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,

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.