Tuesday 25th April 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Hermenegild

April 11, 2017 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Martyrdom, the crown of Christian perfection, usually happens slowly, beginning with a dying to self and a living for Christ. Some Christians pray for martyrdom with confidence, knowing that God provided the grace to many in the past and does so now around the world. To prepare for martyrdom, many saints began lives of deprivation, of saying no to their own wants as they fasted and performed penances.
Before his martyrdom, St. Hermenegild remained faithful to Christ, saying yes to Him and saying no to earthly comforts. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Around the year 564 in Toletum of the Visigoth Kingdom (now Toledo, Spain), King Liuvigild and his first wife, Princess Theodosia, a Chalcedonian Christian, welcomed their son Hermenegild. Because Liuvigild was an Arian, both Hermenegild and his brother, Recared, were raised to believe in that heresy.
The king of the Visigoths was traditionally given his position by a popular vote of the nobles, but Liuvigild wanted his sons to rule after him. As a result, King Liuvigild prepared both Hermenegild and Recared to be co-regents. After a few years Princess Theodosia died and the king married Goiswintha, an overzealous Arian with great animosity toward true Christianity.
In 579 Hermenegild married 12-year-old Ingund, another Chalcedonian Christian, but not an Arian. She was the daughter of the Frankish King Sigebert I of Austrasia and Brunhilda, a Visigoth princess.
Although Hermenegild’s stepmother pressured Ingund with cruel treatment to give up her orthodox faith, the young girl resisted and remained firm. Providentially, the Christian couple left the unhealthy influence of Goiswintha when King Liuvigild sent Hermenegild to govern the southern part of his kingdom on his behalf.
The couple would govern in Seville, a city where devout Christians lived.
Hermenegild met Leander of Seville and his older brother, Isidore, both of whom became saints honored in the Catholic Church. In 1722 by Pope Innocent XIII declared St. Isidore a doctor of the Church.
Under the influence of his young bride and these two holy men, Hermenegild renounced Arianism. The rest of his family, enraged by his “betrayal,” insisted that he return to Arianism. The young man refused, which, needless to say, had severe consequences.
Because Hermenegild renounced the faith of his father, his father divested him of the title of king. Liuvigild would not return the title unless his son renounced his new faith. The king mistakenly thought Hermenegild would quickly return to the teachings of his youth once he lost his position.
However, the Catholics of ancient Spain resolved to defend Hermenegild and stand by him. Sadly, the forces of Liuvigild were considerably stronger and better trained than those of Hermenegild.
Bishop Leander of Seville, on behalf of Hermenegild, quickly went to Constantinople to seek assistance from Tiberius.
The emperor died before any help could be approved and Maurice, his successor, would not provide any support. The Sasanian Empire, an empire comparable in power and influence to the Roman-Byzantine Empire, was attacking Maurice’s army on his border. Thus Maurice could provide neither men nor resources to Hermenegild’s cause.
Having failed to obtain help from Constantinople, Hermenegild next approached the Roman generals who were encamped in Spain at the time. Although they vowed to protect Hermenegild, Ingund, and their son, the Romans betrayed the young family. Liuvigild paid the generals handsomely to kidnap the boy and they held him captive in Seville for a year.
When Hermenegild found that he could no longer defend himself or his family against the superior forces of his father, he secretly left to hide in the Roman camp. The exiled prince then learned of the treachery of the Roman generals and fled again — still remaining faithful to the Truth.
In 579, the Suebi, a tribe of Germanic people previously defeated by Liuvigild, sided with Hermenegild. Once again Liuvigild prevailed and in 583 the Suebi also abandoned Hermenegild. This time the prince fled to Seville, but then he had to flee when that city fell to a siege in 584. Next Hermenegild went to Cordoba. At that city, Liuvigild paid the Byzantines 30,000 pieces of gold to kidnap Ingund and her son.
After this setback, Hermenegild fled to Osseto to take sanctuary in a church highly reverenced throughout Spain. Not daring to violate the church, Liuvigild persuaded Recared, his younger son — also a zealous Arian — to negotiate with Hermenegild. Under his father’s instruction, Recared promised Hermenegild that their father would pardon him if he surrendered himself and asked for forgiveness.
Believing that his father was ready for reconciliation, Hermenegild exited the church. Bowing before his father, he begged for forgiveness.
Liuvigild played the loving father, embraced his son, and made more promises. His duplicity continued as he led Hermenegild into his camp and once there he revealed his treachery.
Inside the camp, Liuvigild ordered his men to strip Hermenegild of his regal attire, to load him with chains, and to put him in the tower of Seville. This took place in 584.
For two years, Hermenegild lingered in his prison cell, suffering various pressures and torments as they unsuccessfully tried to get him to renounce true Christianity and return to Arianism. As they alternately cajoled and tortured the young prince, he remained firm.
Of course, King Liuvigild punished Hermenegild for his obstinacy. But rather than weaken under such trying circumstances, Hermenegild became stronger in his faith and in his love of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
He imposed penances on himself beyond those the jailers imposed on him, begging Christ to support him in his battle for the Truth. Even after meting out this despicable treatment for two years, his father met with no success. Indeed, Hermenegild thanked his father, “I confess your goodness to me has been extreme. I will preserve to my dying breath the respect, duty, and tenderness which I owe you; but is it possible that you should desire me to prefer worldly greatness to my salvation?…I value the crown as nothing; I am ready to lose scepter and life, too, rather than abandon the divine truth.”
In one last attempt, King Liuvigild sent an Arian bishop to give his son Communion on Easter Sunday. Hermenegild refused it with regal indignation, once again refusing to accept Arianism. When the king learned of the final failure, he flew into a furious rage and ordered his son’s execution. When the soldiers entered the prison to put Hermenegild to death, they found him peacefully praying. He had been waiting for this moment and died with dignity as they struck his head with an ax. He died on April 13, the day the Church now celebrates as his feast.
According to St. Gregory the Great, the martyrdom of Hermenegild led to the conversion of his brother Recared and Visigothic Spain.
Dear St. Hermenegild, dying so young for love of God and with such peacefulness, you set a shining example of the joy that comes in suffering. Guide us during this pilgrimage on Earth so that we may learn to die to self and live for Christ with all of our hearts, minds, and strength. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 5

