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Saint Augustine of Hippo

Saint Augustine of Hippo biography
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Saint Augustine of Hippo biography

Aurelio Agustín de Hipona (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430) theologian. He was born in Tagaste, currently Algeria. His father named Patricio was a pagan, violent, drinker and infamous official at the service of the Empire. His mother Monica, on the other hand, was sweet and self-sacrificing, living her life under the Christian religion. She educated her son in her religion, although, she did not baptize him. Agustín had an irascible personality, a superb and unruly attitude, although exceptionally intelligent. For this reason, he took charge of his studies, although he was slow to apply them; After completing the grammar classes in his native land, he studied the liberal arts in Metauro and then rhetoric in Carthage. In his youth, he certainly did not follow the moral precepts instilled by his mother and until he was 32 years old, he led a licentious life, clinging to the Manichean heresy.

At eighteen, Agustín met his first concubine, with whom he had a son whom they named Adeodato. He was not really an exemplary father, he lived among the excesses, he had an inordinate fondness for theater and other public spectacles, he was also blamed for some robberies. This lifestyle made him renounce his mother’s religion. He claimed that Christianity was an imposed faith and was not founded on reason. He began to take an interest in philosophy, and in these postulates found accommodation for some time, he leaned towards moderate skepticism. However, in Carthage joins a group that preached Manichaean dogma, from that moment he was able to resolve his many concerns about various moral problems, which would accompany him throughout his life, was determining his adherence to Manichaeism, the religion of fashion at that time. Basically, he argued that there are two principles of all things, dualism, a principle of good and another of evil. The first has created spiritual things and the second the materials.

In 384 Agustín de Hipona travels to Milan to practice as a professor of oratory. There he delves into the ancient thinkers and devours some texts of Neoplatonic philosophy. The reading of the Neoplatonic authors probably weakened the Manichean convictions of Augustine and modified his conception of the divine essence and of the nature of evil; equally influential would be the sermons of St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who argued on the basis of Plotinus to demonstrate the dogmas and whom St. Augustine listened to with complacency, and this bishop had the ability to give brilliant interpretations of the bible.

“Pray as if everything depended on God. Work as if everything depended on you.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

In his search for the truth he studied the epistles of St. Paul, through them he discovered the affirmation that only the grace of Christ can save man, a doctrine that was another pillar of his thinking in the future. Over time he gave himself up to burning hymns, fasting, and various abstinences. Fully converted, in 387, when he was 33 years old, he was baptized by St. Ambrose and consecrated himself definitively to the service of God. He began to share more time with his mother, to share the word of God, unfortunately, the time was short because death interrupted it.

For the year 388, he returned to Africa. Some years later he was ordained a priest in Hippo by Bishop Valerio, who entrusted him with the mission of preaching among the faithful the word of God, a task that St. Augustine fulfilled with enthusiasm. To do this, Bishop Valerio donated a garden where he instituted a monastery, where he held preachings, even to enunciate a sermon before the bishops of Africa, gathered in Hippo, in 393. His recognition aroused admiration and hatred among people, for example, he received strong criticism from heretical currents and schisms that threatened Catholic orthodoxies, such as the Manichaeans, Pelagians, and pagans.

The situation in the Roman Empire for the year 410 was complex, the pagans reorganized their attacks against Christianity. In response, St. Augustine wrote his great work The City of God. It is a compendium of postulates divided into 22 books, expressing a new form of civil society, which aims to promote the values ​​of humanity by virtue of living according to Christian doctrine. In conclusion, for Hippo, a fully Christian Rome could move from an earthly empire to a spiritual one.

“The measure of love is to love without measure.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

His philosophical works such as the Soliloquies, the Confessions and The City of God, are the sample of his extraordinary testimonies of faith and his theological wisdom. His dissertations usually had as a central theme the relationship of the soul, lost by sin and saved by divine grace. In short, man contains an immortal rational soul that serves, as an instrument, a material, and mortal body. Hence his character essentially spiritualist, against the cosmological tendency of Greek philosophy. Augustine of Hippo lived 40 years of his life consecrated to the service of God, he died at the age of 72, in the year 430.

