated Eliseo Battalia’s biography of Blessed Nuno, based on the famous Portuguese work by Oliveria. During the years that followed, Blessed Nuno’s life and message came to have international appeal and significance. Portugal remained neutral through the great war that Our Lady foretold at Fatima. Interest in Portugal, in Blessed Nuno, and especially in the 1917 apparitions at Fatima, grew apace. So Father Gabriel pored over his translation, added to it, asked many persons to read and comment on it, and prayed to Blessed Nuno that it would one day be of some use. Finally, just before departing on a special mission to Australia, in 1943, he left the material for this book. Later he went to Portugal, where he now labors on the last steps to Nuno’s canonization. We have adhered very much to the original, and the very style sometimes betrays it. We have preferred not to elaborate much on the known facts because once the reader has plunged into the book the facts hold their own allure. However, there is so much that the imagination can legitimately create—about the person of Nuno, about his colorful parents, about all the persons that move through the page from Cleopatra-like Leonora Telles to the gentle Lady Irene—that the reader will gain so much more from the book as he lets his fancy run with it. It bears the buds of high spiritual as well as material adventure. We pray that the Holy Constable, the Saint in Uniform, the Peacemaker who went to War, the Precursor of Fatima with his panacea of Rosary and Scapular, will persuade the reader in the words of His Lady at Fatima: “Have courage, there will be peace!”
—John M. Haffert.
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