Ramon Llull was a layman close to the Franciscans, a philosopher, poet, mystic, theologian and missionary.
He was born around 1232. He was the son of parents from Barcelona who settled in Mallorca following the Christian conquest. He served as a tutor to the future King of Mallorca James II, married and had two children. However, at the age of thirty he suffered a spiritual crisis which led him to become “God´s minstrel”. He left his family and undertook a new stage as a writer, philosopher, preacher and missionary.
He learned Arabic with a Saracen slave and outlined his vital objectives: to preach to the unbelievers, to write a book against the errors of the unfaithful and to create schools where he could teach oriental languages to missionaries. In 1274 he withdrew to the mountain of Randa, where he wrote Llull´s Art, a philosophical system for finding the truth.
In 1276 he founded a language school at the monastery of Miramar, in order to train monks dedicated to learning Arabic and Llull´s Art. He wrote several works in Catalan, Latin and Arabic, and one of the most outstanding was the novel Blanquerna, which contains a gem of mysticism Llibre d’Amic e Amat. His tomb is in the Basilica of Sant Francesc de Palma.