The thought of Saint Augustine of Hippo extended a bridge between the classical world and the medieval world, also laid the foundations of philosophy and Christian doctrine.



Benedict of Nursia

Benedict of Nursia
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Benedict of Nursia biography

Benedict of Nursia (480 AD -547 AD) was born in Nursia, Italy. Religious, founder of the Order of the Benedictines and patriarch of the western monks. Benedict of Nursia is one of the most prominent figures of Christianity, his precepts and ideas have been transmitted by the religious and scholars from his death until today. Born into a family with great influence, he focused on the study of rhetoric, law, and philosophy. Later, he felt the call and isolated in the Subiaco desert, where he was ordained. In the following years, he dedicated himself to monastic life establishing various monasteries, subsequently wrote his best-known work, Regula monasteriorum (ca.540 AD), which he established as axes of monastic life, obedience, humility and self-denial, virtues for which the religious was known.

The information that is known about the life of the religious has been taken from the Book of dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, in which he delved into the childhood, youth and trajectory of the religious. He was born into a wealthy family that came from Rome, a city in which he carried out his academic training, at that time he learned about rhetoric, law, and philosophy. During this period of formation, Benedict observed the society in which he lived, which was corrupted by various vices, a situation that oppressed and worn him out, tired of this he decided to leave the world at twenty, to focus on his spiritual formation.


Benedict of Nursia the monk

He fled the city, taking refuge for a short time in Enfida, later retired to the Subiaco Desert, where he spent three years living in a small cave. During these years he lived facing various hardships and avoiding contact with other people. Around the year 503, he was discovered by a Roman monk, who conferred on him the monastic habit, followed by an abbot by a group of religious who lived around Vicovaro, in the company of these he lived for several years. However, later tired of the rigor and discipline of the abbot tried to poison him. After the threat, he founded twelve monasteries in the region with his faithful disciples and others who had come to him for help. These institutions were quickly occupied by monks.

In the monasteries, Benedict established a strict routine and monastic lifestyle that was based on the precepts shared in the Rule of St. Basil, a compendium of questions and answers in which the monk advised the religious on the appropriate way to behave and the bases of monastic life. The book highlights virtues such as obedience, renunciation, and self-denial since these should be the basis of all monastic life. Plácido and Mauro arrived at the monastery, children of the Tertulo and Equicio patricians, who became the most devout disciples of the monk. By this time the popularity of the monk had made him one of the most prominent figures of his time, which caused the emergence of resentment by other brothers, such as the priest Florencio.

Florencio prominent religious of the sixth century, motivated by jealousy decided to attack the selfless monk, whom he tried to poison by means of bread. After the failure of this method, he planned to affect the monk by tempting his disciples. However, his plans had no results and shortly thereafter he died due to the collapse of the place where he lived. Upon overcoming the new threat, Benedict moved to Campania along with some of his disciples, founded the famous Cassino (Montecassino) on the site, to settle in the place he collapsed the vestiges of paganism that remained in the area, such as the altar of Apollo built for the inhabitants. In the same place, he installed the prayer centers of San Juan and San Martín.

After the installation of the oratories Benedict and his disciples inhabited the monastery, which over time became the largest center of knowledge of Christendom. Benedict spent the rest of his life in the monastery where he worked and prayed the monks rigorously following the foundations of monastic life; while the monk lived selflessly, he wrote Regula monasteriorum, a work for which he is one of the most prominent figures of Christianity. In Regula monasteriorum (Rule of monasteries) or Rule of St. Benedict, the monk meets the precepts of monastic life, having as its main mandate the Ora et labora (prays and works), to fulfill this the monk created a rigorous schedule in which took into account the environment in which the monastery lived so that the religious took advantage of every moment of the day regardless of the season of the year. In the book, Benedict established hours for work, prayer and rest.

This book profoundly influenced the way they have lived or the cenobites since then, with some modifications it has continued to be applied as a model in the life of the monastic community. The influence of the monk’s ideas and ideas spread throughout the Carolingian era (VIII-IX) and has remained in the Benedictine Order.

The prominent religious died on March 21, 547 A.D., at age of 60. At the end of the 8th century, his feast began on July 11, since then on that date the saint is commemorated, although, it is usually celebrated on March 21, and since it was the day he died.

