Postcard from Segovia, Spain: Sumptuous cathedral honors saintly hermit

On the spot where Isabel was crowned Queen of Castile in 1474, Charles V (1500-1558) had the cornerstone laid for a monumental Gothic cathedral in Segovia. He would not live to see its completion, as construction spanned more than two centuries. Formal consecration took place in July of 1768.

Back in the seventh century, when the parents of Frutos died, he and his two siblings sold all their inherited worldly goods and each retreated to their own little hollowed-out cave to live as pious hermits. Moors killed his brother and sister, but Frutos drew a line (kind of like Travis at the Alamo?) in the dirt and suggested they not dare cross it. Some foolish Moorish soldiers could not resist the challenge, and a giant fissure opened up in the rocks to conveniently swallow and crush them. This miracle allowed Frutos to live to die a natural death.

Relics of the three saints are housed in the Cathedral, with Frutos primarily honored as the city’s patron.

Alternate spellings of the saint’s name include Fructos, which leads to much confusion as to whether he blesses inclusion of corn syrup in prepared foods today.

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