Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

(Spain 711-872) The Second Age of the Martyrs
Orthodox England on the Net ^

Posted on 01/15/2005 1:06:48 AM PST by miltonim

The Second Age of the Martyrs

The Spiritual Renaissance of seventh-century Spain comes to an end but a no less glorious period then begins. It is a second age of martyrdom, this time under the Muslim Moors or Saracens, who invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and showed themselves to be just as ferocious as the pagan Romans.

However, the full extent of Moorish cruelty did not become apparent until the ninth century and the eighth century is something of an overlapping period between the seventh and the ninth. Nevertheless what was to come in the ninth was presaged by the first-fruit of this age, St. Eurosia (Orosia), martyred at Jaca in the Pyrenees in 714. Here she is venerated as patron saint to this day, her feast being kept on 25 June. She was followed by two brothers and a sister, Sts. Fructus, Valentine and Engratia, the latter two being martyred at Sepulveda in Old Castile in northern Spain in c. 715. St. Fructus escaped, but died a hermit and the relics of all three are enshrined and venerated in Segovia where their memory is kept on 25 October. Not all the Saints of the eighth century are martyrs, as is proved by the case of St. Prudentius, Bishop of Tarazona in Aragon, of which diocese he is a patron saint. He reposed some time after 700 and he is feasted on 28 April. Similarly St. John de Atarés, a hermit near Jaca in the Pyrenees is not a martyr either. He built a hermitage beneath a huge rock (in Spanish la Peña) and was soon joined there by two brothers from Saragossa, Sts. Votus and Felix. This hermitage later became the monastery of St. John de la Peña, which was to become the cradle of the Christian kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon, later centres of Christian culture and resistance in an otherwise Muslim-dominated Spain. St. John and Sts. Votus and Felix reposed in c. 750 and they are remembered on 29 May.

St. Marcian, Bishop of Pamplona, very close to Jaca, reposed in around 757 and is commemorated on 30 June. During the eighth century St. Emerius, a native of France, founded another monastery, dedicated to St. Stephen the Protomartyr, at Bañoles near Gerona in Catalonia. He is recalled on 27 January, together with his mother, St. Candida, who became an anchoress near her son's monastery and reposed in c. 798. The eighth century closes with the figure of St. Beatus (Feast: 19 February), whose famous commentary on the Apocalypse still survives in three illuminated tenth-century copies. Born in Asturias in northern Spain, he became monk and then priest at Liébana (see above). He stood for Orthodoxy against the arianising or rather nestorianising heresy of Adoptianism. This said that Christ was not the Son of God but only the adopted Son. These ideas, under clear Muslim influence, were then active in Spain. St. Beatus finally retired to the monastery of Valcavado where he departed this life in 789. In around 800 reposed St. Marinus, Abbot and Bishop of the monastery of St. Peter at Besalu in Catalonia; his memory is kept on 19 August.

To this period belong two saints of Galicia. One, St. John of Tuy, was a hermit at Tuy in Galicia on the present Portuguese border, where his relics are still enshrined. He is remembered on 24 June. The other, Alphonse, was Bishop of Astorga. He retired and became a monk at the celebrated monastery of St. Stephen at Ribas de Sil in Galicia. He is remembered on 26 January. Another hermit was a Frenchman, St. Urbitius (Urbez) who reposed in c. 805. Taken prisoner by the Moors, he escaped and became a hermit near Huesca in the Aragonese Pyrenees. He is commemorated on 15 December. Another hermit of the early ninth century, but about whom little is known is St. Daniel of Gerona in Catalonia. He is said to be of Greek origin and was martyred here by the Moors; he is feasted on 29 April.

We now come to the great period of martyrdom of the mid-ninth century, with its centre at the Moorish capital in Cordoba, a period which can only be compared with the suffering in Spain under Diocletian or with the New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke in Greece. This period lasted from 835 to 864. Here is the list of those who were martyred for the faith:

St. Pomposa, a nun at Peñamelaria near Cordoba, she was beheaded in 835. Feast: 19 September.