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Urban II

Urban II biography

Urban II biography

Urban II (1042 – July 29, 1099) Promoter Pope of the Crusades. Odón de Chantillón, christening name, was born in Chantillón Sur Mane, France. From the French nobility. He embraced early the ecclesiastical vocation, studying in Reims, later he joined the Benedictines and joined the Order of Cluny.

He served as prior of the Benedictine monastery of Cluny since 1073. His ecclesiastical life began to be more solid, holding important positions, as Archdeacon of Reims. When finishing the position of prior was requested along with other monks, by Gregory VII, to move to Rome to fulfill his ecclesiastical duties. Over time, his good work led Gregory VII to appoint him Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and in 1084 he was a delegate, adviser and principal assistant to the Pontiff in Germany. Urban II felt an extreme admiration for Gregory VII, read all his speeches and listened attentively to each intervention, and was his support in the hard task of reforming the Church. From 1083, and during two years, he exerted diplomatic functions in France and Germany, where he was captured as a prisoner by Henry IV.

On February 25, 1080, Clement III was appointed Pope by Emperor Henry IV, of the Germanic Roman Empire. This appointment violated the rules of the church, making the designated antipope. This act unleashed the well-known complaint of investiture, a conflict in which the Church basically protested against the appointment of bishops and popes by the emperor, demanding autonomy in order to elect its members from their own institution.

In the Dictatus papae of 1075 we can find the sustenance of the actions of Gregory VII, defending the idea that only the pope could designate and depose the bishops as head of the Church; and took his authoritarianism to defend that it also concerned the pope the appointment of kings, because they have a delegated power of God. But this was not respected, during the reign of Henry V, where the conflict between the parties intensified.

Gregory VII remained under siege in the castle of Sant’Angelo until the Normans of Sicily rescued him, after the rescue Gregory VII, died. Thus, the attempt to impose the Papacy on the secular domains deviated, although the same policy would be sustained by his successor and admirer, Urban II. On March 12, 1088, he was elected by unanimous vote, assuming by name, that of Urban II, and promising a continuation of the policy of Gregory VII, his exemplary predecessor.

He became the first Cluniac Pope. During the first six years of his pontificate, he could not enter Rome because of the presence of the antipope Clement III, imposed by Henry IV, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The stability of the country was in chaos, and Rome was militarily besieged. So he had to exercise his papal work outside of Rome. In addition, he excommunicated Philip I, for repudiating his wife and supported St. Anselm of Canterbury against King William II of England. He recalled the decrees against simony, forbade the obligation of ecclesiastics to take an oath of fidelity to the laity, the concubinage of clerics and the ecclesiastical investiture in charge of laymen.

While trying to penetrate Rome, Urban II was taken prisoner by Emperor Henry IV but was released very soon. He moved to Saxony where he deposed those whom the Pope had condemned while alive. He held a large synod in Quedlinburg, in which the antipope, Guibert de Ravenna, and his supporters were condemned by name.

Urban II has been recognized for promoting the crusades, in this sense, for 1095 he met a council in Clermont, in which he issued a speech encouraging all Christians to reconquer the sacred places of Palestine in the hands of the Turks, agreeing as a stimulus granting of indulgences and economic advantages for gaining a productive and poorly populated territory for the Catholic religion. From this moment, the holy war against Islam was his banner.

Urban II, a refugee on the Island of San Bartolomé, decided to take his place in Rome, usurped by Clement III, accompanied by the Norman army, who managed to claim the post of Urban II, after bloody fights. Both the emperor and the antipope were excommunicated, although the war against them did not cease.

After several years of battles, assaults, treaties, betrayals, deaths, diseases, and conquests, the Crusaders managed to conquer Jerusalem on July 15, 1099. But Urban did not live to know the news of this event. He died in the house of Pierleone, on July 29, 1099. His remains could not be buried in the Lateranense because the followers of Guiberto still remained in the city, so they were taken to the crypt of San Pedro where they were buried close to the tomb of Hadrian I.

Urban II is relevant in the history of the Catholic Church and also in world history, although his party has never been extended worldwide. His work as Pope was important, in the apse of the oratory of the Palace of Lateran is the figure of Urban II, accompanied by the legend, Sanctus Urbanus Secundus, the head is crowned by a square cloud and is at the feet of Our Lady. The formal act of his beatification took place in the pontificate of Leo XIII.

