St. Attilanus

S. Attilano
First Bishop of Zamora († 916), in Spain, he was a friend of Froilán from León. The two lived as hermits on Mount Curueño until, with the backing of king Alfonso III the Great (866-910), they established various monasteries in the region of León, probably Benedictine. The Castilla-León took its name from the many castles and fortifications characterizing it, being the border region with the Moor reigns of Spain, last Christian bastion holding the Muslim advance in Iberian territory. The effort of Attilanus and Froilán was to bring the word of Christ back to formerly Islamized areas. The name Attilanus shows up in many documents of king Alfonso – and his successors – and the two were consecrated in León on the Pentecost day in 900. In a late legend, following 1132, it is told that Attilanus, after ten years as Bishop, decided to start a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and, leaving the city, he threw his pastoral ring in the river Dero. Two years later, come back, he stopped in a hut outside the city, not being recognised; when he opened a fish given him by his host, he found the ring inside it. The story tells that, at that point, his rags turned into beautiful clothes and the bells started to festively ring. The body of the saint was found in 1260 in the Cathedral of St. Ildefonsus in Zamora, where it still lies today – beneath the major altar – with the ring and the pilgrim stick, except the head that was transferred – maybe with a theft – in the Toledo Cathedral.