Franciscan Saints




7th July



The Servant of God Walter Lopez


Confessor, Third Order



From 1645 to 1648, there were gathered at Muenster in Westphalia, representatives of most of the European powers. They were trying to draw up terms of peace and put an end to the unfortunate Thirty Years’ War.

Present in this assembly was the envoy of King Philip IV of Spain. He was Knight of Santiago Count Walter Lopez de Zabata, a man of wide experience, statecraft, and great learning. Among other things, he spoke the Greek language as fluently as his mother tongue. But he was still better versed in Holy Scripture and in the science of salvation. He had been a member of the Third Order of St. Francis for years, and publicly wore the habit of the order, as was frequently the case in those days. He did this without embarrassment even during the negotiations at Muenster, where he found himself in the company of distinguished Protestants and the delegates of Protestant princes. He never drank wine or other alcoholic drinks, and his daily fare was very plain.

Because of his affection for the Franciscan Order, he found quarters in the neighborhood of the Franciscan convent, and often visited the friars. His friendly and affable demeanor won the affection, and his piety, humility, simplicity, and mortification gained the esteem of all with whom he came in contact. His home and hand were always open to help the poor and the oppressed; no one left him without being comforted.

The peace plans were far advanced but not yet concluded, when our Lord put an end to the earthly sojourn of His servant. On May 30, 1648, Walter was suddenly seized with an illness and fell into a coma. The guardian of the nearby Franciscan convent administered to him the sacrament of extreme unction. When his confessor, a Franciscan who had come with him from Spain, pronounced the holy name of Jesus, the dying man regained sufficient consciousness to strike his breast and to raise his eyes to heaven, as if to say that he placed all his hope and his confidence in the mercy of God. He died that same night at twelve o’clock.

While he was being carried to the cemetery, a white dove was seen hovering over the casket. In the plain sight of all, it accompanied the funeral procession up to the place of burial. Then it disappeared.



Prayer of the Church

(Post communion No. 10, under "Various Prayers"


We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst not

suffer to be exposed to human dangers those whom Thou givest to

rejoice in the participation of these divine mysteries.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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