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John Calvin

John Calvin biography
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John Calvin biography

Jehan Cauvin, Castilianized as Juan Calvino (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564). Theologian and Protestant reformer. He was born in the town of Noyon, France. He was educated in a Catholic environment. From childhood, he expressed his great talent for study and, above all, for religious studies. For this reason, his incipient learning took place in line with the ecclesiastical career. He studied theology, humanities, and law, these last two by order of his father who sent him the University of Paris. His father did not agree with Calvin liking theology. In spite of this, Calvin studied theology at the College de la Marche, a distinguished center where other important contemporaries such as Erasmus of Rotterdam studied. Then, he got a doctorate in Law from the University of Orleans. His stay in the university cloisters was key because they cultivated his humanist and reformed ideas.

Being just over twenty years old Calvin abandoned Catholicism and began to manifest as a Protestant, after investigating the conceptions and postulates of Martin Luther, focused in a nutshell on the denial of the authority of the Church of Rome, the fundamental importance of the Bible and the attainment of salvation through faith and not works. At that time Calvin attended a speech, delivered by the rector Nicolás Cop, in favor of the Lutheran thesis. This moment marked a decisive moment in his total conversion and second caused a scandal that forced the rector to leave Paris and take refuge in Basel, Switzerland.

John, disturbed by the situation, decided to contact Cop and made the decision to go to Basel to meet him, there with the knowledge shared by Cop, Calvino began to write his work: The Institution of the Christian Religion published in Latin in 1536. This work, which would soon reach a great diffusion, contains four books, in it expounded the treaties on the reformed faith and expressed his own vision of Protestantism.

John Calvin had a meeting with the Geneva-born reformer Guillaume Farel, who convinced him to settle in Geneva, where there was a growing Protestant community and could serve as a spiritual guide. But a tense theological situation was also experienced, aggravated by the political situation. He lived two years in Geneva, where he laid the foundations of the reformed doctrine. Through their influence and preaching, a large number of clerics abandoned Catholicism and converted to Protestantism. However, he had problems with the authorities because of the excessive moral rigor he had imposed on their people.

“Without knowledge of oneself, there is no knowledge of God.” John Calvin

In 1541 the Genevans again asked for his presence and, this time, Calvin, in addition to preaching and influencing customs, assuming a real political power. Although he formally maintained traditional institutions, he established a strict control over the public life of the population, based on the assimilation of a religious community and civil community. In this way, established a Consistory of elders and pastors to monitor and repress behaviors and adapt them strictly to the Protestant religion, for example, adultery, fornication, gambling, drinking, dancing, and songs were forbidden and persecuted. The absence of religious services was inexcusable, and he was intolerant of those he considered heretics. On the other hand, the temples were characterized by being extremely austere, there were no altars, saints, candles, and organs.

Just when the reformed identity was rising in Zurich, the religious wars unleashed Zwingli’s murder, and they again imposed Catholicism. The death of Ulrich Zwingli in 1531, made Calvin the main leader of European Protestantism, capable of facing the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Calvinism soon surpassed in influence Lutheranism, more deeply rooted in the north of Germany and the Scandinavian countries, Calvinism had greater influence in Switzerland and Holland, and gave rise to the creation of other religious groups such as the French Huguenots, the Scottish Presbyterians or English Puritans and other important Calvinist communities emerged in countries such as Hungary, Poland, and Germany.

Calvin was persistently opposed to the fusion of the Reformed churches of Calvinist with those of Lutheran, taking as a motive the theological differences. Among these was the doctrine of predestination: Calvin opined that God had decided in advance who will be saved and who will not, regardless of their behavior in life; man is saved if he has been chosen for that destiny by God, and good works will not have relevant changes in that respect, but a behavior also foreseen by the Creator.

Although he was the youngest of the first generation of reformers, the influence of Calvin was very marked in Protestant and evangelical groups. At the time of his conversion, the reform was already more than a decade old and the reform movement was already underway with Zwingli and Bullinger in Zurich, as well as other Swiss cities.

