[Last revision: 4 December 2020]
The first book of Saint Eulogius of Córdoba's Memoriale Sanctorum largely consists of a defence of the cause of the martyrs of Córdoba. In contrast, this book (the second of three) largely tells the actual stories of martyrs. The book is a vital work as it is an account of the martyrdoms written during the period in which the events took place, and Eulogius himself knew some of these martyrs. Therefore the book constitutes important primary source material. The martyrdoms took place in the period 850-852 CE, and can be summarised in the following table. Note that as can be seen from the story of Rudericus elaborated in Eulogius' later work in defence of the martyrs of Córdoba, 'presbyter' (Latin: presbyter) and 'priest' (Latin: sacerdos) are the same here.
In terms of events, the book concludes with the death of Abd al-Rahman II as amir of Córdoba and the accession of his son Muhammad I. In response to the martyrs movement, Abd al-Rahman II had allegedly initiated a persecution intended to suppress the martyrs movement, while arranging a convention of bishops who issued an apparent prohibition on seeking martyrdom (though not attacking the martyrs directly or disavowing the concept of martyrdom per se). In response to the supposed increased suffering of the Christian community, many began to resent Eulogius and other supporters of the martyrdom movement.
Note some of the repeated themes in this work like the concept of predestination of the martyrs as well as divine visions and predictions associated with martyrs.
Other than this, I will largely let the work speak for itself. I have included some explanatory notes for context where necessary. As always, I welcome any suggestions for amendments/improvements in the translation.
Editions consulted for the original Latin text and to check Biblical references in particular:
- Juan Gil, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum (Madrid, 1973).
- Francisco de Lorenzana, SS. PP. Toletanorum Quotquot Extant Opera...Tomus Secundus (Madrid, 1785).
I would like to dedicate this work to all who have wished me well during my period of illness with COVID-19.
Below is the text of Book Two of Memoriale Sanctorum with explanatory notes.
The next brevity of this second work only expounds on the deeds of the blessed martyrs and will bring forth with faithful relation the names, ages, origins and days of the executions. Thus the prudent reader, though thinking very little indeed of the protracted arrangement of the prior book, can more easily understand those whom it brought out in its proclamation and in contrast against whom it inveighed as it was armed with the zeal of God. So that which the former book expounds on with the varying course of disputation in a convoluted manner, this latter book explains soberly with compendious brevity. So we divided this work into chapters, so that the beginnings of each struggle of the martyrs might exhibit themselves more freely to those pondering them.
Chapter One: Concerning the martyr Perfectus, the presbyter of Córdoba
In the name of the Lord who reigns forever our Lord Jesus Christ, in the 850th year of his incarnation, in era 888,[i] and the twenty-ninth of the consulship of Abdarragman,[ii] in whose times the people of the Arabs, augmented in affairs and dignity in the Spanish lands, occupied almost all of Hiberia[iii] with terrible privilege. Indeed they erected Córdoba (which was once called Patricia, now called the royal city in their sitting) with the greatest peak, endowed it with honours, and magnified it in glory, and heaped it with riches and amplified it more vehemently with the affluence of all the delights of the world beyond which it is right to be believed and said. The result was that they exceeded, overcame and conquered the preceding kings of their kind in every pomp of this world. But also under their very heavy yoke the church of the orthodox was wailing and was beaten to the point of death. It was in this period that Perfectus the presbyter of venerable memory was born in Córdoba and was nurtured with distinguished erudition under the pedagogy of the basilica of Saint Acisclus.[iv] He was imbued most fully with the ecclesiastical disciplines and captured with vigorous literary education, and indeed he acquired some knowledge of the Arabic language. He spent almost all his youth in the aforementioned monastery.
But on a certain day while he was making a journey on account of a necessity of a familial matter and looking out for the interests of domestic matters he was entering through the city, he was tested by the questions of certain heathens regarding the Catholic faith and he was ordered to bring forth his testimony in their presence concerning Christ and the Prophet Mahomat. With his mouth continuously wide open he professed the power of the divinity of Christ and proclaimed that he was God blessed over all things forever. Then he said: 'I do not dare to expound on how your prophet is considered among the Catholics, because I have no doubt you will be hurt with grave trouble on account of this. But if an amicable pact intercedes and you accommodate the peaceful agreement of trust, I will say with what testimony of the Gospel he is noted and with what veneration he is regarded by the Christians.' Immediately they fraudulently pledged trust and compelled him to tell whatever is held about him among the religious men with all fear driven away. To these things the prudent priest replied to them in Arabic, saying that that man was a pseudoprophet and most false dogmatist, since (he said) he misled rather many. He brought forth the evidence from the Gospel, saying:
"Many pseudoprophets will come in my name and will mislead many, and they will give great signs and wonders, such that even the elect will be led into error, if it is possible.'[v] From these people among the rest this greatest prophet of yours was occupied with the delusions of the old enemy, misled by the figments of the demons, given to the sacrileges of the sorcerers, he corrupted the hearts of many people of little weight through the fatal poison and delivered them to the abysses of eternal perdition. Thus marked with no spiritual prudence he accommodated their faith to the prince Satan, with whom he himself, as he will pay the punishment in the harshest torments of hell, has also delegated you as followers to burn in the fires of the inextinguishable furnace. For with what pact will be reputed among the prophets or why should he not be scorned with the heavenly curse: this man who blinded by the appearance of the beauty of Zeinab the wife of his household slave Zaid[vi] took her away in a barbaric right- like a horse and donkey in whom there is no intellect- and bound her to himself in adulterous copulation and proclaimed that he did this on the order of the angel?'
From there the blessed Perfectus added many things concerning the disgraces and libidos which are mandated in Mahometican law, and at last he concluded with these words: 'Thus the supporter of filth and the one serving the pleasure of libidos has dedicated all of you to the impurities of eternal luxury.' But he expounded to them many other things, as he had known, concerning the most wicked doctrine of that man and proclaimed many things hateful to their hearing in the presence of all. Although at the time they did not assail him with the proud eye, nonetheless they repaid the fury of vengeance inflamed in their heart to bring about his ruin.
From here the servant of God completed for himself the utility of the necessary matter and having completed the course of his own journey he sought again the house of his rest he remained secure for some time. But not much time later, while the occasion of familiar necessity was compelling him to go somewhere, he by chance met the same people, with whom he had conflicted a little while before. His enemies gazed at him as he came from afar and then they brought forth as a fire in the open the eternal wound kept under kept in the chest against him and to avenge their prophet they urged on a gathering of people standing around in this way: 'Behold this man, driven some time ago by rash madness, brought forth such great words of cursing in our presence against the prophet- may God sing psalms over him and save him- as no hearing of your peoples can bear.' Note they always use this kind of benediction to honour him: 'Zalla Allah Halla Anabi Ua Zallen,'[vii] which means in Latin: 'May God sing psalms over the Prophet and save him.' And so like aroused bees, that whole cohort of perdition rose up furiously against him and brought him forth bound with all haste to the judge while he scarcely touched the ground with his feet. And they brought forth the testimony of this sort about him: 'Oh judge, we have brought this man, whom we can prove to your most esteemed courts cursed our prophet and insulted his followers. Your prudence has known to consider better what opinion should indeed keep in check such initiatives and repress this fury.' Then the judge handed over the future martyr of God to the prisons of iniquity and bound him with iron and restricted him with the importable weight of chains and differed his execution to that day, in which the festive joy of Easter is observed among those people with profane rites. The soldier of Christ went forth with exultant spirits seeking the abyss of the prison and in his delight entered that cave of defendants as though he were invited to a feast. At this point, endowed as he was with the greatest reverence of fear and holiness and observing the vigils, prayers and fasts, he is said to have affirmed with braver mind in the power of the Holy Spirit his opinion, which a while before he had denied before the judge out of fear of death. And before he should be led out to be punished, they say that he was endowed with prophetic spirit and spoke about a certain eunuch called Nazar, a proconsular jailer, who in that time managed the administration of the whole state in the Spanish lands: 'This man whom today the haughtiness of the principate extolls over all the nobles of Hiberia and the glorious power has elevated in this western part of the world, that very thing will touch him in a year's time on the day he ordered me to be laid low.' So the divine power, as it had revealed to its confessor who had indeed been diminished through the squalors of prison, did not put off the fulfilment of this thing.
Therefore with not many months passed in the prison, after the end of the thirty daytime periods of their fasts,[viii] in which they pursue more eagerly than usual the intoxications of gluttony and the flux of libido (as was explained in the first book),[ix] that day more glorious than the rest of the times dawned for the martyr: that is, the day which they celebrate with solemn veneration and the greatest exultant dance per the rite of their false law. On that day as they thought they were going to display great obedience to their God, they led him out from the cave and butchered him with the sword as he professed Christ who remains in the glory of the deity and he rebuked the enemy of the Church with free voices and said: 'I both cursed and still curse your Prophet: as I have professed and still profess, a man of demons, a mage, an adulterer and liar. I denounce the profanities of your sect as being the fabrications of the devil. I also testify that you will pay the punishments of the eternal torments of darkness with your very leader.' Indeed the crowd of the heathens driven by such great festivity had proceeded into the plain in order to pray. This plain was situated on a very level ground beyond the bridge of the river in the part south of the city. Moving forward with jubilation, the crowd diverted itself to behold the killing of the martyr. As the crowd beheld him already laid low before the doors of the governor's headquarters and wallowing in his own blood, with the footprints also stained with the very blood of the priest, the crowd's joy was increased and the crowd returned with its wish fulfilled in order to carry out the sacrilegious proceedings. The crowd believed nonetheless that it would obtain benefits more easily as it proceeded with its steps mixed with the blood of such a great enemy.
But let us return to the purpose and let us relate that which divine piety had brought about to the commendation of its martyr on the very day on which he died, as we have discovered by the faithful relation of very many. For, pouring out a quick revenge to avenge its soldier, it drowned several from the group of the very evil people in river water. For as the crowd returned from the place of prayer, in which it had fulfilled the false vows in sacrilegious rite, many got on board boats and were carried on a beast of the sea: and with the river cut by the boats and the nimble sailing, they turned back home. Among them one small boat was overturned by the fluctuation of the waves. It served as a vehicle among the waves for eight contemptible people and was buried in the lap of the abyss below. While six scarcely got out by swimming, two perished in the shipwreck, such that the scripture which says- 'I the Lord will give the impious in exchange for your death and the rich in exchange for your burial'- was not vacuous. So the cruelty of the persecutor sent one into heaven and the savage storm of the river dedicated two to the lower depths. But the body of the holy martyr was buried with the pious duties of the religious and the worthy obsequiousness of the praesul and priests in the basilica of Saint Acisclus in that epitaph, where his happy limbs rest. And that prophecy brought forth by divine intervention in his mouth concerning the proconsular eunuch jailer Nazar was fulfilled by God's dispensation just as he had predicted to the fellow prisoners while still bound in prison. For before the paschal joy of the profane solemnity should meet those about to die in the next year, the same eunuch died many days before. For a fever was kindled and his entrails burned within and, as several relate, were corrupted by a toxic drink before his death. And while he sought the bedroom as corporal necessity pushed on in order to purge his inner bowel, his entrails were poured out on a quoit and he perished, as a certain Christian poet, describing the end of Arius, related heroically saying:
With his entrails poured out, he also remained empty of stomach.[x]
So thus the Lord, through both miracles, glorified His soldier and strengthened the vows of the faithful with the comforts of great hope and disturbed the sacrilegious falsehood of the impious with vehement stupor. Let it suffice that we have said this very few things from the deeds of the blessed martyr, which we have known to be true through the reports of Catholic men, who adhered to his companies form the beginning in bonds, but also by the true relation of the heathens themselves. In the meantime during the time of our imprisonment we all, with whom the martyr to be was tarrying, found very few released. But the man of God consummated the course of his struggle in piece on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of May, on the sixth day of the week, in the aforementioned era.[xi]
indeed the matter of the such great crime committed against the priest compelled many, who were enjoying in the contemplation of God the leisure of secure confession through the deserted places of the mountains and the groves of solitudes, to come out to decry willingly and publicly and curse the wicked prophet. It ministered to all the kindling of the greater ardour of dying for justice. And that which the treacherous act of the persecutors extorted violently in the beginning from that one man and that which it took out in vengeance against this man through persuasion and clever deception, later shuddered in horror at the very many people who willingly offered themselves to such a crisis. For in such a way with excess terror was the whole mass of the heathens shaken by the coming forward of these people, that they thought that the perdition of their state and destruction of their kingdom was already imminent and prayed in supplication that our athletes should be inhibited from intentions of this sort. But as the preface of this volume contains, let us follow with faithful pen the ages of our contestants, their origins and their times of decision. We will do this in order that the pure series of this little book should make known to generations to come that which has been joined to us and our age by the divine gift- namely the contemplation of the struggle of the saints by our own gazes. This is also so that the future generation may have a share of our joy, while with believing mind it should not deny to be true those things which the Catholics' diligent commission in writing frequently compiles for itself.
