Once upon a time, around 1990, I read a book called Casilda of the Rising Moon by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino. I found the book at my local library. It was published in 1967. The cover intrigued me and the tale of the frail, but compassionate saint promised to be interesting. By the end of the novel I felt some sort of mystical connection to beautiful Casilda. I do believe either I was her in a past life or, at the very least, I knew her.
Casilda was the daughter of a Moorish king in Spain. Her first recorded miracle was in 1046. During this time the Muslims or Moors were at war with the Christians. Her father, King Alamun, often took Christian prisoners. Casilda, feeling mercy for them, would bring them bread and water. One day Casilda fell ill and asked to be taken to the healing waters at Castile. Though Trevino does not name it so, it seems as if Casilda had cystic fibrosis. After a long and perilous journey, Casilda reaches the healing spring and regains her health. From then on, she begins healing others. She converts from her childhood Muslim religion to Christianity and lived out her days humbly by the springs. It is said she died praying before the cross. It is not known at what age she died. Some legends say she died young and beautiful while others say she died at age 100.
Casilda had a sister named Zoraida. At the time I read the book my Grandmother was working as a home health care aid and was taking care of an elderly woman by the name of Zoraida. I thought it was a wonderful example of synchronicity.
Anyway, Trevino was born in California, but lived in Mexico with her husband. It was while she was living in Mexico that she first heard the name Casilda. Many of the little girls she met were named after the saint. The name was originally Arabic and means “A Love Song.” When Trevino traveled to Italy and Spain she began to research the little known saint. Casilda was canonized due to the local legends surrounding her. Her feast day is April 9th. She is the one to pray to for diseases of the chest and falls from a height. Queen Isabel carried Casilda’s relics with her and the people of Toledo called Casilda Little Rising Moon. She was said to have visions and perform miracles, but what she was most known for was her compassion.