“No one is excluded from asking God, the door of Salvation is open to all men. Phrases of Salvation.” John Calvin

In the twilight of his life, he managed to become an international dominant voice of reformed theology. It is necessary to clarify that he was not the founder of the reform, much less the only leader of the reform. Even so, his influence was not accidental, as we could say today. It was the result of his enormous capacities to explain, defend, and publish the postulates, treatises, and compendiums of the new Protestant religion. Sick and exhausted by his accelerated life as a preacher, teacher, writer, and letter writer, John Calvin died on May 27, 1564, and was buried in the Plainpalais cemetery.

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Pope John Paul II

John Paul II Biography
Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F059404-0019 / Schaack, Lothar / CC-BY-SA [CC BY-SA 3.0 de]

Pope John Paul II Biography

John Paul II, first name Karol Józef Wojtyła, was a supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church and the pope number 264 in the history of that religion. He was born in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920, and is the son of Karol Wojtyła and Emilia Kaczorowska. He completed his studies of primary and secondary education, and after finishing them he devoted himself time to chess, crowned champion of several tournaments.

He entered the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and simultaneously to a theater school. In 1939, the German forces closed the university where he studied, Karol Wojtyła started working in a quarry and then in the Solvay chemical plant, with the aim of improving his economic situation and not being deported to Germany.

In 1943, he began in the clandestine seminary founded by Monsignor Adam Stefan Sapieha, where he studied theology. Three years later, on November 1, he was ordained a priest in the private archbishop’s chapel; after his ordination, he went to Rome to take courses at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical Athenaeum Angelicum, where he obtained a doctorate in Theology.

For the year 1948, he returned to Poland to practice his first pastoral ministry as vicar coadjutor of the parish of Niegowić, for 13 months. In November of that same year, he was qualified to be a professor at the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University.

On August 17, 1949, Karol Wojtyła was transferred as vicar to the parish of St. Florian, in Krakow, where he was part of the ministry for two years, in conjunction with a job as a counselor for the students and graduates of the State University of Krakow. On October 1, 1953, he was appointed Professor of Moral Theology and Social Ethics of the Metropolitan Seminary of Krakow, and a year later, he began to teach at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Catholic University of Lublin, where he was subsequently appointed the director.

He was consecrated as auxiliary bishop, by Pope Pius XII on July 4, 1958, in the Archdiocese of Krakow. From October 11, 1962, he began to be part of the Second Vatican Council, where he stood out for his specifications on modern atheism and religious freedom.

In 1962, after the death of Archbishop Baziak, he was chosen as the new vicar capitular. One year later, Pope Paul VI consecrated him Archbishop of Krakow. On December 8, 1965, he was part of the congregations for the Sacraments and Catholic Education, and of the Council for the Laity. He was named cardinal on May 29, 1967, at the age of 47 years.

After the death of Pope John Paul I, on October 16, 1978, Karol Wojtyła was chosen as the new pope at the age of 58, adopting the name of John Paul II. The new Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church aimed to place the church as a guide to the contemporary world in 5 directions:

  • New evangelization.
  • Ecumenism: Through dialogue and encounter with other Christian churches and religious confessions.
  • Ethical and social commitment.
  • Fight for peace
  • Doctrinal rigor

On May 13, 1981, during a tour in an open vehicle, John Paul II suffered an attack on his life, receiving several shots in the arm and abdomen. The pope managed to recover, although he was left with some sequelae that caused several health problems; nevertheless, in the year 1883, he visited in jail his aggressor, to grant him the pardon. Later, he suffered a new attack on a visit to Fatima, Portugal, where conservative priest Juan Fernandez Krohn tried to skewer him with a bayonet.

After the disasters in Armero, Colombia, John Paul II visited the site of the tragedy on July 1, 1986, where he prayed and named the place as a saint in honor of the victims.

Among the main facts of his pontificate are:

  • The first visit of a Pope to a Lutheran church: Rome, 1983.
  • First visit to a synagogue: Rome, 1986.
  • The World Day of Prayer for Peace: Assisi, 1986.
  • The excommunication of Bishop Marcel Lefebvre: 1988.
  • He visited Greece, an Orthodox country.
  • He entered the Damascus mosque in Syria.
  • The first meeting of a pope with a Muslim community: Casablanca, 1985.
  • Creation of the World Youth Days, from the Redemption Jubilee of 1983.
  • The meeting with the last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, in the month of December of the year 1989.