Chapter Two: Concerning Isaac the martyr monk[xii]
And so the blessed Isaac was born from the noble citizens of the Córdobans and rather wealthy parents. While he entered the first years of youth and spent his time very fervently among the wealth and property of his parents, in such a way that skilled and learned in the Arabic language he came to perform the duty of exceptor of the state,[xiii] he suddenly burned with spiritual eagerness and sought the life of the monks and made for the small village of Tabanos. This village is seven miles away from the city in the parts of the north amid the rugged parts of the mountains and the dense woods and is renowned for the most beautiful tales regarding the exercise of monastic life of the men and handmaidens of God. He came there since in the same monastery he had his cousin Hieremias a man who was endowed with the greatest reverence of the fear of God. Indeed that man endowed with wealth and enjoying abundance in his affairs and his venerable wife Elisabeth and their children and almost all the relatives laid the foundations of the same monastery by their own expenditure and intending to adhere to perpetual obedience of the divine laws they had brought themselves to that place a long time ago. There for three years the blessed Isaac under the regular disciplines and under the most reverent abbot Martinus the brother of the aforementioned woman he served as a soldier in the holy purpose. Immediately marked out by divine intervention he approached the forum and sought the judge and by the order in which I explained in the preface of the book he died with happy ending under the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ in the same royal city on the third day before the Nones of June on the fourth day of the week in era 889.[xiv] His corpse was hung on a rack and after some days along with the rest, who had been killed in imitating him, it was committed to the most rapacious fire and was diminished all the way to the last ember and from there it was immersed to be lost to the river.
Chapter Three: Concerning Sanctius the martyr
Indeed Saint Sanctius our hearer, once captured as a lay youth from the Albensian town of Gallia Comata,[xv] was decreed as a free man among the military boys of the king and was nurtured by the royal grain supplies. He was cast down and pierced in the same royal city[xvi] under the same profession on the Nones of June, in the aforementioned era, on the sixth day of the week.[xvii]
Chapter Four: Concerning the martyrs Petrus, Walabonsus, Sabinianus Wistremundus, Habentius and Hieremias
Let us now come to that most consecrated group of martyrs of the six-fold mystery, as they in one day and at one hour under the blow of the savage sword they were killed on account of the testimony of the truth.
Among them Petrus the priest was born in the city of Astigi[xviii] and Saint Walabonsus the deacon arose from the Eleplensian city.[xix] Both men were of the same age as the prior martyrs, and came to Córdoba with the zeal of contemplation and were handed over to the liberal disciplines. But with God's support they flourished with the knowledge and doctrine of the scriptures and were put under the charge of Frugellus the abbot of the monastery of the saint and glorious Virgin Mary. This monastery flourishes with the outstanding purpose of the handmaidens of God in the village of Cuteclara not far from the city in the western party. Also Saint Sabinianus arose as a monk already of full youth from the village of Froniano of the Córdoban mountain and Wistremundus a strenuous young man from Astigi. They both came from the Armilatensian monastery of Saint Zoylus[xx], in which they gave themselves for a long time under the rule and abbot. One had been a soldier for a long time in the camp of the Lord, Wistremundus indeed recently brought himself into the same monastery. Both men rushed from different directions to the martyrdom. This place is almost thirty miles and more away from Córdoba to the northern path and shudders at the most vast solitude amid the desert of the mountains. To the root of this hill, where it has been placed, the river Armilata[xxi] roams and nurtures the hunger of the monks with the great solace of the little fish. From this river it is also called the Armilatensian monastery.
Indeed the most blessed Habentius, perfected already with virile age from the citizens of Córdoba, chose the life of the monks and lived at the monastery of Saint Christophorus,[xxii] which is situated in the site of the city to the south beyond the further bank of the Baetis.[xxiii] There dead in this life, but living for Christ under the most bound rule, as he handed himself over to the voluntary prison. Surrounded by the high fences of the walls and hedged in with iron sheets within towards the flesh, he exhibited himself to those who approached through the windows. This such great man was with the blessed old man Hieremias, about whom we have previously spoken, and he also fell among the rest of the servants of God, stimulated by the rather fierce lashes. These six very brave and most outstanding men descended at the same time to attack the wicked enemy. All of them shouted as though from one voice, saying: 'And we remain, oh judge, under the same profession, by which previously our fellow brothers the most holy Isaac and Sanctius fell. Exercise the sentence, heap on the cruelty and burn with all your furies to avenge your prophet, because we truly profess Christ is God and we profess that the precursor of the Antichrist and the author of the profane dogma is your prophet and we grieve knowing that you, infected with the juice of his prophecy and furnished with the virulent preaching of Zabulus[xxiv] will afterwards pay the punishment of the torments, and we sufficiently weep at your destitution and ignorance.' The saints of God professed these things with keen spirit, and immediately were ordered to be beheaded. Previously however they severely cut down with lashes the blessed old man Hieremias on account of some assertion and he was almost dead amid the beatings themselves as they say. They dragged him out through the doors as he scarcely clung to the steps. These martyrs, while they approached the place of the killing, invited each other as though to the banquets. And indeed first the most reverent ministers of God Petrus and Walabonsus fell, from there the rest were butchered at the same moment. This occurred on the seventh day before the Ides of June, on the first day of the week, in the aforementioned era.[xxv] Fixing their bodies to trunks, after some days they consumed them in a most vast fire and handed over their ashes to the river to be lost.
Chapter Five: Concerning Sisenandus the deacon martyr
Also the most holy deacon Sisenandus who originated from the Pacensian town[xxvi] came to Córdoba in order to learn and there was nurtured with dignity at the basilica of the most blessed Acisclus, where the body of the same martyr rests. As he related to people familiar with him, as the most blessed Petrus and Walabonsus who were already martyrs placed in heaven invited him, he also ventured upon the martyrdom. While he was bound in prison, they say that marked out with the prophetic spirit he declared with foreknowledge the hour of his crucifixion. For on a certain day when he was preparing a response to a certain friend asking him and writing a paper of correspondence to him, after going through three or four lines he was suddenly filled with excess cheer and he was invigorated with some heavenly joy. He arose from the place of his sitting, and handed over the half-written document to a boy standing around as the letter bearer, to whom the soldier of Christ intended for the correspondence to be given. As he did this, he said to the many people hearing: 'Go back, son, lest you be oppressed by the attack of the attendants, because already the power of darkness, mandating to drag me out with bonds, will now display me to be beheaded by them.' After this prophecy, as he remained with ever immovable step, in the same moment the vociferous executioners arrived and led him with headlong fury to the place, where he would consummate his martyrdom, as they beat him with fists and blows. The servant of God proceeded with joyful spirits and certain about the crown of victory, as he had been invited to the heavenly banquet at the exhortation of the saints. For thus presented to the judge, with the same constancy as before he endured in the holy confession. So the beloved young man was killed with glorious death and unburied before the doors of the palace he was left, on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of August, on the fifth day of the week, in the aforementioned era.[xxvii] His bones, after many days by the grant of God, were found by certain women amid the little stones of the river bed and having been brought into the court of the aforementioned martyr Acisclus they were buried.
Chapter Six: The martyrdom of the Paulus the Córdoban deacon and Theodemirus the monk
Indeed Saint Paulus our fellow of the same region and this very dignified deacon flourished with the first flower of youth, born as he was from the citizens of Córdoba. He was sufficiently simple, obedient and humane, always showing compassion to the imprisoned. He was nurtured with the spiritual disciplines at the basilica that is illustrated by the presence of the body of the blessed Zoylus. This man instructed by the example of the most holy Sisenandus and his word did not fear to face the chiefs and consuls and refuting them concerning the falsehood of their culture and the insanity of their wicked prophet, he also was killed in professing that Christ is truly god. It is said however that when he was still held in prison, he was implored by Tiberinus the Pacensian presbyter, who thus said to him: 'Obtain my release in the presence of the Lord, oh blessed minister, and by your worthy intervention, when crowned you reach Christ, remove from me the long squalor of prison.' For the same prison was confined to the prison for almost twenty years, accused of some crime by his enemies in the presence of the king. This presbyter still flourishing with the most flourishing youth and endowed with virile comeliness and confined to that subterranean enclosure, became almost decrepit and worn out with old age. Led out from there he was at last confined to the public prisons. In these places the martyrs of Christ spent time all the way to the hour of death. In these places the wicked ventures and execrable rashness of people who committed parricides, people who committed murders, thieves and fornicators, as well as defendants of various crimes, were weakened under the most strict custody. Placed in these places, the aforementioned priest committed the cause of his imprisonment to the blessed Paulus. The holy martyr, trusting in him concerning the crown of victory, promised to satisfy his wish. And not many days after his martyrdom, the faithful bondsman restored the man to his own city after his release from prison with God's support. But the slave of God consummated his martyrdom in peace on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of August, on the second day of the week, in the aforementioned era.[xxviii] His body, unburied and left before the doors of the palace, after several days was removed secretly by the curiosity of some faithful, was buried with the body of the blessed Theodemirus the Carmonensian monk at the sanctuary of the aforementioned martyr Zoylus. This very young man fell on the sixth day after the holy Paulus fell, that is, on the eighth day before the Kalends of August, on the seventh day of the week, in the aforementioned era,[xxix] with the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has helped his saints and crowned them in peace forever. Amen.
Chapter Seven: Nunilo and Alodia the virgins and martyrs
I had originally decided this point should be the end of the second book, and I had thought point should be the end of the saints who rushed to the palaestra of this sort, and I did not think anyone after so many crises of the churches and our imprisonment would undertake such struggles. Indeed as the presaging divinity decided that the number of the saints should be increased by the profession of such people, so later it inflamed the minds of certain people with manifold ardour and destined more than those before to that struggle. And indeed imbuing the rest of the men, women and small ones with the similar vow and magnanimity, it armed them for the exercise of their battles. And no one prescribed for such a great military service could recoil from the struggle, as that person's name was noted and retained by the book of heaven from the beginning of the world and decreed their strength should grow through the divine ventures for the palaestra of this sort. Their names, ages and acts of the wars are to be explained by their place and time. But first to be composed with great labour are those trophies of the saints, which reason and the course of months adduces in order as acts have been, although the deeds were in other regions. But as there is one profession that crowned both people and there is the same time that sent forth both people through the savage impiety to heaven, I do not think it absurd that our compiling annotation has inserted them into the columns of the saints and joined them to the gathering of the elect, so that with equal magnificence of praise they should be elevated by us in the lands as they have been noted in one codex in the heavens above. Concerning this matter it has been decided that succinct brevity of this small work should overstep the measure of the promised connection and the book, which for a long time hoped it would speak more sparingly, should be devolved into a long series of writing as other matters suddenly come out.
Therefore by the referral of a most holy man and Venerius the Complutensian[xxx] bishop of venerable paternity, we have learnt in the city of Bosca that there were two virgin sisters at the town of Barbitanum.[xxxi] One of them was called Nunilo, the other Alodia, born indeed to a heathen father and a Christian mother. After the death of their impious father, since their mother entered into a second heathen marriage and they could not freely hold the faith of Christ- on account of the opposition of the stubborn triumphant paganism (for already the minds of the girls were irrigated by the pious fountain of Christ), they rejected the mother's chamber and were cherished anew most faithfully through the nurturing of their maternal aunt. Immediately their holy infancy began to adhere faithfully to Christ the Lord, and having forgotten the father's rite, and putting back on the religion of the Crucifix with the most youthful and sanctified minds they began to guard it in chastity. And since they were prominent by the distinctions of their birth and stood out with the utmost fasces of dignities, their purpose could not hide away from the city, by virtue of the odour and glow of the conversation of the holy faith that they carried, since already they had touched the first flower of their youth and the rumour of their holiness had filled almost the whole province. And all were amazed that the twin décor of roses had jumped forth from thorns. From here the jealous old enemy grieved at the diminution of its limbs. While through the terrors of the governors in envious arbitration it trusted that those women already marked for the bedroom of the eternal groom could be changed, it brought to the holy virgins the put-off reward in acceleration through the harsh deaths; And so the earnestness of its followers insinuated the cause of the holy virgins to the prefect of the city, who immediately ordered them to stand before his sight. He tried to lure them with the vain promise of gifts and likewise he tried to persuade them concerning riches of things and marriages of most distinguished young men: if they were to call away their minds from the religion of Christ, indeed restored to their own family they would be additionally enriched through the affluences of many riches. But if they should reject the governor's counsel with rather tenacious spirit, then given up on the last day with the excruciation of torments they would finally perish through the avenging sword. To him the blessed virgins, animated by the Holy Spirit, said in constancy and intrepidness under one profession: 'How, oh governor, can you order us to turn away from the piety of God, when holy piety, illuminating with its light, has made us recognise that there is nothing richer than Christ, nothing more fortunate than the Christian faith, through which the just live, through which the holy have conquered the kingdoms? Without him there is no life, without him perpetual death is strong. Remaining with him and living in him are the true comfort. Receding from him is eternal perdition, from his company we will in no way ever depart in this life, because as those who believe that our integrity belong to him, we hope to be admitted at some time or another to his bedrooms. For the benefits of perishable things, by which you attempt to entice us, we consider to be of no value and reject by that intuition, as we have known that all things are vain under the Sun. And we are not disturbed by the threat of punishments, which we know are of little value. On the contrary, the very death, which you bring forth in the last terror, we choose with that most gracious affection by which we believe we are to ascend through it without delay to heaven, approach Christ and cling without convulsion to his embraces.' The governor noticed the constancy of their faith and the virtue of their profession and he entrusted them individually to the instruction of certain contemptible women endowed with the skill of the profane rite and with the terrors by which it was possible he advised they should not be supported with any other conversations or conversations of any of the faithful. Indeed the contemptible women, undertaking the virgins of Christ, expounded to them on a daily basis the poisonous dogma of the sacrilegious cult and amid always watchful care they offered the virgins- replenished as they already were with heavenly manna- the drink of the cup of putrid sewer liquid. So the contemptible women were consumed with tiring labour. But as the contemptible women reported on this obstinacy of those girls to the governor, after several days the virgins were led out into the forum and set in the public spectacle, and professing Christ and detesting the enemy of the faith they fell under the blow of the sword on the eleventh day before the Kalends of November in the aforementioned era.[xxxii] The bodies of these girls, left in the place where they had fallen, were watched over by the greatest zeal of the soldiers, lest the Christians should secretly take them away for the purpose of patronage and bury them. Nonetheless they say that those virgin corpses glitter with signs and miracles in the place- where they were more hidden than buried by the high heathen ditches- and show both the faithful and heathens the glory of the deserved consolation through the accomplishment of powers. This is so through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives with the Father and the Holy Spirit as one God forever. Amen.
