Saint of the Day – 17 April – Blessed Andrés Hibernón Real O.F.M. (1534-1602) Religious Friar, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Rosary, Apostle of the poor. Patronages – Alcantarilla, Spain (chosen in May 1950), Murcia, Spain. He was born in 1534 in Murcia, Spain. He predicted the date of his death four years before the fact, which was 18 April 1602 in Gandia, Valencia, Spain of natural causes immediately after having prayed a rosary. His body is incorrupt.
Andrés Hibernón Real was born in Murcia in 1534, he came from an old noble house that was reduced to the state of poorness due to a range of adverse circumstance. His uncle in Valencia, assumed charge of his initial education, in order to relieve his parents. He was baptised in the Murcia Cathedral where an uncle of his was a chaplain.
In his late childhood and into his adolescence he endeavoured to earn funds that would support his parents and siblings. He saved a considerable amount on one occasion to provide for his sister’s impending marriage and so left where he was to travel back home to Murcia. En route home a group of thieves attacked him and stripped him of all he had. Hibernón interpreted this as a sign of how much he depended on material goods and so resolved to labour for the remainder of his life for goods not of this world.
In Albacete in 1556 he begged to be admitted into a convent of the Order of Friars Minor and so was admitted into it on 1 November 1557 where he commenced his period of novitiate and received the habit.
He frequented Marian shrines and often spent hours on end kneeling in silent and deep meditation before the tabernacle that housed the Eucharist. He fostered an ardent devotion to the poor and the ill and often accompanied priests to visit ill people. In February 1563 he relocated to the Alcantarine Franciscan reform convent of San José in Elche and in 1564 attended the vesting of the habit of Saint Paschal Baylon (1540-1592). He remained there until 1574 save for a short duration of time in Villena. In 1574 his superiors sent him to undertake the establishment of a convent in Valencia where he made friends with the Archbishop of Valencia, Saint Juan de Ribera (1532-1611).
He died on 18 April 1602 – he had foretold that exact date of his death in 1598. He died as he completed reciting the rosary. His incorrupt remains are now housed in the Murcia Cathedral – though some are in Alcantarilla – after being relocated from Gandia in 1936 due to the Spanish Civil War. He was Beatified on 22 May 1791 by Pope Pius VI at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Papal States (modern Italy) (cultus confirmation).