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

Advisor close to Pope Francis accuses dubia cardinals of ‘a new pharisaism’

April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The leader of the Pope’s Council of Nine cardinals said the dubia cardinals haven’t read Amoris Laetitia and wondered why they haven’t “said anything about those who manufacture weapons.” Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga made these remarks during a radio interview…Continue Reading

NYC Catholics accuse Cardinal Dolan for ‘playing both sides’ as shuttered churches open doors to illegal immigrants

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The banner was a line from Matthew 25, in which God will speak to those who cared for their neighbor. The scripture states: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by…Continue Reading

Iowa lawmakers pass bill defunding Planned Parenthood

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Iowa House of Representatives and the state Senate voted this week to deny $400,000 to 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in the state and redirect patients to other federally-qualified community health facilities.…Continue Reading

Black Abortionist Calls Pro-Life People Racist Because We’re Upset Black Babies Are Aborted

Abortionist Willie Parker seems to thrive on making nonsensical and outrageous statements that get him attention. Often, the southern abortion practitioner likes to say he is a Christian who performs abortions because of his faith. But this week, he turned…Continue Reading

Confirmed: Pope will canonize Fatima visionaries in May

VATICAN CITY, April 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, the two siblings who witnessed the Virgin Mary’s appearances at Fatima, during his upcoming visit to the site of the apparitions on…Continue Reading

The Catholic Church still cares about Latin

Vatican City, Apr 19, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Existing in some form since several hundred years before Christ, the Latin language seems like an unlikely subject to still be generating brand new research, especially among young scholars. Nevertheless,…Continue Reading

Trump signs law allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump signed a law today overturning a last-minute Obama-era regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business. The regulation, which pro-life groups call former President Obama’s “parting gift” to…Continue Reading

French presidential hopeful slams Pope Francis for welcoming migrants

ROME (RNS) France’s National Front presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, slammed Pope Francis for welcoming migrants and attacked the Catholic Church for meddling in French politics. With just over a week to critical national elections, the far-right candidate said Friday…Continue Reading

GOP Leaders to Drop Funding for Border Wall from Budget – Paul Ryan Says Maybe Next Year

GOP leaders are ready to burn President Trump and remove funding for the Trump border wall in order to woo Democrats in the Senate. Republicans hold a majority in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate. And –ALREADY–…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Will Give Pro-Abortion Hillary Clinton Its “Champion of the Century” Award

Hillary Clinton will receive a consolation prize from one of her top supporters, Planned Parenthood, in May. The abortion chain announced Thursday that it chose the failed presidential candidate to receive its “Champion of the Century” award for “her 40…Continue Reading

A bishop urges priests to encourage reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, kneeling. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Last night, Tuesday in Holy Week, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bishop of Madison, celebrated the Chrism Mass.  The bishop blessed all the special oils used during our sacred rites in the upcoming year.  Customarily,…Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton Trashes Pro-Lifers: Just “Men Sitting Around a Table Trying to Defund Planned Parenthood”

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lobbed criticisms at pro-lifers again this week during a women’s conference in New York City. Clinton, who ran on a radical pro-abortion platform that called for taxpayer funding of abortion and legalized abortion for any…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

FSSP Superior Distinguishes Fraternity from SSPX, Eschews “Traditionalist” Label

The usually cautious and reserved Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has now given its current opinion concerning the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and on its possible formal re-integration into the structures of the Catholic Church. Father Bernhard Gerstle – the head of the German district of the FSSP – just gave a 24 April interview to the German Bishops’ official website Katholisch.de in which he explains many of the positions and opinions…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: Church is facing ‘grave risk’ of schism over morality