Chapter Eight: The life and suffering of the holy virgins Flora and Maria
Although the cult of reverence, which is exhibited to the martyrs, pertains to the praise of Christ, nonetheless whatever is done religiously in the festivities of the blessed responds to the faithful in the remedy of souls, particularly since through this and through the patronages of the martyrs themselves and the greatest Redeemer there is acquisition of the reward, in the honour of which they cultivate afresh the virtue of the saints. Therefore as we intend to explain the trophies of the virgins Flora and Maria, let us not be servile to the charm of eloquence or to the thundering euphonies of words, but let us observe that which insinuates the truth of the matter in simplicity for the faithful, as we believe that the truth explained with pure simplicity suffices for our people rather than falsehood adorned with the false cult and it is sufficient for us to report faithfully what was, because it is not right to add under the beauty of conversation a matter that did not occur. For the complete truth, however it is brought forth, stands with firmer step and perseveres over the small lie that is most ornately decorated, and does not allow the assertor of Christ to be immune from justice through the reward of blessing, since nonetheless the enlarger of falsehood is bound with the charge of murder.
Therefore it is necessary to have individual explanation of the calling of these virgins, who were born on different soil and were joined to the people of heaven by the equal fall of death. And let us explain at least by the thin pen the means by which each of them attained the culmination of the predestined sanctification through God's support.
So first the most holy virgin Flora, who was very flourishing with the appearance of beauty and beauty of body, but most flourishing in her interior. She had a Christian mother from the village of Ausinianos, which is eight miles west from Córdoba, and her mother's origins were of the most pure and noble, as I have said. But she had a heathen father from the town of Hispalis.[xxxiii] These people on account of some reason came to Córdoba to spend time there as they were exiles from their own places. From their most recent birth they brought forth this little child, and with the father taken away through death she was nourished in the sponsorship of Christ through the tutelage of the most faithful mother. The pious mother, imbuing her with the laws of the sacred religion, taught her to revere with faithful credulity Christ as God, as he came to us in the recent time through the womb of the Virgin Mary and having been made near to men through the assumed humanity was always invisible, incomprehensible and inestimable through the ineffable deity as well. So the venerable girl in her most youthful years imbibed the piety of faith and began to construct a holy altar inside the recess of the mind, by which she might always offer the choice burnt offerings of good works to Christ. She, depriving herself of all vanities of this world from the very rudiments of her childhood, rejected all that which that age- since it has no share in the fullness of knowledge- aspires to in childishness, for she was already imbued with the dew above. For at a certain time, when I was approaching her mother in order to know the beginning of the conversation of this girl, the mother herself said: 'In truth I speak to you that from her very early years my daughter found the love of Christ in her heart and completely rejected the cult of secular delights and always was keen to consider those things which are of God, and she never put off fulfilment of the sacred works. As such, in her infancy, with the days of Lent, taking into account her smallness, or so that the next stage of life would grow in strength more robustly, I offered her food as appropriate daily nourishment, at the hour of lunch. But she, having placed her heart in the virtue of the Lord, would give the food to the poor, and she secretly carried out the blessed fast. And as she acted thus on the individual days, almost the greatest time of abstinence had elapsed, when the secret devotion of the child was only just revealed through certain indications. I myself strove to prevent her from such vows, lest before the very young body should grow it should be shaken by the decay of abstinence, so I then tried to persuade her to the daily meal. Nonetheless I could not incite her to eat, except at a late period and with continual threats. However, the chosen bride of Christ completed her vow.'
From that time the mother, looking after the customs of her offspring through skilled vigilance, and considering that she was assigned to Christ in all matters, did not dare in anyway from there to go against the pious desires of the girl. Indeed the venerable girl, while she was eager to please God, attended as a foreseeing observer of the Gospel to Christ who advises and says: 'If anyone loves me, he will keep my words and my Father will love him and we will come to him and we will make an abode with him.'[xxxiv] Thus preparing within the purest habitation through execution of the divine command she nonetheless merited to enjoy the daily advent of the holy and indivisible Trinity.
Indeed while through the exercise of sanctity she carried out for the love of Christ with greatest exuberance that which she contemplated in secret, and she rejoice that she was continuously acknowledged for Christ through the same religion, nonetheless she did not dare to participate in the gatherings of the faithful everywhere, seeing as how she had a brother who was a perfidious follower of the evil dogma, who assiduously tested her conversation. As she herself was prudent by nature and clever in character, she learnt from the wise ones that obscured credulity and hidden profession of the Trinity accomplish nothing, particularly since it has been written: 'There is belief in the heart for justice, but let profession by mouth be for salvation.'[xxxv] And again in the Gospel: 'All who profess me in the presence of men, I will also profess them in the presence of my Father who is in the heavens. And he who denies me in the presence of men, I will deny him in the presence of my Father who is in the heavens.'[xxxvi]
And so she was instructed usefully as to how she should act in professing the name of Christ and she knew that believing secretly in Christ was no small difference and that she was publicly marked with the banner of Satan. So then, without consulting her mother she left the home secretly with her sister and went into flight. And as they placed themselves in safer places amid the Christians, their brother, whom we have mentioned earlier, with the most savage pursuit harassed the church of God on account of them, such that handing over several of the clerics to prison he persecuted everywhere the gathering of the religious women. And when they recognised the hostility that was being exercised towards the church, they deemed it unworthy for them to be safe while the church of God was being attacked, and so immediately Saint Flora, who had known that she had been chosen by divine intervention for such a battle, came back publicly into the home and said: 'Behold I, whom you seek, am present in the midst of you: I for whom you pursue the lot of God with hostile intent. I stand without fear, believing in Christ, supporting the Catholic religion, bearing the stigmata of the cross and striving for all those things that mark the cult of piety. But you, if you can, weaken this profession. Strive to overcome my faith with rather cruel torments and, which I altogether doubt will happen, strive to separate me from Christ, for the love of whom whatever the savage arbiter has imposed to punish me, I have decided to bear with most gracious spirits. I believe, you will establish that I profess Jesus Christ amid the punishments with stronger tenaciousness than now in the first encounter.
But her brother, the perverse one, heard these things and strove to call her back with beatings and threats, and sometimes with soft words. But when he saw that his attempts accomplished nothing, indeed seeing that he was being worn out with tiring labour, he dragged her to the judge saying: 'The most recent birth of my mother, oh judge, brought out this sister for me. She, along with me, followed with reverence the ceremonies of the law and always showed the due obedience towards the cult of our faith. But the Christians, urging her on with frequent instigation, have made her deny our prophet and detest the rite and with a certain flattery they have enticed her to believe Christ is God.' The judge asked her whether the complaint of her brother bringing the report was true. Immediately she refuted her impious brother and testified that she in no way had known the Mahometan cult, and she added: 'I have known Christ from my infancy, I was instructed in his teachings, I decided to consider him God and I have promised the integrity of my body to him, as I was at one point marked out for his bedrooms.' When the most holy virgin brought forth these things, soon monstrous fury agitated the sacrilegious breast of the judge and moving anger to strike the martyr ordered amid both followers for her hands to be bound and for her to be stretched out and striking her head with terrible beating he insisted on the whippings all the way to the point that with the skin cut with the hair, the bare bone of her head lay open. Nonetheless the young martyr and virgin endured in her profession. Then the judge, leaving her half-alive and almost dead to her impious brother, advised that she should be treated with medicine and instructed in the word of the law she should at last be presented to him, if she did not convert.
From there the virgin of Christ was led back into his home, and that unjust enemy, not brother, committed her to the domestic women to be cherished with warm lotion and words, indeed bolting the bars of the house with the great beams of chains, because the whole circuit of the small estate, fortified with a huge wall, deterred anyone from worrying about escape. And so not many days later the brave Flora, having recovered from her wounds, when she felt that she was safe, on a certain night through a contiguous cottage attached to the home within the retinue, she climbed a high wall with the Lord's help and from there threw herself outside onto the broad soil. She, stimulated with no grief, began to enter through the darkness of the night, with angelic guide accompanying, to the place where the Lord wanted. Thus restored to the guest hosting of a certain faithful person through the chaos of the night, while she remained in the same place for some time, from there she sought Ossaria- renowned village of the city of Tucci[xxxvii]- with the intention of hiding there with her sister and she remained hidden there all the way to the time when she consummated her martyrdom. And I, I the sinner, I the one rich in iniquities, who from the beginning of her martyrdom enjoyed her friendship, with my hands united touched the wounds of that most reverent and beloved head, when the virgin's hair had fallen from the blows of the whips.
Indeed since with God's support the auspices of the conversation and martyrdom of the blessed virgin Flora has been noted, I think it would be worth the effort here if I should explain likewise the process of birth and the beginnings of religion for the holy virgin and martyr Maria, so that the intent of pen in the relation of the vocation of this virgin should be similar in all respects for those who have had the same agreement on waging the battle and the same assent of dying for justice. The father of this girl is said to have come here from the town of Eleplensis, not humble in lineage, but Christian nonetheless. He took a wife of Arab origin and purifying her of the error of all impiety assigned her to the faith of Christ. For this reason, unable to live in his own land with the same wife, he was driven as a fugitive through diverse areas, until through divine guidance he came to the town of Froniano, which is twelve miles west of the city in the Córdoban mountain. He had two offspring from her: namely, Walabonsus and Maria. There they continued their life in strength. There the woman, snatched away from the jaws of the wolves, and remaining in the faith of Christ, after some time came to rest in the Lord. There the surviving husband, having attained the step of profession, entered into the strictest way of eternal life as he took delight in the joys of heaven, but he handed over his son to the ecclesiastical rules to be brought up and to the presbyter Salvator of pious memory so that he should be mixed with the lot of the Lord. Salvator at the time controlled with distinguished system the monastery of Saint Felix, which was founded in that place. Indeed he assigned this holy virgin in devotion to God to the Cuteclarensian monastery, which glows with the memory of the glorious and eternal holy Virgin Mary the Mother of the Lord. He settled her with a certain woman of the greatest holiness called Artemia, who herself has previously sent to heaven two children through the death of martyrdom: namely, Adulphus and Ioannes, who in triumphed in manliness over the enemy in the beginning of the reign of this ruler. The deeds of these people, shining like the stars of heaven, were composed for the benefit of the holy church and the example of the weak by the rather broad pen of the old man: our master and most illustrious abbot Speraindeo[xxxviii] of blessed recollection and memory (about whom we have mentioned in the first book).
So Artemia, by the grace of her sanctity and advanced age and the fact her sons had obtained martyrdom, preceded the rest of the women staying in the same monastery. On account of this, the gathering of the whole virgin monastery was marked by the order of her authority. But she taught the girl, as she had herself known, to serve God, engaging her mind in all humility, chastity, obedience and fear of the Lord. But after not much time, as the aforementioned priest Salvator receded from this world, the father also led back the boy to himself to be raised. As two martyrs to be they made great accomplishment in the fear of the Lord by the grace of the Holy Spirit. At last indeed through the ecclesiastical grades the young Walabonsus grew and performed the honour of deacon, while the girl flourished no less in all holy decency of the religion, since they loved each other with much kindness and obeyed each other in turn in all spiritual love through the sweetness of the shared siblinghood. Indeed as the most holy virgin preceded her young brother in age, the sister was honoured as mother by him and she changed the brotherly love into affection for offspring.
