A Fighting Bishop Joins El Cid in Valencia

January 5, 2023


Jerome of Périgord, Bishop of Valencia. The French spelling of his name is Jérôme; the standard Latin form is Hieronymus, but in contemporary document it is sometimes spelled Jheronimus. He is sometimes called “of Périgueux”, after the capital of the region of Périgord.

At this time there came the bishop Don Hieronymo, a very learned man and also a great soldier. He came asking for the Cid, and saying that he was anxious to fight the Moors in the field as he thought it a good deed to fight the Mahometans who were the enemies of the Christian church. He said he desired to have his fill of fighting and slaying these men.

When the Cid heard this it pleased him greatly, and he took his horse and went to visit the bishop, resolving to make a bishopric of Valencia and give it to this man.

Valencia Cathedral, (Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia), was consecrated in 1238. It was built over the site of the former Visigothic cathedral, which under the Moors had been turned into a mosque.

Then they took counsel together, and it was decided that on the next day the bishop and his clergy should turn the mosques into churches, wherein they might worship according to their belief. So nine parish churches were made, the greatest of which was called St. Pedro’s, and another was called St. Mary of the Virtues. Rents were appointed for the table of the bishop and for his canons and for all the clergy of Valencia. After this manner the Cid ordererd that his city should be a bishopric, for the honor of Christianity. Then all Christendom was joyful that there was a lord bishop in the land of Valencia.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 182–83.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 860


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