IV. The Message That Queen Isabel Can Bring to the World

  1. Isabel teaches us how to conjugate human and Christian values, politics and the Christian religion. In making the sketch of the first modern State she showed that, far from there existing any opposition between the Christian doctrine and the organization of the State, that one beneficially helps the other. The efficacy of her government which is due to her immense personal prestige unanimously recognized more than to the monarchical institution of that time was very limited by the privilege of the nobility and the almost feudal lords; and this relevant moral ascendancy, as is recognized by many critics proceeded from her holiness, from the divine Grace animating and sublimating her natural virtues. — In a world that does not believe any longer in "ideologies", the manner of governing by the Catholic kings could be presented as an exemplary alternative. Isabel constitutes a typical case, perhaps unique in history, of how to elevate a people from its extreme prostration to the unforeseeable summits, guiding it with supernatural criteria without forgetting the natural ones.

  2. She was a model of a "wholesome" democratic sense, because in her State respect to the regional autonomies and minorities of the "fuerors" (privileges) and of the local customs was essential, all of it guaranteed with a religious oath.

    She was giving an example of authentic democratic spirit from the very beginning of her reign, convoking general assemblies for the nation where the progmatical guidelines of government were outlined. The Church was amply represented in the general Congregation of the Clergy ("National Council" of Seville, 1478), in which was elaborated an ample plan of reformation: ecclesiastical, of the religious orders, and of the people. For the political aspect she convoked the general "cortes" with ample participation of all the social classes. (Toledo 1480) The Cortes also elaborated a political program no less vast for the government of the nation. These two large Assemblies had a character of true "Cortes Constituyentes" and its acts can be considered as a true constitution. In the kingdom of Isabel was organized "ad intra" and installed the platform to launch enterprises "ad extra" of universal value; the rest was all a question of time, perseverance and opportunity.

  3. The government leaders would be able to contemplate in Isabel a mirror of justice, which in her was almost a scruple, and is an inexhaustible anecdoteage in matter of justice: legal (as a "sovereign" in looking for the public welfare and as a "subject" in accepting the laws and the rights of others); distributive and also administrative by which she applied justice to everyone equally; finally communative, to solve promptly the debts that by necessity all public administration carries, making herself responsible even for the debts incurred by her predecessors. For this purpose she opened "the Book of the Discharges of Conscience" which she put in the hands of her confessor: an institution that then became the "audience" with a number of people working in it. She was the Queen "most loved and most feared", though, according to the opinion of a member of her council, in the doubtful things she was always more inclined to mercy than to the rigor of justice. In a world in which to take advantage of power is universal and is accepted almost as a necessity, the example of Isabel and the success of her government will constitute the highest model and the strongest claim to honesty for government leaders.

  4. She teaches us how to finish with the mafia and terrorism (which was superabundant everywhere when she ascended to the throne, especially in Andalucia).

  5. The politics of Isabel support the apostolic letter "Mulierris dignitatem" of the happily reigning pope, when contemplating the feminine genius egregriously conducting the public interest. She was at the same time a prototype of wholesome feminism in promoting the value and talents of women, which has not been seen up until our days.

  6. For all the lay people in general it would be a very actual message of how to look for the kingdom of God in dealing with temporal things, even the most difficult and complicated.

  7. For families she is a model of family virtues as a daughter, a sister, a faithful wife, a solicitous mother of five children, nevertheless not neglecting her governmental duties. In this she presents herself as a model of exquisite femininity.

  8. Isabel left us an example of her great love for the Church, the Pope, the hierarchy, the religious institutes, (cf.III;4). In the "Ordenanzas de Castilla" promulgated by her book #I in its entirety with its 12 titles and 87 laws for the Catholic Faith and the church. In one of them we read: "To the kings and the Princes of the earth God confided the defense of His Church", a principle of immense transcendence which is equivalent to the reception in its entirety of all the laws of the Church in the civil code. And in another document of hers: "The things that pertain to the Church and the Pope , we must look at and comply with above all the things of this world, even more than our own things." And in a third document: "And because the Christian Princes should have a great zeal for the honor and service of God our Lord and punish the offenses that are done against Him, for this...". She wanted that the heir-Prince when he arrived to his adolescence would preside over the royal Council so that he would learn to administer justice, "Because this is the cause for which God has put Kings and Princes on the earth." Her last will twice reaffirmed the principle that we should be disposed to render our lives for God and for His Church: once she said this about herself, that she would be very happy to be able to have the opportunity to do it, and the other time she reminds her heirs of this: "For the Faith", she says, "we are obliged to expose our persons and lives and whatever we have every time that it would be necessary."

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