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Cantabria, Spain:  the Monastery of Saint Toribio de Liebana

 

History of the Monastery of Saint Toribio de Liebana:

The exact origins of the Monastery are not known, but was probably founded in the 8th Century when the Spanish drove out the Muslim invaders who had come from North Africa and conquered much of Spain.  Many Christians retreated to this mountainous area and later on began the re-conquest of Spain resulting in such battles as that at Covadonga (around 722) which is often credited with being the turning point in the re-conquest.

Among the Christians settling in the area were Monks who founded the Monastery of San Martin de Turieno, which would later become Santo Torbio de Liebana.  It was named for Bishop Toribio de Astorga, who was credited with bringing relics back from Jerusalem, most especially on of the arms of the Cross of Christ.

 

About the Monastery of Saint Toribio de Liebana:

The Monastery is now under the care of the Franciscans, perhaps because Saint Francis himself was a visitor here as he traveled to Santiago de Compostela.  As mentioned above, one of the main treasures is the reputed arm of the Cross of Christ on display here.  The Monastery welcomes visitors during certain times:

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