Therefore while these things were being done assiduously among them, through the dispensation of God the most worthy deacon Walabonsus with the blessed Petrus the presbyter and the rest of the professors, as has been understood above, was crowned with martyrdom, and he who was younger than his sister in age became first in the election of martyrdom. And so the handmaiden of Christ remained devoid of the present-life comfort of her brother, even as before the constitution of the world she was predestined for martyrdom was always protected within and without by her brother's intercession. And, as the fragile condition is, as she longed for rather frequently the gaze of her brother, in whose consort she was to take delight, through a certain rest the holy martyr advised a certain religious woman that now his sister Maria should cease to weep for her, because in soon enough she would come to him in the heavens above. From that day the heart of the virgin burned with love of martyrdom, and she who impatiently grieved over her brother's death was suddenly illustrated by divine intervention and gasped with impatient ardour for martyrdom.
So on a certain day, by Christ's invitation as I believe, she left the monastery and descended for the forum, where like the rest of the martyrs, who already took delight in the heavenly reward, this virgin also in professing Christ and denouncing the adversary of the holy faith should obtain the crown of martyrdom. When with the intention of beseeching the Lord she had entered the church of the blessed martyr Acisclus while on the same journey, with the nod of the Lord in the same place she found Saint Flora invoking the prayers of the martyrs to help her. She herself also was hot with the renewed zeal of waging battle for Christ who says to her: 'I come again to be crucified.' So she had come down swiftly from the place of her hiding place, intending to find the palm of the martyrdom that had once begun. Then, having given each other kisses and greeting each other, they got to know each other through asking questions in turn. And the mutual profession brought forth that their vow was one and the same, with the equal division by Christ who says: 'Wherever there are two or three gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.'[xxxix] Thus they were bound with the indissoluble bond of kindness, and by no cause were they to be separated from each other, and with no fortune interceding were they to be split from each other, and they were not to be separated from each other no matter how savage the overhanging disasters might be, which were to be heaped up to their perishing on account of the profession of the truth, such that one should approach Christ and the other her brother Walabonsus in the heavens. And thus standing before the judges in the same impulse, thus first (as I think) did the most holy Flora attack them with rather firm address, saying:
'Behold here I am, I who- since I adhered to Christ even as I was created from heathen seed- have long been lacerated by you with harsh beating so that I should deny him. I have so far been hiding in the infirmity of flesh as a fugitive here and there, but now relying on the power of my God, I do not fear to stand before your headquarters, and I profess in truth with the same constancy as at first that Christ is God and I declare publicly that the criminal dogmatist- your pseudoprophet- is an adulterer, mage and sorcerer.' Then the venerable virgin Maria brought forth these words with her mouth sanctified by the diffusion of the heavenly graces: 'And I, judge, who once had a brother among those magnificent professors, who died denouncing your prophet with not light insult, assert with similar boldness that Christ is God in truth and profess that your right and the ceremonies of your law are the figments of demons.' Immediately the most savage arbiter, aroused with raging fury, raging under that terrible voice, decried the virgins' purpose with the harshest cry, rebuked them with threats, argued back with shouts, adding the squalor of prison and the company of the harlots.
But the hidden recesses of the prison took up the limbs of the brides of the Christ for protection rather than diminishment, since they- always dignified with the chaste décor from the cradles and flourishing with the act of holiness- glowed with the particular grace of the virtues. The holy virgins, remaining in these places for some time, engaged in fasting, devoted themselves to prayer and freed themselves from all that horror of the prison through the contemplation of the heavenly hymns. Then we also, having been led out from the cave, while these people were being delegated to the prison, composed the book Documentum Martyriale[xl] for the instruction of those girls with God's support, and we dedicated it in the consolation of contemplation and consummating the battles that had been begun to those who were already almost slipping away from the purpose through the persuasion of certain people. We attached at the end of the small work a prayer appropriate for their struggle and the whole church.
There remaining as they were in the praises of God and the most holy Virgin, after the third admonition they were led out into the forum to be laid low. Let me be silent about the inquiry of the judge brought in turns to them, both as a whole and individually to the most blessed Flora as we have already explained elsewhere. And while we are silent somewhat on account of mediocrity, so that the protracted words should not generate tedium for the readers, the precious death of the virgins constrains the pen with an appropriate end. From there led forth straight to the place of the beheading, they made the holy signs with their faces. And thus with necks extended, after the blessed Flora, Saint Maria was laid low. They left their bodies in the same place to be devoured by the dogs and picked apart by the birds, and then on the next day threw them into the river. Among them the corpse of the holy virgin and martyr Maria was placed back by God's grant in the Cuteclarensian monastery, from which she had descended to her martyrdom. However it is wholly unknown in which place the Lord placed the body of the most blessed virgin and martyr Flora. But their heads were buried in the basilica of the martyr Saint Acisclus, where he protects the Christian peoples through the present favour of his body.
Finally at least we care to add to the place of the story that before the blessed virgins fell, they promised to certain fellow sisters that in the same place where they would attend to Christ their crowner, they would pray to their husband whom they had acquired through the veil of grace and would free us from the binds. This indeed came to pass through God's support. For they consummated their martyrdom on the eighth day before the Kalends of December,[xli] and they released us from the bonds and cast us forth from the squalor of prison on the third day before the same Kalends of December.[xlii] This was in the aforementioned era, through Christ our Lord, who lives with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.
Chapter Nine: Gumesindus Toletanus and Servus Dei who died at Córdoba
Saint Gumesindus the presbyter from the town of Toletum once with both his parents while he was still a small boy came to Córdoba and with the devoted affection of his parents he was assigned to the heavenly soldiery through the sacred order of the clergy at the basilica of the three saints, where Faustus, Ianuarius and Martialis the martyrs[xliii] rest with the present ashes of their corpses. He shone forth with the worthy education of the pedagogues in the fear of God. When after some time he was consecrated in the holy ministry of the deacon, at last as a young man he was put in charge of a certain rural Córdoban church. From there, he came down to the city with the blessed monk Servus Dei, who was at the time uncovered in the aforementioned sanctuary while still a young man with Paulus the presbyter. Both of them came to the chiefs and judges under the profession of the rest and fell on the Ides of January, in era 890.[xliv] Their bodies were secretly carried away by the Christians and were buried with religious cult in the basilica of Saint Christophorus the martyr, which is beyond the river in the southern part.
Chapter Ten: Concerning the holy martyrs Aurelius, Felix, Georgius, Sabigotho and Liliosa
There was also a certain young man, called Aurelius, preceding in birth and very many things. This man, orphaned of his Christian mother and his heathen father, was cherished by the tutelage of his most faithful maternal aunt all the way into the years of young adulthood and he was taught to believe in truth that Christ is God, and he was imbued with the doctrine that the path of salvation and the journey to the kingdom of heaven cannot be otherwise found beyond the church. The venerable boy very much imbibed this article of faith, such that while he was handed over to relatives who came together in order that he should be instructed in Arabic literature, no figments of the falsehood could change the notification of the faith that had been set before in the innocent minds by divine intervention. Rather, always retaining his Christianity in his heart, when he engaged in contemplation of the scriptures doomed to perish for the purpose of mere derision, he burned all the more with the love of the Christian faith, such that more clearly examining the follies of the perverse dogma, he noticed the subtle fallacy of that demon-possessed man. And although he could not practice the cult of his faith publicly, entrusting himself everywhere nonetheless to the priests of God he asked for more effectual prayers to be made for himself.
Meanwhile as a strenuous young man he was carried forth in the years of youth and his face was adorned with manly décor as his cheeks flourished. From here, through the encouragement of his relatives, he was compelled to seek a marriage appropriate for his nobility. From here each one of his relatives, as far as he had known, asserted that the offspring of such-and-such and such-and-such was best. But he, contemplating otherwise within, committed the business of his marriage to Christ. He prayed to the heavenly power with the frequent interventions of prayers that a wife flourishing with such vows should be given to him: she who might strive to accomplish his secret for the better and support the hidden worshipper in mind and body. At last, aided by its favour, he found a virgin packed with good offshoot, renowned in affairs, decent in customs and very beautiful in form. Although she was outwardly decorated with the particular form of beauty, nonetheless within she glowed more presently with the spiritual décor, indeed all the glory of a daughter of a king from the inside, that is, in the depths of the mind. For there with sanctity in the golden fibres, that is clothed with the various virtues, she showed pleasing servitude to Christ the king.
For this girl, born to pagan parents, was deprived of her father while she was still lying in the cradles. Her mother married another man, who secretly held faith in Christ. Extirpating his spouse of the error of impiety, he was eager to assign his stepdaughter to Christ and he called her Sabigotho from the sacrament of the baptism. Though publicly they mixed with the pagans, both parents exercised with rather firm mind the religion of piety. The venerable young man acknowledged this girl for himself by the right of conjugality and fulfilled the titles of the betrothal, and with lawful display delivered through the pledge of the down payments alternating in turn, finally they were consecrated per custom through the ministry of the priests. And thus with equal companionship for some time they practised the faith of Christ privately and weighed down by the weakness of the flesh (and not in fact the diminishment of the vow) they did not reveal the secret of their faith to all.
Aurelius also had a certain man as a blood relative, called Felix, bound to the same man in the holy love. As he vacillated in his faith because of the devil- although later he sighed rather deeply for the error of his transgression- he could no longer exercise the religion of Christ in open assembly. He also married the daughter of secret Christians- her name was Liliosa- and worshipped Christ in a more hidden sense in the hidden recesses. So adhering to each other in an unshakeable manner, they always had one familiarity, exerted the same sweetness, and they did not separate in prosperous or adverse events, and they had the same condition. And that such great necessity of piety brought the perfection of kindness in both brothers, such that they were divided in neither life nor death, as the equal cause of religion had brought them together. About them it deserved to be narrated: 'Holy ones, lovely ones and righteous ones, how they have loved each other in their life, and so also in death they have not been divided.'[xlv]
There not very many years later, it happened that on that day the venerable Aurelius set out into the forum, where that Ioannes, whom we noted in the first book, was bloodied through beatings all the way to the point of death because of hatred of Christ's name, was carried backwards on an ass and was bound with the immense weight of chains, so that the litter of the mule was being bent back on the part where his legs were hanging. While the callers of the illusory things preceded, that man was dragged to the spectacle of the crowd with the ministry of attendants while going around the city. And as the voices of the degraders resounded here and there, saying that in no way had the same man still paid the worthy punishment for his crime, since it was fitting that the one who did not fear to assault the prophet of such great reverence with insult should be afflicted rather with the most disgraceful death, immediately the warrior to be, driven by the love of martyrdom, was instilled with some sort of heavenly breath, such that he believed that the spectacle was for him and was shown to him as a cause of admonition, that he should of course not fear those who butcher the bodies, since they can bring no worry to the souls, but rather he should fear the one who can lose his body and soul and send them into Gehennam.[xlvi]
Admiring the firmness of the man's faith, he said: 'Indeed the tabernacle of the faith of this man has been founded over angelic stone, as the such great force of storms has not driven it, nor has the breeze of the temporary punishments shaken it. So if this man, who bears the standard of Christ with the aspects revealed, has borne so many savage torments by the zeal of the Redeemer, although he could also escape the disaster of that punishment by erring, and as he judged as better the loss of his flesh rather than the perdition of his soul, he has not allowed for himself to be drawn away from the religion of Christ under the article of one voice, in what punishments am I to believe that I should be deservedly instructed, and with what punishment ought I to hand myself over to be rebuked, so that I may seize the vigour of that condemned man whom I have beheld today and I may enjoy his constancy?'
As he had begun to ponder these things in his mind while the breaths of the vocation were already growing from above, he returned home and reported to his pious companion all the things he had seen and added with joyful spirit: 'You always, my most sweet wife, while I was living for myself and was dead to God, have persistently urged me on and drawn me to the profession. Everyday you pressed on, striving to tear me away from the pleasures of this world. You preferred the happiness of the eternal kingdom to the dark affections of this world. You urged for the abandonment of all perishable things and everything that is bound with an end. You advocated for the monks, you praised those renouncing this world and loving the conversation of the religious women you rather often sighed for the life of the saints. But I, not yet having been illustrated with the urging of the grace above, could not all together acquiesce to the exhortations of salvation, or perhaps not yet insisting on the admonition of my correction that was predetermined by God the Father, I put off carrying out with efforts that which I was considering in my mind, though lightly. Behold now, oh most dear one, the acceptable time has come. The days of salvation are present, in which jumping back from the past and exterior things we should extend ourselves into that which is before us. And at first, considering more completely the elegance and continence of all things, let us be free to pray, by which we may hurry more easily to the remaining things of sanctity in diligence. Let the one who has been my wife now become my sister; let the bed of our union cross in the affection of siblinghood, let the offspring of the souls be successful; let the generation of the spiritual ones come into being and, with the foul joining of the limbs rejected, let the mind removed from the delectation of the flesh know how to bring forth more readily the seeds of perpetual safety, so that in some way we may be considered worthy of the prize of martyrdom through the contemplation of such labours.'
