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St. Hermenegild

Martyr

Feast Day - April 13

King Hermenegild, son of Leovigild, king of the Visigoths, was converted from the Arian heresy to the Catholic Faith by the preaching of that most worthy man Leander, Bishop of Seville and one of my greatest friends. Hermenegild’s father was an Arian, and tried first to persuade him by promises and then to terrify him by threats to return to that heresy. But when Hermenegild continued to answer that he could never abandon the true faith now that he had come to know it, his angry father deprived him of his kingdom, took away all his possessions, and shut him up under strict guard, with his neck and hands chained. And so the young King Hermenegild began to despise the kingdom of earth and eagerly to seek the Kingdom of Heaven.

Lying bound and in sackcloth, he poured forth prayers to Almighty God to give him strength. When Easter came, his treacherous father sent an Arian bishop to him in the middle of the night, to have Hermenegild receive sacrilegiously consecrated Communion from this bishop’s hands and so be restored to his father’s favor. But, as a man devoted to God, he gave the Arian bishop the rebuke he deserved and refused his treacherous offer with fitting indignation. When the bishop returned, Hermenegild’s Arian father was enraged and at once sent his servants, who killed this staunch Confessor of God where he lay imprisoned.




Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1737 - 1738