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Robert Sarah warned that the Church’s unity is being threatened by influential leaders within the Church who “insist” that national churches have the “capacity to decide for themselves” on doctrinal and moral matters. “Without a common faith, the Church is threatened by confusion and then, progressively, she can slide into dispersion and

A Short Summary of the 22 April Lay Conference on Amoris Laetitia

Yesterday, 22 April, there took place the important lay conference in Rome which was organized by the Italian publications La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and Il Timone and which was dedicated to a public critique of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Already today, there have been several articles about this event published, among them by Dr. Sandro Magister, America Magazine, and La Stampa. Mr. Andrew Guernsey already posted Professor Claudio Pierantoni’s own speech in English translati

Cardinal Müller on Medjugorje, Amoris Laetitia and radical Islam

muller

POLAND — The head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, traveled to Poland on April 19 for a conference honoring the 90th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The theme of the conference was “The Concept of the State in the Teaching of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI.” Aleteia spoke with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the offices of the Polish Bishops

Top Papal Adviser Insults the Four Dubia Cardinals

Several Catholic outlets around the world – including Infovaticana and Chiesa e postconsilio – have reported that Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the pope’s “council of nine“, has made some condescending and disrespectful remarks about the four dubia cardinals. The moderate and characteristically gentle Italian journalist and Vatican specialist Marco Tosatti went so far as to say that the elderly Honduran cardinal and papal adviser “attacked” these faithful cardinals “with great violence”. On 25 March, Maradiaga gave an interview…Continue Reading

Not Trump Who’s Big Threat . . . Left-Wing Activists Stir Disruption From Town Halls To Campuses

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Jeff Flake, one of Arizona’s two Republican U.S. senators who runs for office as a conservative but votes as a “moderate” — like his buddy John McCain — would seem to be the kind of politician left-wing activists should love: a squish whose principles are open to intimidation from the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… Transhumanism’s Search For Godhood

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 24 of The Facts of Life, “Eugenics,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “There is no time to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and…Continue Reading

A Tax Reform Plan That May No Longer Work

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + My father, who was born in 1922 and lived his teens and early twenties during the unfortunate reign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whimsically embraced a tax reform plan that he sardonically…Continue Reading

Purity Vs. Prudishness

By ALICE von HILDEBRAND My Dear Friend: A young acquaintance of mine, who seems to have a serious religious vocation, told me that her “friends” accused her of prudishness because of her systematic refusal to get involved in what are called “affairs.” Someone even urged her to undergo psychiatric treatment. It never occurred to these…Continue Reading

Dietrich Von Hildebrand . . . A Man of Leonine Character

By DONALD DeMARCO Alice von Hildebrand titled the biography of her husband, The Soul of a Lion (2000). In the foreword to the book, chronicling the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest Catholic philosophers, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) refers to an “epiphanous” moment when Dietrich von Hildebrand first realized the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . “You Seek Jesus Of Nazareth”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “. . . The crucified. He has been raised; He is not here.” In the night-watch of vigil, enveloped in the darkness of death and confusion, a single gleam which pierced the gloom has spread to become a profuse glow, a fire great enough to embrace every soul all over the world. The Source of…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… Christ The King

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 A few years ago a low-budget movie caused a sensation among faithful Catholics: It was titled For Greater Glory. Although the story was not complete, it portrayed important aspects of the oppression of the Church in Mexico by the pro-Communist and Masonic government of an extremely evil man, named Plutarco Calles. The resistance…Continue Reading

Holy Communion

By DON FIER The Holy Eucharist, as we saw last week, is a sacrament three times over. As St. John Paul II pointed out in his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis, not only is it a Sacrifice-Sacrament and a Presence-Sacrament, but also a Communion-Sacrament. In this third dimension, the Eucharist is rightly referred to as the Paschal Banquet “in as much…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. When I was young, the Fifth Sunday of Lent was Passion Sunday and the Sixth Sunday was Palm Sunday. Now the Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Why the change? — T.L.H., Massachusetts. A. The change came about in 1970 when the two feast days were combined into one. According to the…Continue Reading

On The Road To Emmaus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Easter (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33 1 Peter 1:17-21 Luke 24:13-35 The passage we hear in the Gospel today about the two disciples of our Lord going to Emmaus is one of the favorites of many people. The charity of the two disciples is almost as amazing as their blindness. I have…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Chanel

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are a number of small islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, many of them predominantly Catholic. About 2,000 miles east of Australia is a tiny island nation for which one man paid the ultimate price for its conversion from paganism to Catholicism. St. Peter Chanel left his home in France to fulfill a lifelong desire to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Conrad Of Parzham

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Francis Mary of Camporosso, St. Veronica Giuliani, St. Joseph of Leonessa, St. Leopold of Mandic, and St. Seraphin of Montegranaro are just a few of the 115 Capuchin men and women who have been declared saints or blesseds by the Catholic Church. There are so many that Pope St. John Paul II remarked, “They say you…Continue Reading