With their spirits rejoicing, the venerable wife undertook the pious counsel of her husband and rejoicing very much in the suddenness of the unexpected salvation, she said: 'This is the change of the right hand of the Most High; these are now the auspices of our vocation; these are the commercial matters of the eternal kingdom that I always wished for, so that dying in flesh we may live in spirit, so that we may more easily be joined to the one, about whom it has been written: 'The Spirit is God and those who adore Him must adore in spirit and truth.'[xlvii] Therefore, my Lord, since this has not been revealed to you not through human intervention, but rather the Heavenly Father wants you- destined as you have once been- to hasten now with the quick steps to the eternal military service, let us now absolve ourselves of all the bonds, let the dust be shaken out of us, and let us arise with the desire of the eternal life.'
And thus there was the common assent of both for servitude of God. They were divided by beds, joined in vows. The posts of the small bed glowed with the variety of clothes and colours, by which they might hide their conversation from the people. But in the internal recesses of the tabernacle they lay apart in sleep over a couch erected with a crude side, merely drawn up with the coverings of shaggy hair. They often fasted, prayed without intermission and contemplated whatever psalms they knew by night. They overcame the abyss of the darkness as the labour of vigils came in between and they overcame all the trickery of the demons through such endeavours. They ministered to the needy, and showed all together care for the poor. And since the aforementioned Ioannes was still being held in prison, we also having been led out from the cave were being held in bonds, and also both the virgins- that is Maria and Flora- were then dwelling in the hiding places of the women for the sake of the faith, they frequently came to the prisoners: of course from that time of the blessed Isaac the monk and the rest of the saints, who with their tongue endowed with the preaching of truth, had come to the chiefs and judges intending to profess those things that are true, and had fallen because of the same truth. Through their enduring constancy, and their strength multiplied with virtues, the strength of these people was increased. For that man would come and see the men, while his wife would look for the women held in their enclosures.
There I recognised him, there I obtained his friendship and there he begged for us to instruct him as to what should be done concerning worldly matters and the two offspring that he had received by God's gift, if it was allowed for them to be forsaken, as indeed he rather deeply grieved that they would be handed over to the profane rite after his killing, and if it was right to leave the abundance of riches without arrangements and to be immediately added to the treasury. I thought that in view of the heavenly kingdom and for the sake of the eternal retribution, he should not only abandon all things, but also he had to flee them and rather there had to be looking out for the interests of their own souls rather than the interests of the children, as Christ indeed is avenger, father and author for them. And I taught that rather noting of temporal matters should be put before the longing for the Redeemer and enjoying the company of the saints. In light of these things, I immediately added: 'If the foreseeing opportunity is at hand, by which all these things may be arranged with the masterly discretion interceding, we think it first useful for the offspring to be brought across to a safer place, where they can be more freely assigned to Christ. Also sell all things per the command of the Lord and have the proceedings given to the poor, by which the more expedited entry may be open to you after Christ. For thus the holy Truth said to the young man who asked how he might possess eternal life: 'If you wish to be perfect, go, sell all things that you have and give to the poor and come, follow me, and you will have treasure in the heavens.'[xlviii] But even if some part is to be left to support the children financially, it will not be culpable, since many documents of the fathers insinuate. Thus if you can attain this dispensation, it is the best thing and the more perfect benefit, which will drive you after expediting all the business matters to go more securely to the soldiery of heaven. But if indeed, with the bolts of certain difficulties barking, this dispensation is taken away and no freedom is available, by which these things may be supplied most indulgently, particularly since you fear more that disturbances can emerge from something, which may obstruct your intention, one must not hesitate to reject the patrimony, because much better and broader is found in heaven, where you strive to set out. The condition of the daughters is not to be put before the society of the saints, since also God can nurture them in this life as He compacted in the womb, seeing as how He has foresight care for all things. Not all small children are nurtured by the diligence of the parents and not all offspring are brought up with nourishing labour. A man is born, and is deprived in the cradles of the comfort of the father. Nonetheless he is not deprived of the guiding helm of the Creator, as He is the father of the orphans and the judge of the widows. Oh how many small children brought up more luxuriously with the care of nurses end up in worse states of affairs! How many children grow from horrible poverty into the affluence of great wealth and become masters of many things, even as they have been scarcely carried forth with very meagrely bread! Many born of the Christians, with the obstruction of the defect, are deprived of the limb of the church, and several sons of the pagans, with the grace of the Lord surpassing, rush back to the redemption of the faith of salvation. And the sacrilege of the parents is no obstruction to the latter and the religiosity of the parents is no use to the former, since also these people receding from the faith are alienated from God while those people believing in Christ, through whom they live as just people, are snatched away from the Devil and cling to God eternally. Of this matter the Lord is witness, for in the Gospel while refuting the impudent falsehood of the Jews said: 'Oh progeny of vipers, who has shown you how to escape from the wrath to come? Therefore make fruits worthy of repentance and do not say among yourselves: We have the Father Abraham. For I tell you that God is capable raising the sons of Abraham from these stones.'[xlix] And again: 'Many will come from east and west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob in the kingdom of the heavens, but the sons of the kingdom will be cast forth into darkness outside. So there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."[l]
Therefore as the venerable young man was instructed as to how he should consider the process of the battle of martyrdom, he implored for himself to be comforted with the prayers of the prisoners and departed in peace with more joyful mind. And although the same man did not cease to visit us, as long as those enclosures of the horrible prisons held us, nonetheless the most prudent Sabigotho inhabited by night as though she were one of the prisoners that den of the women, where the most sacred virgins Flora and Maria were being detained, so that she might console those struggling and commit herself to the condition of those struggling, or rather so that she might be imbued with the skills of fighting for Christ the king and get used to waging battle. She insisted with prayers, and worked with beseeching so that they might be mindful of her after obtaining the consort of the bridegroom following the triumph, by which they might at least merit to enter heaven after pouring out the blood. Immediately the holy virgins gave the trust of bestowing this benefit, as they had known that their prayers could not be resisted in any way after the victory and they could not deny anything to their fellow soldiers, as they did not doubt they would be heard.
While therefore the handmaiden of the Lord Sabigotho was undertaking servitude to Christ most closely after the martyrdom of the virgins as she was less suspected, and consulting the interest of her body worn out by the exercise of the vigils she rested for a little, they say that both virgins- that is Maria and Flora- clad with snow white robes of various white-flowered shrubs and managing the maniples with their hands, together with the chorus of the saints bearing drinking vessels in their hands, by which, as I think, they might bring the prayers of those who had come to the battle for notification to be provided in the sight of the Lord: all of these people, glowing with the clarity of the heavenly luminaries, came to the same person in her dream. While she wished them, as she thought, to recline on the couches with the most humble supplication, terrified by the majesty of the dwellers of heaven, scarcely approached them with delicate address saying: 'What trust of the beseeching once sent forth to you in prison, oh most sacred virgins, do you order me to have? And if I am to obtain the benefits of my vows, elaborate with the most gracious responses, lest running in vain we fall into emptiness, lest our men be consummated with the vain labour of effort, while the intention looks for one thing, and merits ask for another thing. Indeed although God favours merits more than prayers, nonetheless the same has known how to renounce the doubling of prayers that the dignity of merits does not help. Therefore, my mistresses, brides of Christ, if all the way the faithful hope resides in us for upholding the prize of your guarantee, command to elaborate, so that we might hurry more quickly to the heavens above, so that we might be strengthened more strongly in the struggle.'
Then the holy virgins, soothing her with the diffusion of the heavenly graces said with the endowed addresses: 'The benefits of your labour, having been stored in the heavens, have been preserved to be measured by you at the necessary time, and the pay of those prescribed will not slip to the battle, which compels the most unconquered athletes to go to the kingdom. In short the martyrdom has been predetermined and predestined for you from the constitution of the world by divine intervention, as it has been right for you intending to fulfil it after a little while to engage in devotions of sanctity that are more happy than usual. Therefore admit the drink-offerings of the priests to your labours, implore the helps of the saints, everywhere commit yourselves to the prayers of those serving Christ, dwell in the venerated sanctuaries of God with votive running about and search for the supplications of all the religious, because although the prizes prescribed for you are to come about at some point, nonetheless it is true that through this industry you can take hold of the summit of such great goodness as though you are leaning on certain steps. And as we testify that our words of this sort are certain in evidence, we will send you a monk who will cling to your company in the struggle that is imminent for you. This person has been ordained by divine intervention to obtain the palm of martyrdom with you.'
After this vision was taken away from the eyes of the one gazing, the blessed Sabigotho was more vehemently attracted to accomplish the wars of the Lord through the miracle of such a great affair. She indeed arising more cheerful from sleep increased the works of sanctity, instructed the brittle sex for the fight and through the heavenly gift she increased her strength to fight. From here, now with the firmer hope now held in trust, she informed her husband and taught that he should be entirely deprived of the earthly things, because (she said) having been dedicated from the beginning of the world to the heavenly military service they would mix straight away after the victory with the dwellers of heaven.
From here more and more inflamed with the flaming desire of enjoying the Redeemer and the holy associated, putting aside the condition of the children they rejected what the perishable face of the world contains. They dismantled everything, sold all things, so that they might be freer in pursuing Christ. From this price of money, they left some to the children and applied all the rest to payments for the poor. They visited the monasteries of men and women, in particular however the Tabanensian monastery, about which we have mentioned rather frequently, because through the utmost rules of monastic discipline it illuminated the whole west with stories of its good fame. From there the most brave athletes consumed the teaching, from there they seized on the institutes, there they immersed themselves in the cup of eternal life. There frequently the most holy Sabigotho delayed with the handmaidens of od, there she learnt the diligence of all holy fear, there they set the two offspring under the tutelage of the blessed women.
Oh renunciation of the world to be admired, and the admirable divine ardour, by which the condition of the sons is rejected, by which the affluences of wealth are rejected, by which the sweetness of those nearest is rebuffed, by which death is chosen for life, by which all perishable things are despised, by which through the regard of eternal happiness the bonds, beatings, crucifixions, prisons, beatings and torments are considered for the greatest delights! Indeed one of the daughters was eight years old, the other was five years old. After the killing of their parents I found the younger one. Scarcely expressing eloquence with her most young mouth, she urged me in a most child-like way to write the deeds of their parents, bring forth their acts, write on their trophies. And when because of this I asked what benefit I might expect from her (I am about to say strange things, that such a young age could readily notice such things, unless perhaps it is to be believed, that she was imbued internally by him, who perfected his praise from the mouth of infants and sucklings,[li] and said: I will seek to get (she said) oh father, paradise for you from the Lord.
Indeed as on the right occasion, for the sake of explaining the smallness of the little children, we have departed from the direct order, by which we might attach a matter that is brought about after the ninth month of their martyrdom, we have now introduced to the story that is wretched and still labouring under the earthly troubles. Brotherly reprimand ought not thus to defame us for as culpable people we do not fear to be rebuked by the Lord. It is no obstacle whether in the last, previous or middle place that the truth is discussed, since the asserter of the truth is in no way deprived of the blessing. Therefore retracing our steps, let us rush to the remaining deeds of the blessed ones to be reported with more devotion.
While therefore with eagerness for the things of heaven they pursued at every time the vigils, as well as prayers, charities and fasts, nonetheless frequently they were sprinkled with the star above in their bedroom where they contemplated these things, in such a way that the heavenly light that fell, compelled every appearance of present light to be thought of as interpolating horrid abyss in comparison with it. Often they were elevated by divine revelations, they enjoyed the conversations of the angels, united in mind and spirit with the joy of the dwellers of heaven, they bore the bodily burden not without heavy trouble. For on a certain day when I had sought the hall of the most serene teacher our Albarus,[lii] commended in all the West for his knowledge of scripture, for the purpose of mutual comparison and instructing our mind with alternating proposition in the problems of the scriptures, I found in his presence the soldier of Christ Aurelius seeking a consultation on the struggle of agony and imploring how he might seize the auspice of martyrdom. The same outstanding teacher and flowing fount of wisdom of our time instructed him in the examples of the fathers and ordered him first to consider carefully the strength of constancy, to notice its secret, to consider the arcane and whether he was more able to bear the things that were imminent than divert the punishments as he finally intended to receive the sword on his delicate neck, and if he strove more to attain the merits of the martyrs rather than to be called a martyr, and if he strove, while unknown to flourishing lands, to be assigned to the catalogue of the elect in heaven by his merits more than he gasped to have a renowned name of temporal martyrdom with the prize in the heavens above diminished.
