The Catholic Defender: Eucharistic Martyr St. Hermenegild
Eucharistic Martyr in line will be St. Hermenegild, falling on a Thursday, to transpire on April 13, 2023 for the unfolding of the day of the Miracle and Miracle signs. A brief history allows us to understand why Heaven brings the martyrdom of St. Hermenegild to our attention. It has been presumed he was in his early twenties. It seems appropriate to our times.
Leovigild, the King of Spain, who followed the heresy of Arianism, had two sons by his first wife Theodosia, namely, Hermenegild and Recared. They were educated in Arianism. Arianism asserts that Jesus, the Son of God, was created by God the Father, was neither co-eternal nor consubstantial, denying the divinity of Christ. An Alexandrian Catholic priest Arius proposed this heretical position, sometime after 250 A.D. and it spread throughout the Eastern and Western Roman empires. This heresy was condemned at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. 29
Hermenegild, the eldest, was married to Ingondes, a zealous Catholic; her example, from the faith and direction of St. Leander, Bishop of Seville, persuaded the prince to renounce Arian errors becoming a true Catholic according to the magisterial teachings.
As a prince in Spain, he was honored by all Catholics, but his father was not happy with his beliefs nor his influence. Leovigild sought to destroy his son. Hermenegild escaped for a time, seeking refuge in a particular sacred church, where his brother Ricared came to him and gave a message of pardon from his father.
Hermenegild gave into the promise of his father. After they reached the camp of His father, King Leovigild had him stripped of his princely clothes, chained and thrown into the tower of Seville, after some time placing him in a horrid dungeon trying to force him into the heretical errors.
Hermenegild relayed to his father not swaying from his faith: "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."
On Easter Eve, his father tried to seduce him to change his mind by sending him an Arian Bishop with Communion, but Hermenegild refused to receive from the hands of a heretical Bishop. When his father, King Leovigild heard this, he was furious, that his son would not relent. Leovigild sent soldiers to slay him on the spot. They went into the prison and found the saint calm and ready to die, where they rushed at him, striking him with an axe, over the head, killing him.
Leovigild suffered much guilt and on his deathbed requested Bishop Leander, to instruct his son, Recared to the truth about Christ and His Divinity but Leovigild did not convert. King Recared and the whole kingdom of the Visigoths in Spain converted to the truth. Hermenegild received the crown of martyrdom on the 13th of April, 586. His body remains at Seville. 30
April 13. This is the feast day of St. Hermenegild, a martyr of the Eucharist.