In the year 2000, for the first time, he went to the Holy Land, where he visited Mount Nebo, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth and several towns in Galilee. He held a mass in the Bethlehem manger plaza, apologized at the Wailing Wall and in the Holocaust Museum for the sins committed by the Christians who persecuted the Jews. Finally, he celebrated a Mass at the Holy Sepulcher.

The aftermath of the attacks and health problems due to the advanced age of John Paul II caused him to leave praying little by little, so much so that, in March 2005, he was hospitalized for respiratory difficulties. Between March 31 and April 1 of that same year, he suffered an infection in the urinary tract, which caused septicemia. His health worsened further, and on April 2, 2005, he died from a cardiopulmonary collapse caused by Parkinson’s and septicemia, on the night before the Feast of Divine Mercy.

Sometime later, the fragment of a letter was released, which he dictated to his secretary Stanisław Dziwisz, moments before he died. The fragment said: “I am happy, be it also you. I do not want tears. Let’s pray together with satisfaction. In the Virgin, I trust everything happily”

On May 13, 2005, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, formally initiated the process of beatification of John Paul II; For that, on April 28 of that year, Benedict XVI gave a period of five years of waiting after his death to complete the beatification.

John Paul II – infographic For April 2, 2007, the diocesan phase of the process ended of beatification. Two years later, Pope Benedict XVI declared him venerable, since he was credited with a miracle. In January of 2011, the beatification of John Paul II was definitely authorized, a ceremony that took place on May 1, 2011, at the Feast of Divine Mercy. His remains were transferred from the Vatican crypt to the San Sebastián chapel of the Basilica of San Pedro. On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis authorized the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII, a ceremony that took place On April 27, 2014, in Vatican City.



  • Rem. Hominis: March 4, 1979.
  • Dives in Misericordia: November 30, 1980.
  • Laborem Exercens: September 14, 1981.
  • Slavorum Apostoli: June 2, 1985.
  • Dominum et Vivificantem: May 18, 1986.
  • Redemptoris Mater: March 25, 1987.
  • Sollicitudo Rei Socialis: December 30, 1987.
  • Redemptoris Missio: December 7, 1990.
  • Centesimus Annus: May 1, 1991.
  • Veritatis Splendor: August 6, 1993.
  • Evangelium Vitae: March 25, 1995.
  • Un Unum Sint: May 25, 1995.
  • Fides et Ratio: September 14, 1998.
  • Church of Eucharistia: April 17, 2003.



  • My Vision of Man: Love and Responsibility: 1960.
  • Sign of contradiction, Person and Action.
  • Poems by Karol Wojtyła.Don and Mystery: November 15, 1996. Stand up! Come on !: May 2004.
  • Memory and identity, Roman tryptic. Meditations: 2003.
  • Crossing the threshold of hope.



  • Rosary (Rosario): 1994.
  • Rosary (In French): 1994.
  • Rosary (In English and Spanish): 1994.
  • Rosary (In Latin): 1994.
  • Rosary (In Portuguese): 1995.
  • Abbà Pater: 1999.
  • Mai Piu La Guerra: 2003.



  • The Pope who made the story produced: 2006.
  • John Paul II – I tell you my life: 2006.
  • The Keys to the Kingdom – From John Paul II to Benedict XVI: 2006.
  • John Paul II – His life, his Pontificate: 2006.
  • Juan Pablo II in the 90: 2001.
  • Visit Chile by Juan Pablo II: 1997 – 2005.
  • Da paese lontano (From a distant country): 1981.
  • Pope John Paul II (TV): 1984.
  • Karol: A man who became Pope: 2005.
  • Karol: The Pope, the man: 2006.
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Muhammad Biography
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Muhammad Biography

Abu l-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn’Abd Allāh al-Hāšimī al-Qurayšī, better known as Muhammad, was born in Mecca, present-day Saudi Arabia, on April 26, 570 and died, at 63, on June 8, 632 in Yazrib, nowadays Medina, in the Hijaz (Saudi Arabia). He was the founder of Islam, an Abrahamic monotheistic religion whose dogma is based on the book of the Koran, which establishes as a fundamental premise for his believers that “There is no God, but Allah and that Muhammad is the last messenger of Allah.”

