«Christian Martyrs in Muslim Spain»

Μὴν τὸ ψάχνετε πολύ. Τὸ Ἰσλὰμ δὲν ἄλλαξε ἀπὸ τότε. Ἡ Δύση εἶναι ποὺ ἄλλαξε.

Perfectus, who served at the basilica of St. Aciscius just outside the city walls, was stopped one day on his way to market by a group of Muslims.(6) Seeing that he was a priest, they asked him to explain the «catholic faith» and to share with them his opinions about Christ and Muhammed. Fearing that he would only provoke his audience, Perfectus declined. But when the Muslims swore to protect him, he proceeded, in Arabic, to decry Muhammed as one of the false prophets foretold by Christ and as a moral reprobate who had seduced the wife of his kinsman.(7)  Though angered by the harsh attack, the Muslims respected their oaths and let Perfectus go on his way. But a few days later the priest ran into some of the same group, who no longer felt constrained by their earlier promise. Seizing Perfectus, they took him before the magistrate and testified that he had disparaged the prophet. As they led Perfectus to prison to wait out the holy month of Ramadân, he repeatedly denied his guilt. Only when he realized that his fate was sealed did he repeat his denunciation of Islam. On April 18, 850, Perfectus was decapitated before the crowds that had gathered to celebrate the end of the feast.

Flora was also the product of a religiously mixed marriage. Her mother, a Christian from the village of Ausianos just west of Córdoba, had married a Sevillan Muslim who died while Flora was still quite young. Deprived of this paternal influence, the girl grew up as a Christian. Well aware that children of mixed marriages legally had no choice but to be Muslim, the mother and daughter worked together to keep Flora’s Christianity a secret from her older Muslim brother. Ultimately the tension forced her to run away from home in the company of a sympathetic sister.(15) Her hopes of practicing her religion in peace were spoiled, however, when her [27] brother, apparently an influential figure in Córdoba, began to put pressure on the Christian community, forcing Flora to return. When neither threats nor promises had any effect on her resolve to remain Christian, he turned her over to the authorities. Despite Flora’s defense that she had been a Christian from birth and was therefore innocent of the charges of apostasy, Flora was sentenced to a severe whipping and placed on probation in her brother’s custody. No sooner had her wounds healed, however, than she fled again, this time taking refuge at a Christian household before leaving town with her sister. Ultimately, however, she decided to return and suffer the consequences.(16)

Pelagius was ten years old when his father, a Galician nobleman, sent him to cAbd ar-Rahmân III’s court in Córdoba as a hostage in return for the release of the boy’s uncle, Bishop Hermogius of Tuy, who had been captured during a recent skirmish between Christian and Muslim forces. The boy remained confined for three and a half years until, according to the author of the passio, the caliph summoned him, offering him a life of ease in exchange for his conversion to Islam and his submission to the caliph’s sexual advances. Pelagius refused both requests and was tortured and killed on June 26, 925.

 

The following passage illustrates one of the ways in which Eulogius attempted to create a sense of Christian persecution:

You do not regard as provocation the destruction of churches, the hate directed towards the priests, and the fact that we pay a monthly tribute with great hardship? Death is more profitable for us than the laborious peril of such a deprived life . . . Who, among all the persecutors of the faithful, has assailed the church as cruelly as this abomination? Who has [101] heaped up so much in subversion of the catholics as this unfortunate one? For no one of us may walk secure in their midst, no one is left in peace, no one may pass through their walls without being dishonored. Whenever the need for any ordinary thing compels us to go forth in public, when it is necessary to go out into the forum from our abodes for any household necessity, the moment they notice the symbols of our sacred order, they attack, as if madmen or fools, calling out derision; not to mention the daily mockery of children, for whom it is not enough to inflict verbal abuse and heap up shameful examples of scurrility, but who do not even refrain from pelting us with rocks from behind. Which reminds me of what they do as an insult to the holy sign. For when the psalmody schedule dictates that we give the signal to the faithful, and the approaching hour of prayer obliges us to make the customary indication, these liars, misled by superstition, listen intently to the clang of the reverberating metal and begin to exercise their tongues in every curse and obscenity. Therefore, not unsuitably are they cursed who, with such hate, direct their followers against the clergy. We are calumnied incessantly by them, and everywhere we suffer their ferocity for the sake of religion. Many of them judge us unworthy to touch their garments and curse to themselves if we approach too closely. They deem it pollution if we mix in any of their affairs

 

 

 

 

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1 Response to «Christian Martyrs in Muslim Spain»

  1. Παράθεμα: Τό Ἰσλάμ δέν ἄλλαξε ἀπό τότε.Ἡ Δύση εἶναι πού ἄλλαξε | Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός-Ὑπεραγία Θεοτόκος

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