Ildefonsus

c.607-667. Archbishop of Toledo. From a distinguished family, he studied apparently under Isidore of Seville.* Against his father's wishes he entered the monastery at Agalia near Toledo, later becoming its abbot and founding a nunnery nearby. As abbot he served at the eighth and ninth Councils of Toledo (653, 655). From 657 he was archbishop of Toledo. Ildefonsus contributed much to Roman Catholic veneration of Mary through his De virginitate sanctae Mariae. His legendary encounters with the Virgin, recounted by his early biographers, became the subject of medieval art and poetry. Three other major works and two letters to Quiricus, bishop of Barcelona, survive. De viris illustribus demonstrates the seventh-century Spanish Church's debt to fourteen notables. Valuable insight into the medieval catechumenate and baptism is derived from Annotationes de cognitione baptismi. De progressu spiritualis deserti describes the believer's pilgrimage from baptism to heaven.