Theresa of Portugal, Queen of León

Theresa of Portugal; 1176 – 18 June 1250) was Queen of Léon as the first wife of King Alfonso IX of León. She was born the oldest daughter of Sancho I of Portugal and Dulce of Aragon. When her marriage was annulled because of consanguinity, she retired to a convent. She was beatified in 1705.

Theresa of Portugal
D. Teresa de Portugal, Rainha de Leão - The Portuguese Genealogy (Genealogia dos Reis de Portugal).png
Queen consort of León
Kingdom of Portugal
Died18 June 1250(1250-06-18) (aged 71)
Lorvão Abbey, Kingdom of Portugal
Lorvão Abbey, Portugal
(m. 1191; annulled 1196)
HouseHouse of Burgundy
FatherSancho I of Portugal
MotherDulce of Aragon
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Theresa was the mother to three of Alfonso's children—two daughters and a son, Ferdinand, who was the heir of the kingdom until his death in 1214—but when her marriage to Alfonso was declared invalid because they were first cousins, she returned to the Kingdom of Portugal and lived in the Monastery of Lorvão, formerly under the Benedictine rule, which she converted into a Cistercian convent, with over 300 nuns.

In 1230, Alfonso died after having several children with a second wife, Queen Berengaria of Castile. This second marriage was also annulled because Berengaria was Alfonso's first cousin once removed. With two invalidated marriages, there was dispute among the children as to who would inherit the throne. Theresa stepped in and allowed Ferdinand III of Castile, Berengaria's eldest son, to take the throne of León. After the succession dispute, Theresa returned to Lorvão and finally took her convent vows after years of living as a nun. She died in the convent on 18 June 1250, of natural causes.[1][2]

On 13 December 1705 Theresa was beatified by Pope Clement XI's papal bull Sollicitudo Pastoralis Offici, along with her sister Sancha. Her feast day was originally June 17 but since 1962 has been observed concurrent with that of her two sisters Sancha and Dulce on June 20.[3]


  1. ^ "KINGS of CASTILE & LEÓN". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  2. ^ "PORTUGAL". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  3. ^ Lackner, Bede. "A Cistercian of royal blood: Blessed Teresa of Portugal in Vox Benedictina: A Journal of Translations from Monastic Sources 6: 2 (1989): 100-19". Monastic Matrix. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
Preceded by
Urraca López de Haro
Queen consort of León
Succeeded by
Berenguela of Castile