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Persecutions From About The Middle Of The Fifth To The Conclusion Of The Seventh Century








Proterius was made a priest by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, who was well
acquainted with his virtues, before he appointed him to preach. On the
death of Cyril, the see of Alexandria was filled by Discorus, an
inveterate enemy to the memory and family of his predecessor. Being
condemned by the council of Chalcedon for having embraced the errors of
Eutyches, he was deposed, and Proterius chosen to fill the vacant see,
who was approved of by the emperor. This occasioned a dangerous
insurrection, for the city of Alexandria was divided into two factions;
the one to espouse the cause of the old, and the other of the new
prelate. In one of the commotions, the Eutychians determined to wreak
their vengeance on Proterius, who fled to the church for sanctuary: but
on Good Friday, A. D. 457, a large body of them rushed into the church,
and barbarously murdered the prelate; after which they dragged the body
through the streets, insulted it, cut it to pieces, burnt it, and
scattered the ashes in the air.

Hermenigildus, a Gothic prince, was the eldest son of Leovigildus, a
king of the Goths, in Spain. This prince, who was originally an Arian,
became a convert to the orthodox faith, by means of his wife Ingonda.
When the king heard that his son had changed his religious sentiments,
he stripped him of the command at Seville, where he was governor, and
threatened to put him to death unless he renounced the faith he had
newly embraced. The prince, in order to prevent the execution of his
father's menaces, began to put himself into a posture of defence; and
many of the orthodox persuasion in Spain declared for him. The king,
exasperated at this act of rebellion, began to punish all the orthodox
christians who could be seized by his troops; and thus a very severe
persecution commenced: he likewise marched against his son at the head
of a very powerful army. The prince took refuge in Seville, from which
he fled, and was at length besieged and taken at Asieta. Loaded with
chains, he was sent to Seville, and at the feast of Easter refusing to
receive the Eucharist from an Arian bishop, the enraged king ordered his
guards to cut the prince to pieces, which they punctually performed,
April 13, A. D. 586.

Martin, bishop of Rome, was born at Todi, in Italy. He was naturally
inclined to virtue, and his parents bestowed on him an admirable
education. He opposed the heretics called Monothothelites, who were
patronized by the emperor Heraclius. Martin was condemned at
Constantinople, where he was exposed in the most public places to the
ridicule of the people, divested of all episcopal marks of distinction,
and treated with the greatest scorn and severity. After lying some
months in prison, Martin was sent to an island at some distance, and
there cut to pieces, A. D. 655.

John, bishop of Bergamo, in Lombardy, was a learned man, and a good
christian. He did his utmost endeavours to clear the church from the
errors of Arianism, and joining in this holy work with John, bishop of
Milan, he was very successful against the heretics, on which account he
was assassinated on July 11, A. D. 683.

Killien was born in Ireland, and received from his parents a pious and
christian education. He obtained the Roman pontiff's license to preach
to the pagans in Franconia, in Germany. At Wurtzburg he converted
Gozbert, the governor, whose example was followed by the greater part of
the people in two years after. Persuading Gozbert that his marriage with
his brother's widow was sinful, the latter had him beheaded, A. D. 689.





Next: Persecutions From The Early Part Of The Eighth To Near The Conclusion Of The Tenth Century

Previous: Persecution Of The Christians By The Goths And Vandals



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