Then he, pledging that he would fight all the way to death, professed that his intention would not be overcome at all by any force of torments. He said: 'For me, for me, the greatest consolation of life is Christ and dying is a gain, because for me the earthly conversation is the darkness of the blackest night, and the memory of the worldly passage breathes the aroma of the perpetual life.' Thus the cause of our arrival became the common joy. Indeed we rejoiced from the mutual gaze. We believe that the Word of the Father Most High participates in our counsel, as He testified that He descends everywhere on a gathering dedicated to His name, saying: 'Wherever there are two or three gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.'[liii] And since we reported more things appropriate to his struggle and the same man received our teaching with the most gracious spirits, he returned to his own affairs, sufficiently (as I think) aided by our comparison immediately intending to enter into the wars of the Lord.
Indeed the blessed Sabigotho while she was residing alone at the home several days before her suffering, and was beseeching Christ concerning he perfection of her martyrdom with whatever gains she could, suddenly she saw a virgin of wondrous beauty standing before her, invigorated with the angelic décor, bearing the first flower of youth (as was thought). When she said to her: 'You, who are you daughter? And if you come from a neighbour, explain the reasons why you have arrived.' Indeed the notable virgin said: 'I am the offspring of your friend Montesis, whom you know was once taken away from the wretched things of the earth and whom you found lifeless at the same hour, in which she was being vexed by the utmost anxieties, before you visited more recently. And although I, almost eliminated from this life, had not known you, nonetheless in the very moment of my passing I recognised who you were by God's revelation and now by His sending I have come as the preceding announcer of your palm. Now the time of pursuing the victory presses on for you, the days of publicly professing the Catholic faith and repelling the darkest enemy are at hand, in which, with the accusations brought to rest, the depths of the heavens will take you up to be crowned after you have been anointed with the eternal peace.'
Therefore the venerable woman, scrutinising her heart and contemplating with herself the address of the one present, immediately recognised the matter that came back to her memory, and before she should give thanks to the girl who preached to her, that form of the virgin, the announcer of heaven and the heralder of her martyrdom, disappeared from her sight. She became joyful at such heralding, she was animated by the heavenly oracle and she was roused to the battle with all the more stronger hope as she saw that she was shamed by the truth of the act brought to completion.
Indeed so that more and more they might turn to the aim of their predestination and be without doubt regarding the reward stored up and so that the edict of the holy virgins, some eight days before their apprehension, the long-since promised professor was admitted to their company. And unshakably bound to these people in a certain way, all in one moment were crowned with happy martyrdom. Therefore we have judged congruous to expound the account of the same monk, because the choice has interceded, and because his cause shook our age with vehement admiration. Also we have judged it worthy of effort to be mandated for bequeathing to the succeeding generations, so that in him the religiosity of the Catholics may be increased through the increment of faith, for in him it sees the oracle of its Redeemer fulfilled in truth in a certain special way. Indeed our master and Lord had foretold that many coming from east and west would recline with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob in the kingdom of heaven,[liv] because we behold with the effects revealed the testimony fulfilled entirely in the very monk and deacon Georgius.
The countryside of Bethlehem brought this man his origin, and the foreign shores brought him his heavenly place of dwelling. This man, I say, born beyond the seas took delight from his youth in the servitude of God. He spent under the magisterial rules twenty-seven years at the monastery of Saint Sabbas, which is some eight miles to the south of Jerusalem, united along with five hundred brothers who lingered in the same monastery (as he himself told us by his mouth). The venerable abbot David, then the procurator of his monastery, sent him to Africa for the stipendium of the monks. That man in no way put off undergoing so many interceding difficulties of the lands and seas, by which he had indeed known without hesitation that the benefit of the greatest virtue was merited for obedience. But when in the same place he had found that the church of God was being attacked more harshly by the incursion of the tyrants, he also went to Hispania by the consultation of those to whom he had been sent. For he was, as we ourselves had ascertained most certainly about him, a man of the greatest humility and great abstinence. In all his address, words and response the fear of the Lord. Always rather swiftly pouring out kindness from the pure fount of his heart he brought forth the honeycomb of delight. He preached that the goading of the heavenly longing had to be sought, he ordered to subdue the limbs with the vices and worldly desires, so that in the advent of the Lord they would be animated with the recurring vigour of virtues and would appear more glorious with him. Thus endowed with sober sanctity, he objected to being seen as just and too much being said, indeed pleasant, cheerful modest and abstinent thus he made use of this world as though he did not use it. And when he was compelled to take up food by chance through brotherly kindness getting its way, he ate sparingly, drank soberly so that you would judge him more abstinent rather than feeding. He would temper the unmixed wine with water to the point that while the colour tinge was there, the taste was absent. For the tasteless taste, he thus reported, does not allow the guest to drink excessively or be drunk. Rather frequently he ran to prayer, he rather diligently performed vigil. Rather often he contemplated the divine song in his heart and would say: 'I will bless the Lord in every time, always praise of Him is in my mouth.'[lv] And while he was skilled in various tongues- namely Greek, Latin and Arabic- he did not aspire to any sort of glory at least on account of these languages. From the day in which he sought the monastery and was added to the cohorts of the monks all the way to the crown of his martyrdom, as he himself related to certain people rather secretly, he was neither soaked in water nor did he use the baths. Until he conversed with us he did not reveal his order to anyone at all, except when he was already detained in prison.
He prepared the epitome of his martyrdom for his brothers, relatives and all the citizens of his country, which he transmitted to me for the purpose of polishing, lest the rather uncultivated words should take away the faith of the accomplished matter from those to whom it was being sent. There in the beginning of his diction he testified that he was a monk and a deacon. Indeed what is the use of dragging the words out for long, as though the martyr's blood does not apply the greatest reverence to the life of the man of god, particularly when the martyr's very own blood insinuates how great and what kind was poured for the justice of God and because the foreigner, not refusing a foreign burial to this world, has found all the affection of his birth soil and neighbours within? Or what praise will extoll the soldier of Christ more than to have given death for the Lord, spirit for the life, blood for the Crucified, so that the taking back of the servant should be the very thing that is the victory of the Crucified?
But how the blessed minister was added to the gathering of the saints, we believe that it can be noted better by the tongue of the Saint Georgius himself, by which both the series of our diction, with the words of the martyr placed in between, may be seasoned as though with the salt of blessing on top, and the transaction of his connection with the rest of the saints may be learnt in addition through the same man's narration. For also in those very days, in which he had a conversation together with the saints, he expounded on his own deeds and those of the aforementioned martyrs he directed it finally to be approved by us. From his words we have cared to have these things inserted into this work, which we have foreseen to be sufficient to insinuate their connection. Indeed the rest of the things that follow after the end of the words of the servant of God, we will trace out by the cover by which we began. So he said in this way:
'In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Perfect regards in the Lord Jesus Christ to the whole Catholic Church from me the unworthy one and sinner Georgius the monk and also the brother deacon and colleague of the servants of God the five-hundred men who are sons of Saint Sabbas. Know, oh most dear brothers, that my entry into Hispania was nothing other except for the purpose of requesting your stipendium, as you spend time under the strictest regulation and regime of the holy father David of Jerusalem. Having been sent by them to Africa, I migrated from there into the Spanish lands. But finding this very peninsula very much afflicted, I began to toss with various thoughts, that either I should return to my own soil or seek the realms of the Christians- that is, Francia. And while I consulted the most intimate and dear over this matter, several ordered me to travel over, most urged me to return to my monastery. From here as though hesitant and shackled by various dragging, I did not know to which intention I should first submit myself. But going from Córdoba to the Tabanensian monastery, in which the blessing of the brothers and sisters might accompany my journey, the abbot Martinus and his sister the mistress Elisabeth said to me: 'Come brother, and receive the blessing of Sabigotho the handmaiden of God.' As soon as she beheld me, she said: 'He will be the promised companion of our struggle and this colleague monk.'
Therefore after recognising her cause and discovering her story I immediately flung myself to her feet and asked her to beseech the Lord on my behalf, whether by chance illustrated by the regard of the Holy Spirit I had merited to attain those things that she was awaiting. And she said: 'From where do we have this, oh father, that you should go with the sinners?' And when I had stayed in the same place on the same night, there appeared to me in a vision of the night the venerable woman Sabigotho and applying some kind of fragrance of the most precious wood she said: 'I have a richer treasure from this.' So in the morning, we straightaway descended into the city to her husband Aurelius and I prostrated myself at his feet, asking him to pray for me that I should be a partner for them in the martyrdom. As he immediately agreed, a heavenly fire burned in me through their prayers and I became one of them. And since them I was not separated from them, but all together gathered in the home of Saint Aurelius we rendered the vows of praise to the Lord with pleasure. There among them I found the blessed Felix with his most holy wife Liliosa, as they had already sold all their things and paid out to the holy places and the poor, prepared as they were to undertake every kind of torments on account of the Son of God and love of Him. At the same hour I went out from them and put together in all hurry the causes by which I was entangled. And thus at last very much strengthened I returned to them, and they happy and exulting about our return rendered thanks to God saying: 'We know, oh most dear brother, that the Lord sent you to us.'
After these things we all in common began to consider how we would reach the longed for crown. And with God's dispensation we thus decided, that our sisters with revealed faces should go to the church, if by chance the occasion for arresting us should be given. And thus It was. For as the women returned from the church, a certain man placed in front and obstructing the way was standing by. When he recognised the cause of the religion in the women, he immediately asked the men why the women were rushing back to the sanctuaries of the Christians. They responded: 'It is the custom of the faithful to visit the churches and to seek out the halls of the venerable martyrs with the pious affection of devotion. For as we are Christians, so we profess that we bear the standard of the very faith.' And immediately an informer approaching a judge brought forth our whole account in his presence with deceitful tongues. After these things the master Aurelius went to visit his daughters. As he said goodbye to them with the kiss of peace, and armed with the heavenly virtue, he hurried to the battle.' But here already as Saint Georgius curbs his pen, we will follow the things that remain as we have begun.
Afterwards on the same when the blessed Aurelius knew that he would be arrested, before the twilight should exhale, seeing us at home for the purpose of saying goodbye he implored us to pray to the Lord on his behalf and demanded that the supporter of his struggle should become the brotherly kindness through us. There we entrusted ourselves to him, there after kissing his hands we had his patronage become on behalf of us and the whole church. After these things, with kisses given in turn, we were separated in peace.
Therefore when the judge got to the case brought against the saints of god and knew that the one responsible for this matter was Aurelius, gravely wounded within by this he ordered them to be brought before his sight as quickly as possible. Then the soldiers with rapid running occupied the home of the blessed Aurelius, where all the saints remained gathered. They began to shout before the doors: 'Come out, wretched ones, come out as you intend to die at close quarters, as to you the present life is tedium and death is reckoned for glory. Behold the judge calls, he is at hand to pour out the decree of revenge. He wants to grind those who recede from the cult, prepared as he is to cut the rebellious necks. Go you now to pay the debt of death and the overhanging sentence for the error that has been committed.'
From there the men with their women proceeded as though invited to a feast. They went triumphantly, they jumped forth in joy. You would have thought that they would now find their gifts with the judge, even as they had nothing other than torments. And when Saint Georgius saw that he was not being held by the soldiers, immediately relying on holy audacity he turned to rebuke the executioners and said: 'Why do you impose this privilege on the faithful and compel them through violence to worship the false deity, when the holy faith has to this point claimed them as its own? Indeed why, oh people alienated from God, do you strive to add to your perdition those predestined for life? Or is it that you will not be able to approach the infernal confines unless you have us as companions? Surely without us the eternal torments will burn you? You go away, you go there, you who will perish, where along with your leader you may enjoy the delights of the depths of hell. For what do we have to do with Tartarus, which Christ who is our God penetrated, absorbed, plundered and overcame, such that as he had long since been accustomed to guide the saints by their privilege he now did not dare to abandon the faithful?'
The man had scarcely finished his words and already the furious right hand of the attendants laboured to inflict injustice on the monk. Lacerating him with various goads, they dashed him to the ground and beat him also very keenly with kicks and punches. When Saint Sabigotho, thinking he was already dead, shouted to him: 'Rise, brother, let us go.' He, as though he had endured no evil, replied: 'All these things, oh sister, are useful for the benefits of the merits and augment the crown.' And thus rising him half-dead from the ground with equal lead with the saints they made them stand before the judge. They were brought before him. First he asked them with bland affection why they receded from their cult, refused to live and strove to lose the benefit of temporal delights blooming with multiple flowers, particularly as eventually in the future not only did the admirable delight of women await them, but also the abundance of dignities and dishes awaited them to be pampered. Immediately as though from one voice they said: 'No affluence of this time, oh judge, can be compared with the eternal benefits, for the sake of which we look down on this life through the faith of Jesus Christ, by which every worker of sanctity, indeed we are sure that we will gain the rest of his blessing in the future as it has been promised to the saints. Indeed every cult, which dissents from the divinity of Christ and does not profess the essence of the holy Trinity, denies the baptism, defames the Christians, diminishes the priesthood: we judge such a cult to be wholly disgraceful, and we think perishable matters to be of no value as they do not last for a long time. But the things that Christ has promised to those who love him, although they are ineffable, nonetheless they always endure not worn out in joy and they are not beheld by the eyes and not captured by the ear and they are not weighed with the heart.' Indeed, as I believe, as the saints asserted before the judge something else more religious through open mouth and as they bravely attacked the sect of the impious, the judge was aroused in the greatest fury, and ordering them to be sent with quick dragging to prison, he decreed that they were to be loaded with the burden of chains that cannot be carried.
