St. Ferdinand III of Castile was born to a royal family near Salamanca, Spain, in 1198. He became king of Castile in 1217 and king of Leon in 1230. Later he became king of Palencia, Valladolid and Burgos. St. Ferdinand founded the University of Salamanca and rebuilt the Cathedral of Burgos. The saint also founded hospitals, monasteries and churches. He reformed Spanish law and tried to better his country. St. Ferdinand, who died in 1252, is patron saint of governors and authorities.