Monday, July 19, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Early Mercedarian martyrs

"Dangers were lying in ambush on land and sea. Mediterranean crossings claimed a high share of redemptive brother's lives. Yet, the hardships endured by the redemptive brothers in Saracen lands were numerous and greater. In the words of a chronicle of the time, 'many times, they are slapped, stoned, beaten, wound by sword, spat upon, dragged through the streets and the mud and finished off as martyrs.'

At the time of the important 1317 chapter, the white habit of Holy Mary had already been reddened by the blood of numerous martyrs. The best known are:

Raimundo de Blanes, protomartyr of the Order. He was beheaded in Granada in 1235; Diego de Soto, from Toledo, the second martyr of the Order, dies near Granada in 1237; Guillermo de San Leonardo and Raimundo de San Victor, two Frenchmen martyred in Mula (Murcia) in 1242; Fernando Perez fro Castile and Luis Blanch from Aragon were captured by pirates in 1250 and thrown into the sea with stones tied to their necks; in 1251 when he was sailing from Algiers, Fernando de Portalegre, a Castilian, as seized by Moslem pirates who hanged him from the ship's mast and shot him with arrows. His companion of redemption, Eleuterio de Platea was cruelly whipped and finally run through with a sword. Both bodies were thrown into the sea. Teobaldo of Narbonne, thrown alive in a bonfire, burned to death in Algiers in 253; Guillermo of Sagiano, an Italian, as stoned and burned alive in Algieers in 1270; Pedro Camin, a Frenchman, as martyred on the coast of Africa in 1284; Matias Marcos from Toulouse was hurled from the top of a tower of a castle in ruins in Tunis in 1293; Antonio Valecio from Liguria, a 60-year old redeemer was stoned to death by kids in Tunis in 1293; Luis Gallo stayed behind as hostage in Moroco and he was burned alive in 1268; Guillermo Novelli, also known as Florentine Guillermo because he was born in Florence, was martyred in Algiers in 1306; Pedro de San Hermes was cruelly martyred in Almeria in 1309; after achieving a redemption, two Catalans, Jaime and Adolfo, were both murdered and the captives were sent bck to their dungeons in Tunis in 1314; Alejandro from Siciliy was burned alive in front of the palace of King Muley Mahomet in order to entertain the people of Tunis in 1317.

Quite often, Moslems did not honor the safe-conducts that they themselves had issued. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Peter Nolasco and his brothers experienced in person and ahead of time the cruelties of what is now called Moslem fundamentalism.--------- The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy 1218-1992: A Historical Synthesis, pg. 59.

May the spirit of my redeeming brothers live on and be ever blessed and our order grow forever in the fervor of their martyrs blood for the love of Christ, His Mother and those in captivity! Long live the Mercedarians!


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Mercedarian Novice, photographer, humorist, handy-man, fence-builder, prayer warrior, lover of Eucharist and Blessed Mother and Holy Mother Church.
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