Immediately with exultant spirits the blessed martyrs, going to the prison, rejoiced in the auspice of the suffering, deemed the punishment to be of little concern, sang hymns, intoned praises, performed psalms and pursued prayer, by which they might prevail to obtain the victory with the Lord's support. They were visited by the angels, illustrated with miracles, the bonds flew apart and did not dare to bind those whom God had absolved. There also they recognised through God's revelation what sort of light they had in the heavens. From here remaining sure of the palm and gasping more hurriedly to see Christ whom they faithfully served, they extended their death all the way into the fifth day, and late at night they thought they would be held back longer from that sweetness of the kingdom of the heavens, which they almost beheld now with frequent corporeal visions.
But when they were led out to be laid low in the forum, the venerable Sabigotho began to arm her husband with holy addresses, strengthened him, instructed him and confirmed him. They were led into the palace, attended before the consuls, wealth was displayed, power was exhibited, which they would enjoy if they believed. But with these people tarrying in the town in their profession, the consuls delegated them to the executioners to be killed, but decreed that Saint Georgius the guest should go away on the grounds that the very same optimates and notables of the palace had heard him bringing forth no insults against their prophet. But the outstanding minister, as soon as he discovered that he was being abandoned and was not being delegated to be killed under one blow of the sword with his allies, said: 'Why, oh chiefs, do you have doubts about my profession which I did not bring forth in your presence, or do you think that I consider there to be something prosperous about the disciple of Satan? For I, so that you may recognise more truly, believe that the angel, which appeared to your same bringer of precepts by transforming itself into the spirit of light, was a demon. And I deem this man to be more abject than all men, as he was the credulous minister of the devil Antichrist and the a labyrinth of all vices, who will not only have immersed himself in the whirlpool of the abyss, but also will have dedicated you follows through his inane institutes to the eternal fires.'
Then the notables aroused into strong madness ordered the death sentence upon him with the rest. And thus first killing the blessed Felix, and then Saint Georgius, afterwards they killed the venerable Liliosa, and finally the outstanding strugglers Aurelius and Sabigotho on the sixth day before the Kalends of August, in era 890.[lvi] Our Christians, raging, buried their bodies in various places. So Georgius and Saint Aurelius are kept in the Pinamelariensian monastery. The blessed Felix protects the courtyard of Saint Christophorus that is beyond the river. Saint Sabigotho was united with the ashes of the three saints. The venerable Liliosa rests with Genesius the martyr. Indeed the heads of Georgius and Sabigotho inhabit [...][lvii]
These are those who struggled for the testimony of God and the faith of Jesus Christ all the way to death and put nothing before love of Him, not their sons, not their parents, not neighbours, intimates, friends, affairs, villages, possessions or estates. But throwing all these things behind their back, with their bodies mortified with the vices and desires, they were led forth to the eternal immorality, with our Lord Jesus Christ reigning forever. Amen.
Chapter Eleven: Christophorus and Leovigildus the martyr monks
From there Christophorus our monk of the same region, a young man born at Córdoba and a hearer of us from boyhood, who following our magisterium entered the monastery of Saint Martinus, which is in the Córdoban mountain in the place that is called Roiana. He showed that the example of sanctity was abiding in those of pious will. After getting to know the killing of the preceding saints, he quickly descended into the city and soon did not fear to face the judge and rendering the testimony of truth in his presence he preached the Gospel, preached the holy things of the Lord, exhorted the crowd given to the profanities, refuted those who believed in evil, and brought forth that they would pay the punishment of the eternal figure with their false author of their doctrines. Immediately, the judge, moved with savage fury, ordered him to be confined to the prison, and ordered him to be tormented with rather tight chains.
Then also Leovigildus the monk born at Eliberri,[lviii] of full youth, a holy man, just and fearing, from the monastery of the Saints Iustus and Pastor,[lix] which is in the interior of the Córdoban mountain, in a place called Fraga between the hills of the mountains and the dense woods, neighbouring the small village of Leiulensis that is twenty miles from Córdoba, where he had brought himself recently to stay. He arrived intending to obtain martyrdom. And before he should enter the forum, he inquired of us for the sake of his instruction and he beseeched, entreated and begged that we should help his efforts through prayers and hand over to him the blessing of consummating the struggle, promising that he would manage our care before the Lord. And when strengthened by us he departed in peace, soon in the presence of the judge he came intending to relate his profession and he gave the testimony of the faith according to the constancy of the rest. He, struck with blows and disparaged with insults, was immediately handed over to be detained in the savage prisons. There the servants of God cherished each other with mutual counsel, and were strengthened in turn. And thus bound with equal vow, when the hour of the slaughter was at hand, Saint Christophorus begged the blessed Leovigildus with the reverence of age to precede, as afterwards he himself would fall. And thus in this order both died on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of September, in the aforementioned era.[lx] Their bodies were burnt with fires placed under but before they could burn within, they were seized by the care of the faithful and buried at the basilica of Saint Zoylus.
Chapter Twelve: Emila and Hieremias the martyrs
After a not long interval two young people, illustrious ones born from the a noble family of Córdoban citizens, rushed to the palaestra of martyrdom. They were Emila and Hiermias, who from their infancy studied literature at the basilica of Saint Cyprianus. One was consecrated to the ministry of deacon, the other spent time simply in layperson habit. And as both men excelled remarkably in Arabic tongue, they say that Emila heaped up reproaches through the same language against their prophet with such great fluency, that they forgot the insults of the preceding martyrs, as they saw that the pursuits of these people were rather sharply growing against their dogmatist. And thus now not only did they begin to consider for themselves about the deaths of these resisting people, but also they contemplated to destroy the whole church, because the heathens, struck with very much terror of so many men rushing to the martyrdom, thought that the destruction of their kingdom was imminent, since they saw that young people were bound also with such virtue, whom they tormented in prison and finally killed with the avenging sword. And when that whole day was illustrated with clear serenity, suddenly at the same hour in which they were beheaded, a violent crash of thunder that arose struck the earth, and the air scattered the glowing lightning bolts. You would think that the upper axes were being torn asunder. The sky was armed with the cloud of hail storms, the day was obscured and the air was tinged with whirlwinds. The elements professed that the pious athletes had fallen. They suspended their bodies on racks and fixed them beyond the river on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of October, in the aforementioned era.[lxi]
Chapter Thirteen: Concerning the martyrs Rogelius and Serviodeo
When the prisons still had the aforementioned martyrs, behold two others came forth, holding the same profession as the rest and attacking the enemy of the faith with the same vow. One of these who arrived was born at Eliberri, a monk from a village that is called Parapanda, and he was a eunuch and already an old man of advanced old age. His name was Rogelius. The other called Serviodeo, a eunuch still a young man who came as a foreigner a few years before from the eastern parts beyond the same into the aforementioned city intending to live there. These men, binding themselves with equal treaty, brought forth one vow of struggling for the justice of God all the way to death, not intending to recede from each other by any mishap so that they should merit the things of heaven by their blood. And so seeking that temple of sacrileges, in which the received crowd gathered rather often to fulfil the abominable rites, they passed the threshold, got themselves into the crowds, preached the Gospel, insulted the sect of impiety, refuted the gathering. They put forth that the kingdom of the heavens approached the faithful, but the demise of Gehennam for the infidels, and they would undoubtedly incur this end, unless they returned to life.
And exhorting the people with these words of this sort, the words had not yet receded from their mouth and behold as though a pyre rustling in thorns, a cohort of the maligners burning in rage against the servants of God beat, lacerated, struck, cast down and strove to kill the saints, who had presumed to enter their temple, because they also consider it a great crime in their view, and if there had been no judge present, who through a certain privilege of his power restrained the murmur of the raging people, they would have then and there been deprived of their breaths of life. He had them snatched away from the hands of the beaters and confined to prison and ordered them to be drawn tight with iron and he mixed them with the thieves. Even there they still preached, prophesied, announced that death was imminent for the tyrant. They praised the religion and refuted the falsehood. And although vigour was lacking for the limbs within in order to bear the punishment, nonetheless the tongue did not cease from preaching the oracle of truth all the way till death. But indeed since they had entered their temple evangelising, the tyrants and consuls decreed that first their hands and feet should be cut off and then they should be beheaded. The servants of Christ rejoiced at such a decree, and were cheerful as they were to receive in the town the sentence of this sort. The most ferocious executioner pressed over them, shouted, raged, threatened, and ordered the elect to hurry to the punishment, whom indeed they saw had a greater desire of moving, than the same man had of bringing about their demise. Who is to explain the cruelty of that hour, oh most dear brothers? Who is to report the disasters, who is to announce the crucifixions, who in short is to narrate the admirable constancy of the saints, when the heathens themselves, astounded by such a spectacle, felt something rather indulgent about Christianity?
Therefore set in the place of the beheading, the holy martyrs, before the guard advised, extended their palms, prepared their upper arms, and receiving with the span of their outstretched arms the imposed slaughter, their hands jumped in different directions. From there with their legs cut off, they were afflicted with no sadness, and finally they fell when they were beheaded. They fixed their corpses, maimed as they were, to gibbets beyond the river and they were added by them to the crucifixes of the rest on the sixteenth day before the Kalends of October, in the aforementioned era.[lxii]
Chapter Fourteen: The plan to destroy the Christians, which the king entered into with the notables
Moreover, the heathens were very much disturbed by the cause of the martyrs, and the king himself, roused into the greatest fury, considered various things in his heart, by which he might be able to repress the intention of the saints. Also he consulted the wise, explored with the philosophers and inquired with the consuls of his kingdom about this matter. They all unanimously conspired to destroy the faithful and decreed that the Christians should be arrested and bound under the most restricted prisons. Then indeed far removed from doubt was the difficulty of killing them taken away, if any rash curser of their prophet should arise further. We wretched ones, having discovered this pronouncement, fled in different directions, went away, wandered away, went into hiding and with timid running in different directions and with habit changed, we seized the nocturnal silences, as the leaves fell we were driven away, we frequently changed residences, we sought safer places and trembling we fell apart far and wide, fearing to die through the sword, even as we were going to die necessarily at some point. Indeed we fled the brave martyrdom not because we fear death, which is inevitably coming at some point, but because we are unworthy of martyrdom, which has been given to certain people and not to all people. For those who are now made martyrs and are to be made martyrs have been prescribed as such from the beginning of the world, as the apostle says: 'He has known them beforehand and has predestined them to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He himself should be the firstborn among many brothers. But those He has predestined, He has also called them, and those He has called, He has also glorified them.'[lxiii]
Chapter Fifteen: The disturbance of the Christians and the various opinions of the same people on the council of the bishops convened at Córdoba.
Many therefore were useless to the Lord's granary, having been cast out from the apostolic net. They did not merit for the vases to store them as good men, but rather as chaff they merited to be confined to the inextinguishable fire. They refused to flee, endure and even hide with us and abandoned piety, erred in faith, abdicated their religion, detested the Crucified. Regrettably, they handed themselves to impiety and submitted their becks to the demons, blasphemed, detracted and undermined the Christians. Also very many, who previously preached with us in sound sense the victories of the martyrs, brought forth their constancy, praised their trophies and extolled their struggle, from both the priests and the lay people they changed their opinion, felt otherwise, judged as indiscrete those they previously asserted were most felicitous, because the saints, not wanting to endure with weaker ones, rather decided to consult the benefits of their peace and tranquillity, which they believed they would earn through their blood in the heavens, instead of consulting the tottering Church amid the rocks of the treacherous. It was as though those people strove to strengthen the change of their mouth and the changeability of their tongue through certain maxims from the law. But they did not consider that no one prescribed for such great military service, and to be reckoned in the curia of heaven, could be retained by the mortal bonds, with the hour of vocation at hand. This is so even as they read everyday with us in the sacred Scriptures that neither life, nor savage dangers, nor even death itself can ever prevail to snatch away the Saints from the kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.[lxiv]
But those who from the beginning did not cease to defame the acts of the saints and tried to subvert their intention with their disgraceful whispering. The war that they could not bring on the glorious soldiers, they turned cruelly against us, and asserted that we were responsible for this matter and made the accusation that all those things were perpetrated by our instigation. There was a certain exceptor of the state of that time, powerful in vices and riches and only nominally Christian, but unknown in works to God and His angels, and hostile from the beginning to the struggles of the blessed, as well as their detractor, diminisher and defamer. He was unjust, bombastic, arrogant, proud and dishonourable. On a certain day in the present council of the bishops he moved his tongue against me and heaped up many insults. He decreed the pronouncement of anathema on the saints contemplating such things, ordered to curse them, ordered to persecute the elect with his pen, fearing most unhappily of all that he would endure the loss of his honour, as he was not only eager to show no reverence to the saints, but also he ordered to preach among the peoples that what they do is evil.
