Joseph Calasanz was born in 1557 in the Catalan-speaking
Aragonese village of Peralta de la Sal, located in the Province of Huesca (Aragon, Spain), near Catalona . Spain's influence
in Europe was beginning to diminish, but it still had one last beautiful song to intone for a worlds characterized by both
misery and grandiosity. Poverty, the feudal system, plagues, wars, and banditry were all draining the life energy our of Europe
Along the international front,
the expansion of Protestantism, an intence rivalry between Spain and France, the sacking of Rome, the colonizing attempts
of other European countries, and intermittent epidemics preceded the century of Calasanz (1557-1648).
Catholic Church breathed new life into the misery that had been denounced by Martin Luther (1483-1546) with the strength
of a revolutionary Coulcil and the boldness of groups of men and women religious who esctablished new ministries and reformed
existing ones. There are twenty-six contemporary saints of Calasanz (six women and twenty-one men). Ten of them worked
in Rome: Pius V, Francis Borgia, Philip Neri, Peter Canisius, Charles Borromeo, John Leonardi, Robert Bellarmine,
Camilus de Lelis, Francis Caracciolo, and Joseph Calasanz.