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Coat of Arms of Prince Ferdinand of Aviz

The Coat of Arms of Infante Fernando, known as the Holy Infante.

The Infante Ferdinand (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du]; English: Ferdinand; September 29, 1402-June 5, 1443), commonly known as the Saint Prince (Portuguese: Infante Santo; more correctly translated as the Holy Prince,) was an infante (prince) of Portugal of the House of Aviz. Fernando was the sixth son of King John I of Portugal and his wife Philippa of Lancaster.

Ferdinand soon became interested in religious questions and, still young, he was ordered Grand Master of the Order of Aviz by his father. He was offered the office of Cardinal by Pope Eugene IV.[1]

In 1437 he participated in a military expedition in North Africa, along with his older brothers. The campaign would prove disastrous and Ferdinand was made a prisoner by the Marinid dynasty. As a ransom, the Sultan demanded the devolution of Ceuta, conquered by the Portuguese in 1415. Ferdinand decided he did not want to be released in exchange for the precious city, and wished to remain in captivity. Portuguese officials also declined his release, forcing his brother Henry the Navigator to leave him in the hands of the Fez. He died in Fes in 1443.

His remains were transferred to the Monastery of Batalha in 1471, where they lie in the Founder's Chapel. His sacrifice in the name of national interests gave him his nickname the Saint Prince (Portuguese: o Infante Santo).

He was beatified in 1470, and the Bollandists have included his life in their great publication.


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pt:Fernando, o Infante Santo

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