And although as we were driven by fear and the judgement of the metropolitan bishops, who for the same reason were then brought together from various provinces by the king, we discussed something that was creeping on the ears of the tyrant himself and the peoples, the letter declared after the pontifical decree was sent forth that the martyrdom was banned and no one from here was allowed to rush to the palaestra of the profession. But the same letter hardly at all attacked the struggle of those falling and it was to be understood that it extolled in praiseworthy terms the soldiers to come. Yet since the letter was brought out in allegorical terms, that could only be noticed by the prudent. However, we do not think that the decision for dissimulation was without blame, because bearing one thing and sounding another it seemed as though it checked the common people from the rush of martyrdom. Indeed we profess at least for the common people that there should only be remission by legitimate satisfaction.
Chapter Sixteen: Abdarragman the king suddenly dies; his son Mahomat[lxv] succeeds into the kingdom.
In short when the demise was overhanging the Christians from every party and the threat of the leader burning with immense fury was compelling many of the elect to err, many brought against us the Israelite rebuke when they saw they were being rather heavily oppressed, as they said: 'Let the Lord see and judge because you have made our sweat stink in the presence of this tyrant and his servants and you have provided them the sword to kill us.'[lxvi] For with the number of martyrs growing the anger of the leader grew more and the disturbance of the faithful was increased, so that almost our mishaps were reckoned with the persecutions of the Pharaoh that once arose against Israel. Indeed just as on account of Moses' intervention with the Pharoah, the Egyptians raged more fiercely against God's people and oppressed them, subdued as they were, with the unbearable calamity of very heavy works, so also because the saints descended to the battle to speak in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of the king and profess to the consuls and judges the truth of the Gospel and bring forth the falsehood of the unjust prophet, we were overturned more harshly than usual and from the roots we proceeded to be destroyed by the ministers of the demons.
And as we were bound by such great pressure and we more frequently lamented and as our people hid and wandered, the pontifex was handed over again to the horrible chasm of the prisons and no one of the noble laypeople dared to enter through the doorways, as they feared the future prison on the day after tomorrow, the king began to seek heights of the temples and ascended the sublime terrace intending to survey the towns. And immediately he saw the bodies of the saints from the region hanging on the trunks. Forthwith he ordered for them to be burned to kindled fires placed under. Their ashes, with God's support, were buried through the holy places. And oh power of the Saviour to be admired and stupendous power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who always attends in the tribulation when sought, having been knocked opens, and having been invoked hears! For that mouth, which ordered the saints of God to be burnt, was suddenly obstructed by divine intervention at the same hour, indeed his tongue, with the angel's strike, was repressed and clinging to his palate could speak no further. And thus led back into his bed by the hands of the carriers, he gave up the ghost at a certain hour of the same night, before the pure of the corpses of the saints could be extinguished. So the same man, deprived of life, was delegated to the eternal oven, leaving his first-born son Mahomad as the successor of the empire. He was an enemy of the church of God and a malicious persecutor of the Christians, who with a seemingly inborn hatred rather often put forward investigation against the faithful and appeared to be no inferior in merits to that man, by whose name he was distinguished. For on the day when he obtained the sceptre of the kingdom, he ordered the Christians to be removed from the palace, deprived them of dignity, rendered them without honour. He also arranged many bad things afterwards to be imposed against us, if he should obtain the prosperity of the kingdom and prosperous outcomes. But we, placing our hope for safety in the Lord as the end of this work is at hand, do not fear what this man will do to us, as we believe that we everywhere will be saved by the intervention of our advocate Lord Jesus Christ, who says: 'Behold I am with you in all days until the consummation of this age.' Amen.
The prayer of the same Eulogius to Christ to complement his book and for every lapse that has been committed in this work.
Behold, my Lord God, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, our true Emmanuel, the beginning of my life, the fulness of my spirit, the perfection of my salvation, inflamed as I am by your zeal, driven by the love of your saints, compelled by the kindness of the brothers, having felt sympathy for the tottering of the people of little thought, moved by the hatred of your enemies, so little as I am in knowledge, sparing in ingenuity, devoid of intellect, grateful as I am for the spectacle of your goodness and mercy, relying on your piety and strengthened by your clemency. So by hour help I have completed this work I began, and I have concluded it as I could, not as I should have, or rather I should say as you have given for me to be able. I have opened my mouth, oh Lord, and I have spoken because you ordered, and as you wanted, you have filled, and you have compelled my hearty, cast down as it is with iniquity, to narrate the most just acts of your just people. You have armed my tongue, impeded as it is with crimes, to proclaim your praises and you have preserved my mouth, which the bolt of vices had obstructed for a long time, to elaborate on your faithful testaments, endowed as it has been suddenly with a certain agony. I feared, oh my Lord God, my works and remained worried about my own crime. Although I put off the remedy of emendation, nonetheless I pondered the testimony that was rather often proven about my iniquities within my very self, I considered my judgement, I considered the due defence of the charge against me, and as my mind, worried as it was by its failures, knew that the news of its deed remained with you, it hardly dared to strive for heaven. You indeed deign to push my tongue as though it is suitable for your ministers to ordain the heavenly sacraments. For because I intended to construct material of such great merit through my own scarce merits and because I explained things of morality although I am impure and because I explained the holy things of the saints although I am dirty, I did not rely on the pomposity of pride, but humble and abject I did this in order to acquire prizes and acquire the patronage of the saints, and indeed so that I should not be ungrateful for the talent brought together through Your power or also lest matters worthy of heaven should be handed over to perpetual forgetting with no one stipulating.
You, Lord God, have known my love, have penetrated my intention, have understood my vow and have not ignored the cause of discussing such things. You have given instinct to a small person, You have helped a very wretched effort, You have raised an insignificant person to grand things and have made a weak one lively. For, oh my Lord God, did I not think myself to be chosen beforehand for such great things, that at last I should be the compiler of the deeds of the saints, even as I was a committer of grave sins. Surely You will be witness, if I lie? If I construe falsehood, surely you see? If I affirm otherwise than what was, will You be able to overlook? If I do not bring forth the truth, it cannot hide from You, as You have known all things? Certainly You consider all things, penetrate all things, understand what is secret, see what is profound and every secret thing is laid open to You and as all that is past and to come remains in the present for You: all these things will be ascribed in Your volume. And that which the mind called forth has considered by Your inspiration and that which it has brought out having been endowed with the virtue of the heavenly graces and that which it has striven for having been goaded by the allurements of false praise and that which it incurs in the same place through the lapse of the tongue, these things remain stored with You and all have been noted down in Your books of examinations.
From here returning to You, my Lord God, even as I am corrupted by various crimes, much involved in crime, very guilty of iniquity, I beseech, beg and implore that You give regard to the one begging about that blessed seat of the ineffable clemencies, look on the one worried, attend to the one asking, so that first purifying the hidden recesses of my heart You always render me free to profess You, and from there You purify the measure o this book, if the subtle circumvention of the tempter has spread any cockle of wicked sense in it without my will, and if it has seeded any cockles of devious prosecution without my knowledge. Whatever breathes with the mishap of error in the same place, whatever resonates as unpolished, whatever is divorced from You, whatever is far removed from You, everything that does not know You, all things that oppose You and cheat Your will and do not know piety, all these things, my Omnipotent God, clear them out, cleanse all things and sanctify all things through purification, so that this work may be both acceptable to my Lord God and most gracious to Your holy angels, and so that it may obtain Your grace for me, imbibe the blessing of the saints, obtain the peace of the churches, bestow for You the moment of this time, review in Your presence the calamities of Your people and turning You with the regard of pity over my hiding place, where I dictate these things, it may absolve every crime, to which the cunning of the tempter enticed me through prior rite with fragility yielding. Let this be the guardian of my crown, let this be the protector of my life, let this be the one that carries me forward to the eternal rewards, so that the same one sanctified through You may be called Memoriale Sanctorum and You may write me among the memories of Your elect by its beseeching, through You our Lord, who are one with the Father and Holy Spirit, the eternal and immoral God forever. Amen.
[i] i.e. 850 CE.
[ii] Abd al-Rahman II, Umayyad amir of Córdoba in the period 822-852 CE.
[iv] Saint Acisclus was a martyr of Córdoba during the third and fourth centuries CE in the Roman era.
[v] Matthew 24:24.
[vi] The story of Zainab bint Jahsh and Zayd bin Haritha, though note he had been the Prophet Muhammad's adopted son. The story is also mentioned in the biography of the Prophet brought forth in Eulogius' work in defence of the martyrs of Córdoba.
[vii] Likely Arabic equivalent: صلى الله على النبي وسلم (salla Allah 'ala al-nabi wa salam), though the more accurate rendering of this phrase is 'God's peace and blessings be upon the Prophet' rather than the translation given by Eulogius. When Muslims mention the the Prophet, it is customary to say 'God's peace and blessings be upon him.'
[viii] Referring to the month of Ramadan for the Muslims, in which there is abstinence from eating, drinking and sexual activity during the daytime.
[ix] This is not actually in the first book as it has come down to us. Perhaps a later editor or scribe removed it. I think that Eulogius' point here is either that the daytime fasting (which involves abstinence from food, drink and sexual activity) leads to excess gluttony and libido at night when the fast is broken, or this excess gluttony and libido occurs in the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that follow Ramadan. The latter interpretation seems to be more likely.
[x] Referring to the death of Arius (the founder of the Arian trend in Christianity that was deemed heretical) from diarrhoea/dysentery. A similar end is said to have befallen the Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great (who was himself an Arian Christian), as related in the Anonymus Valesianus II.
[xi] i.e. 18 April 850 CE, which fell on a Friday.
[xii] His story also appears in Book One of the Memoriale Sanctorum.
[xiii] A notary/secretary role.
[xiv] i.e. 3 June 851 CE, which fell on a Wednesday.
[xv] The exact identity and location of the town noted here by Eulogius are uncertain. Gallia Comata traditionally referred to the side of Gaul in what is now France lying beyond the Alps. Some scholars identify the location with Albi, which lies to the northeast of Toulouse in France. Another suggestion is that the correct form of 'Albensi' in the Latin text is 'Alabensi' and that the location is Álava in what is now the Basque country in northern Spain. See 'San Sancho. Un santo...alavés (aunque no de Alba)' by Ángel Ibisate Lozares (2008).
[xvi] i.e. Córdoba.
[xvii] i.e. 5 June 851 CE, which fell on a Friday.
[xviii] Now the town of Écija in Andalusia.
[xix] Perhaps to be identified with the site of Ilipa near Seville.
[xx] Another Christian martyr of Córdoba during the third and fourth centuries CE during the Roman period.
[xxii] A Christian martyr of the third century CE during the Roman period.
[xxiii] The Guadalquivir.
[xxv] 7 June 851 CE, which fell on a Sunday.
[xxvi] Appears to refer to Colonia Pacensis, which is now identified with Beja in modern-day Portugal.
[xxvii] 16 July 851 CE, which fell on a Thursday.
[xxviii] 20 July 851 CE, which fell on a Monday.
[xxix] 25 July 851 CE, which fell on a Saturday.
[xxx] Referring to Complutum, which equates to modern-day Acalá de Henares near Madrid.
[xxxi] Exact location uncertain. One view claims that the martyrdom occurred at Castrovieji near Nájera in northern Spain. Another view holds that Nunilo and Alodia were from southern Spain. See Alwyn Harrison, 'Andalusi Christianity: The survival of indigenous Christian communities' (p. 85).
[xxxii] 22 October 851 CE.
[xxxiv] John 14:23.
[xxxv] Romans 10:10.
[xxxvi] Matthew 10:32-33.
[xxxvii] Now the site of Martos in Andalusia.
[xxxviii] Noted elsewhere in the Mozarabic writings I have translated.
[xxxix] Matthew 18:20.
[xl] One of Eulogius' surviving works.
[xli] 24 November 851 CE.
[xlii] 29 November 851 CE.
[xliii] Three martyrs of Córdoba from the Roman era.
[xliv] 13 January 852 CE.
[xlv] Cf. 2 Samuel 1:23.
[xlvi] Cf. Luke 12:4-5.
[xlvii] John 4:24.
[xlviii] Matthew 19:21.
[xlix] Matthew 3:7-9.
[l] Matthew 8:11-12.
[li] Cf. Psalm 8:3.
[lii] Álvaro of Córdoba.
[liii] Matthew 18:20.
[liv] Cf. Matthew 8:11.
[lv] Psalm 33:2.
[lvi] 27 July 852 CE.
[lvii] Corruption and gap in the original text.
[lix] Christian martyrs of the third and fourth centuries CE, during the Roman period.
[lx] 20 August 852 CE.
[lxi] 15 September 852 CE.
[lxii] 16 September 852 CE.
[lxiii] Romans 8:29-30.
[lxiv] Cf. Romans 8:35-36.
[lxv] Muhammad I, Umayyad amir of Córdoba in the period 852-886 CE.
[lxvi] Cf. Exodus 5:21.