Although there is no exact information about who his parents were, it is said that Muhammad was born into a family belonging to the Quraish tribe and that the first miracle he did was when the archangel Gabriel descended and opened his chest to take out his heart; He extracted a black clot from it and said, “This was the part where Satan could seduce you.” Then he washed it with water from the well of Zamzam in a golden bowl and returned the heart to its place. The children and playmates he met ran to his wet nurse and said: “Muhammad has been murdered” they all addressed him but discovered he was alive.

At six he was orphaned and was picked up by his uncle Abu Talib, whom he accompanied on his trade trips. At an early age, he began to work, but without a doubt, his most important job was to be a commercial agent in Khadijah; as a subaltern of a wealthy 40-year-old widow, for he would end up marrying her. For twenty-five years that woman was a faithful companion, filling him with love and happiness. He had several children, but only his daughter Fatima would give him descendants.

At the age of forty Muhammad began to retire to the desert and to stay for days in a cave on Mount Hira, where he believed he received the revelation of God-Allah, who spoke to him through the archangel Gabriel and communicated to him the secret of true faith. The first revelations made Muhammad think he was under the influence of a demonic presence, taking him close to suicide. The mediation of his wife prevented such an outcome and encouraged Muhammad to listen to the revelations. Encouraged by his wife Jadicha, he began to preach in his hometown, presenting himself as a follower of the great monotheistic prophets of the past, Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ.

The writing of the Koran was done through the preservation of the word of God (Allah) transmitted by Gabriel, to the memorial retentive, who memorized it by reciting it tirelessly to be compiled while preserving its original message, without the slightest change or background nor of form. For this, they used materials such as the camel’s scapulae, on which they recorded verses from the Koran. Although the Qur’an offers interesting facts to know the thought of the Prophet Muhammad, it is very poor in relation to his life. As with other founders of great religions (Buddha, Jesus), only the stages prior to initiating the preaching of their doctrine are known in broad strokes.

In his preaching, Muhammad was inclined towards a monotheism based on the belief in a God full of goodness and almighty, who will judge everyone according to his performance. Man must show gratitude to God and recognize his dependence on him. The recognition of the divine omnipotence is opposed to the attitude of the great merchants, convinced that their wealth allows everything; for Muhammad, the life of man had to be based on doing what was necessary to reach paradise. Generosity and respect for the weak were the essential points on which they insisted their first preaching.

Initially, Islam was presented as a continuation of Christianity and Judaism, religions that Muhammad knew. With public preaching, criticisms of the monotheism professed by Muhammad were initiated, and a first confrontation with the polytheistic Arabs soon took place. The unique God of Muhammad could be worshiped in the Kaaba (building of Mecca built, according to the Qur’an, by Abraham, and containing the black stone that Gabriel gave to Isaac), but not in other shrines consecrated to other gods and goddesses in the outskirts of the city. But it does not seem certain, as has been asserted, that the opposition to Mohammed started from the great merchants for fear that, as the idols disappeared, the commercial activity would decline.

The Kaaba, the sanctuary of Mecca, remained the sanctuary by excellence, and the disappearance of the idols would have harmed only a small group of merchants who had settled near the city and created new shrines there, whose cults were expressly condemned by Muhammad.

The reasons for the growing enmity of the commercial oligarchy of Mecca towards the Prophet must be sought in Muhammad’s attacks on the way of life of the rich, in the denial of his omnipotence and, above all, in the possibility that preaching gave Muhammad a sufficient political personality to put him in charge of the city in the near future. The content of the faith was based on the belief in Allah as the only God, almighty and eternal, creator and owner of all things. The belief in Allah is accompanied by the belief in the prophets (of whom Muhammad is the last), in the angels, in the sacred books (of which the Qur’an is the last and the only necessary), in the resurrection and in the predestination.

Those who belong to Islam must make the profession of faith, recite the prayers five times a day, pay the legal alms, fulfill the pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lives and fast during the month of Ramadan.

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