Sts. Adolphus and John, two brothers born at Seville of a Muslim father and Christian mother were martyred at Cordoba in about 850 under the tyrant Abderrahman II. Feast: 27 September.

St. Perfectus, a Cordoban priest, lived up to his name by being martyred on Easter Sunday 851. Feast: 18 April.

St. Sancho (Sanctus) was brought to Cordoba as a prisoner from Albi in southern France. Having become a guard at the Moorish court, in 851 he was martyred by impalement for his refusal to become a Muslim. Feast: 5 June.

Sts. Peter, Wallabonsus, Sabinian, Wistremundus, Habentius and Jeremiah were all martyred at Cordoba in 851 for publicly denouncing Islam. St. Peter was a priest, St. Wallabonsus a deacon, the others monks. Jeremiah, an old man who had founded a monastery at a nearby place called Tábanos, died during his scourging, the others were all beheaded. Feast: 7 June.

St. Sisenandus was born in Badajoz in Extremadura in western Spain but became a deacon in Cordoba at the church of St. Acisclus (see above). He was beheaded also in 851. Feast: 16 July.

St. Paul, a deacon at the monastery of St. Zoilus (see above) and was zealous in ministering to his fellow-Christians in Muslim captivity. Beheaded in 851, his relics were enshrined at St. Zoilus. Feast: 20 July.

St. Theodemir, a monk, was martyred in the same year at Cordoba. Feast: 25 July.

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, daughters of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, were imprisoned and beheaded at Huesca in 851. Feast: 22 October.

Sts. Gumesindus and Servus-Dei (in Greek: Christodoulos), respectively a priest and a monk, were martyred at Cordoba in 852. Feast: 13 January.

St. Isaac was born in Cordoba but on account of his fluency in Arabic became a notary at the Moorish court. However he abandoned all this to become a monk at Tábanos about seven miles from Cordoba (see above). In 852 he denounced Mohammed in a public debate and was martyred in his native city at the age of twenty seven. Feast: 3 June.

Sts. George, Aurelius, Natalia, Felix and Liliosa all suffered at Cordoba, probably in 852. Sts. Aurelius and Natalia and Sts. Felix and Liliosa were husbands and wives but St. George was a monk and deacon from Palestine. Feast: 27 July.

Sts. Leovigild and Christopher, both monks, the former at the monastery of Sts. Justus and Pastor at Cordoba (see above c. 304), were martyred there also in 852. Feast: 20 August.

Sts. Emilas and Jeremiah, the former a deacon, were beheaded at Cordoba in 852. Feast: 15 September.

Sts. Rogellus and Servus-Dei, the former a monk, the latter his disciple, were also martyred in Cordoba in 852 for publicly denouncing Islam. Feast: 16 September.

St. Fandilas, originally from Andulasia, was Abbot of the monastery at Peñamelaria near Cordoba where he was beheaded in 853. Feast: 13 June.

Sts. Anastasius, Felix and Digna were all martyred in Cordoba in the same year. St. Anastasius was a deacon at the church of St. Acisclus (see above 304), but became a monk at the men's monastery of Tábanos together with St. Felix. The latter was a Berber by origin, born in Alcalá, but he had become a monk in Asturias in northern Spain. St. Digna was a nun in the convent of Tábanos. They were all beheaded. Feast: 14 June.

St. Benildis, a laywoman of Cordoba, was so moved by the faith of preceding martyrs that she too braved death at the stake on the following day in 853. Feast: 15 June.

St. Columba, a nun at Tábanos was driven by the Muslim persecution from her monastery back to her native city of Cordoba. Here in 853 when called on to deny Christ, she denied Mohammed, for which she was beheaded. Feast: 17 September.

St. Abundius was a parish priest at Ananelos, a village in the mountains near Cordoba. In 854 he confessed Christ before the Caliph at Cordoba, was beheaded and his body thrown to the dogs. Feast: 11 July.

Sts. Amator, Peter and Luis were martyred in Cordoba in 855. St. Amator was a priest in his native town of Martos near Cordoba. St. Peter was a monk, Luis a layman. Feast: 30 April.

St. Sandila (Sandalus) was martyred in Cordoba in around 855. Feast: 3 September.

Sts. Elias, Paul and Isidore were martyred in Cordoba in 856. St. Elias was an elderly Cordoban priest, the others his young disciples. St. Eulogius (see below) has left us an eyewitness account of their martyrdom. Feast: 17 April.

St. Aurea (Aura), born in Cordoba of Moorish parents, became a Christian and a nun at nearby Cuteclara on her widowhood. She remained here for some twenty years until denounced by her own family and beheaded in 856. Feast: 19 July.

Sts. Flora and Maria, maidens of Cordoba, were both beheaded in 856. St. Maria was the sister of St. Wallabonsus (see above 851) and a nun at Cuteclara near Cordoba. After their martyrdom, which is described most beautifully by St. Eulogius (see below) St. Maria's body was never found. Feast: 24 November.

Sts. Rudericus (Roderick) and Solomon were imprisoned and beheaded in 857. St. Rudericus was a priest at nearby Cabra and was betrayed by his Muslim brother. Feast: 13 March.

St. Argymirus was also from Cabra where he was a senior official. He lost his position on account of his Christian beliefs and became a monk. Shortly afterwards, in 858, he openly denounced Islam, confessed Christ and was beheaded. Feast: 28 June.

St. Eulogius of Cordoba, one of the most attractive of all the Cordoban martyrs, was a prominent priest in the city. Well-known for his learning and his courage, he consoled the Christians in their sufferings and encouraged the martyrs writing a book called 'The Memorial of the Saints' for them. In 859 he himself was scourged and then beheaded for protecting St. Leocritia (see below), a convert from Islam. Feast: 11 March.

St. Leocritia (Lucretia), a maiden of Cordoba of Moorish parents, she was converted to Christianity and driven from her home. Protected by St. Eulogius, she was flogged and beheaded four days after him. Feast: 15 March.

St. Laura was born in Cordoba but, widowed, became a nun at Cuteclara nearby. In 864 she was condemned as a Christian and thrown into a cauldron of molten lead. Feast: 19 October.

St. Laura was the last in this series of martyrs, but not the last martyr to suffer in Spain under the Moors. Indeed the next victim was St. Stephen, Abbot of the Castilian monastery of Cardena near Burgos, who was martyred with other monks in 872. They are remembered on 6 August.

TOPICS: Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: islam; muslims

1 posted on 01/15/2005 1:06:50 AM PST by miltonim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Muhammad's Koran-inspired persecution of Christians, Jews and all non-Muslims continues...
2 posted on 01/15/2005 1:11:11 AM PST by miltonim (Fight those who do not believe in Allah. - Koran, Surah IX: 29)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: miltonim

Those who don't remember their History are DOOMED to repeat it!!

3 posted on 01/15/2005 1:16:39 AM PST by 26lemoncharlie (Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum,Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum! per ómnia saecula saeculórum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 26lemoncharlie

Everything the Islamists touch becomes an anathema to Christianity. So many anti-Christian dogmas - Nestorianism, the religious perversions of the Knights Templar, the Albigensian heresy can all be traced back to Islamic influence. When will the Body of Christ wake up to the fact that it is under mortal attack and that denial is not an option?

4 posted on 01/15/2005 2:07:38 AM PST by Podkayne (Get a progressive press)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Podkayne

When John Paul II or his successor make public the THIRD Secret of FATIMA. This was to be read in 1960, but still remains sealed. It is said that Pope John XXIII fainted after reading the Thirs Secret and had it resealed, and refused to make it public.

5 posted on 01/15/2005 9:38:37 AM PST by 26lemoncharlie (Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum,Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum! per ómnia saecula saeculórum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: miltonim

so sad that today's Spainards have almost completely rejected the faith that the ancestors suffered so much for. And with their miniscule birthrates, like the rest of Western Europe, they soon might face the wrath of Islam again :(

6 posted on 01/15/2005 12:37:39 PM PST by sassbox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson