At first sight the Iberian Peninsula might not seem to be a region which is especially open to Orthodox Christianity. On the one hand, some might say, Spain is the country where the filioque was introduced into the Creed at the Council of Toledo in 589. And on the other hand, Spain in particular is the country of Inquisition, of Roman Catholic fanaticism. We feel that such charges are most unfair and ignore the authentic Hispanic Orthodox Tradition as borne by its Saints.
Firstly it must be said that the filioque that may have been introduced in Toledo at the end of the sixth century (some say that the Acts of the Council were falsified after the event) was not at all the filioque later inserted into the Creed and first defended in the Middle Ages by Anselm of Canterbury at the end of the eleventh century. The Spanish filioque which may have appeared at Toledo was designed to counter Arian claims that Christ was not truly the Son of God. The sense of the Spanish filioque was that since, according to it, the Holy Spirit proceeds not eternally or essentially from the Son (which would be absurd) but through the Son in a temporary mission, the Son is therefore clearly the Son of God and not a mere man, as the Arians claimed. Thus this filioque, if real, was an expression of Orthodox Truth. It was not aimed against the Church's teaching on the Holy Spirit and the Holy Trinity but against Arianism. Moreover this filioque, if real, was introduced by a Saint who has long figured in Eastern Orthodox calendars, St. Leander of Seville, and defended in 650 by another Eastern Saint and champion of Orthodoxy, St. Maximus the Confessor, in his famous letter to the Priest Marinus. What we regret is that this local and temporary anti-Arian filioque was later and elsewhere deformed by power politics into an instrument whereby Christians in Western Europe were isolated from the Orthodox Church. This was none of St. Leander's intention or doing: the Spanish filioque was clearly not that which separated Western Europe from the Orthodox Church.
As regards the charge of Spanish fanaticism linked with the Inquisition and the genocide in Latin America, we would say two things. Firstly that the Inquisition occurred after the Orthodox period of Spanish history, it was a post-Orthodox event. And secondly that the Inquisition took place in other countries too, being especially bloody in France against the Albigensians, and in Italy. But let us not forget that all Western Europe became involved in the inquisitorial blood-letting of the Crusades and then the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, in which hundreds of thousands were massacred by both sides, far more than were slaughtered in Spain. And as regards both religious fanaticism and colonial genocide, whether in North or South America or elsewhere, it must be said that Spain had no monopoly. Indeed it is our belief that the present account of the authentic and noble spirituality of the peoples of Spain, which is by definition neither filioquist nor fanatical, may help to put the situation back into a real and unprejudiced perspective.
Two thousand years ago the Iberian Peninsula, like most of Western Europe, was part of the Roman Empire and the countries of Spain and Portugal did not exist as such. The whole Peninsula was soon to become heavily Latinised with the exception of two areas, inhabit-ed by the Celts and the Basques. The former were concentrated in the north-western region known as Galicia while the latter were concentrated in the north-east, in the western Pyrenees. There is no doubt that Christianity was brought to the Iberian Peninsula in the first century, during the first period of Hispanic Spirituality, the Apostolic Age.
As in other Western European countries, this period was followed by a second age at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries when vicious persecutions took place, of which the cruellest were those under the Emperor Diocletian. This second age of Iberian Christianity, the period of the martyrs, ended with St. Constantine, who was much influenced by the Spanish St. Hosius the Confessor. St. Constantine founded a Roman Christian Empire which stretched from Asia to Europe with its capital at Constantinople.
Then opened a third age, that of monastics and holy bishops, which lasted until the early eighth century. This was somewhat interrupted in 409 when the Peninsula was invaded by Germanic barbarians, the Suebs, who settled in the Galician north-west. Soon after there came other barbarians, the notorious Vandals, who settled in the southern half of Spain and from there invaded North Africa where they also wrought havoc, bringing about the downfall of the local Roman colonies. Finally in c. 507 came yet another Germanic people, the West Goths or Visigoths, who settled in the centre of Spain making Seville and then Toledo, near modern Madrid, their capital and becoming masters of the whole of Spain. The Vandals and Visigoths were Arians and they both long resisted Christianity, bringing about new martyrdoms for the glory of the Faith. But after the Visigoths did finally accept Christianity at the end of the sixth century, there was a great Christian renaissance. This blossomed in the seventh century in the realisation of a Hispano-Gothic Christian identity and was led by great monastic figures and learned bishops, especially in Seville and Toledo. As a result the Germanic elite was assimilated into the local Latin-speaking Christian population.
This third age closed and a fourth began in 711 with the Muslim Saracen or 'Moorish' invasion from North Africa. Their invasion was so successful that they swept through the Iberian Peninsula into central western France as far as Poitiers. Here, however, they were defeated in 732 and pushed back into central and southern Iberia. Cordoba in central southern Spain became their capital. Christian kingdoms survived in the North, particularly in the north-east, and Christians elsewhere lived under a Muslim yoke and martyrdom and were called 'Mozarabs' or 'would-be Arabs'. This was the period of Mozarabic culture, the culture of Hispanic Orthodox Christians under Muslim oppression, with their own Mozarabic liturgy and Christian customs and a great many martyrs for the Faith.
The fifth age of the Reconquest of Iberia from Islam had been presaged in the eighth century with a first victory in 722. The Reconquest would altogether take 750 years until 1492 with the fall of the last Muslim stronghold of Granada. However, by the end of the ninth century this fifth age of Reconquest had clearly begun and by 1002 with the outbreak of internecine fighting among the Muslims it was clear that Islam was in terminal decline. This era of monastic revival after the destruction of the Muslims led to the development of powerful Christian kingdoms in the north, notably Catalonia on the Mediterranean coast, further inland Aragon, still further to the east Navarre, then the Basques in the western Pyrenees on the Atlantic coast. Next came Castile to the north-east of the centre, Léon to the north of the centre, Galicia in the north-west and the area south of Galicia around Porto which would give birth to the Kingdom of Portugal.
Unfortunately, during the eleventh century, that great watershed in Western European history, a sixth age began. For it was now that the Christian heritage of the Iberian Peninsula, as of all Western Europe, would be transformed from a precious and living storehouse of early Christian culture of piety, learning, churchmanship and spiritual tradition into the uniform 'Judeo-Christian' Catholicism of the post-eleventh-century West. The Muslims and their Jewish allies played a fatal role in this period for it was through them that the pagan learning of the Ancient Greco-Roman world, especially the philosophy of Aristotle, was transmitted in an unChristianised form, becoming the foundation of Mediæval Scholasticism. Thus in 1049 the Bishop of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia was excommunicated by the new reformed Papacy for his claim to an Apostolic See, that founded by St. James. And in 1050 Papal legates first visited Spain bringing with them the new ideology of Papism which was then being propagated in France through the papalising Cluniac movement. It was the beginning of the end for Iberian Orthodoxy.
It may be said that this sixth age of Western history lasted from c. 1050 until the twentieth century, during which a seventh and final age began. This is that of massive and total dechristianisation, the age of Apostasy. This age is also, however, characterised by the return, albeit so far a very feeble return, of some to the fullness of the Christian Faith. This seventh and final age will be followed by an eighth age, a meta-historical age, outside time and history, the post-apocalyptical age of Eternity, when those who are deemed worthy shall yet see the Saints shining in their glory, the reflected glory of God.
Our first reference to Christianity and Iberia comes in the Epistle to the Romans when St. Paul speaks of 'taking my journey into Spain' (Romans 15, 24 and 28). Unfortunately there is no proof that he did so, but there are very strong traditions of his coming to Spain, then meaning the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, both in East and West. Certainly when he founded the Church in Rome we can be sure that he met Iberians and there is no doubt that Christianity reached Spain in the first century. Indeed from the same Apostolic Age we hear of St. James, brother of St. John, whose relics are still piously conserved in the town of Santiago de Compostela in the north-western corner of Spain. The very name 'Santiago' means 'St. James' and although the tradition is late we have no reason to doubt it. Certainly for centuries Santiago was the greatest pilgrimage-centre in Western Europe after Rome. However, other figures from the first century are also mentioned in the annals of the Peninsula. Firstly, there is a group of Apostolic Men, St. Torquatus at Guadix near Granada, St. Ctesiphon at Verga, St. Secundus at Avila, St. Indaletius at Urci near Almeria, St. Hesychius at Gibraltar and St. Euphrasius at Andujar, sent according to tradition to evangelise the southern half of Spain. Most of them were martyred and all are commemorated on 15 May. Secondly, we have the tradition of a missionary St. Geruntius, Bishop of Italica near Seville in southern Spain, also martyred in about the year 100, and commemorated on 25 August. And finally we have the case of St. Epitacius, also a martyr of the first century, who was the first Bishop of Tuy, a Galician town on the northern Portuguese border. His brother, St. Basil, was the first Bishop of Braga, the Portuguese Canterbury. Both are feasted together on 23 May.
The second period of Spanish Christianity, that of the martyrs, is witnessed to in c. 240 when a husband and wife, Sts. Orentius and Patientia (Patience) were martyred at Loret in the far north of Aragon. An interesting and ancient Spanish tradition says that they were the parents of St. Laurence, martyred in Rome in 258. Sts. Orentius and Patientia are commemorated to this day on 1 May. They were followed by the virgin St. Martha who in 251 under the tyrant Decius (249-51) was beheaded in north-western Spain at Astorga, of which she is the patron and where her relics are still enshrined. Then, according to the official account that we still possess, in 259 Fructuosus, Bishop of Taragona in present-day Catalonia, was martyred by being burnt at the stake together with his two deacons, Augurius and Eulogius. It is said that when the fire had burnt through their bonds, all three stretched out their hands in the form of a Cross and so gave up the ghost. They are remembered on 21 January. In 270 in Pamplona in Navarre in the north-east of Spain St. Honestus, a missionary from Gaul, was martyred. His feast is kept on 16 February. And in 283 Sts. Justus and Abundius were beheaded; they are feasted on 14 December. We now come to a large group of martyrs slain under Diocletian (284-313), whose first victim in Spain was in 287 and last in 307. Here follows a list:
Sts. Justa and Rufina, two sisters, martyred in 287 in Seville and now patron-saints of that city. Feast: 19 July.
St. Clement, martyred in Cordoba in c. 298. Feast: 27 June.
Sts. Claudius (Claude), Lupercus and Victorius (Victor), perhaps sons of St. Marcellus, a centurion martyred in c. 298 in Tangier. These three brothers were martyred in c. 300 in Léon and they became the patron saints of an important monastic centre in Galicia. Feast: 30 October.
Sts. Honorius, Eutychius and Stephen were martyred at Asta in Andulasia in c. 300. Feast: 21 November.
Sts. Facundus and Primitivus, born in Léon, in c. 300, were beheaded nearby, where now stands the town of Sahagun, which became an important monastic centre. Feast: 27 November.
Sts. Zoilus a youth and nineteen companions were all martyred in Cordoba in c. 301. Their relics were later enshrined at the monastery of St. Zoil near Léon. Feast: 27 June.
Sts. Vincent, Sabine and Christeta were all martyred at Avila in central Spain in 303. Feast: 27 October.
St. Leocadia, virgin, died in prison in Toledo in c. 303. Feast: 9 December.
St. Vincent, a native of Huesca in the north-east of Spain, and deacon to St. Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa (see below 315) was martyred in Valencia in 304, a year which saw a great many martyrs. After his torturers had unsuccessfully tried to crucify him, they finally killed him by burning him on a gridiron. His relics are now in Rome. He is one of the great saints of Spain and is universally commemorated. Feast: 22 January in western calendars, 11 November in eastern calendars.
St. Eulalia, a fourteen-year-old virgin-martyr of Barcelona in Catalonia, was slain in c. 304. She is one of the most popular saints of Catalonia, where she is known under various names such as Aulaire, Aulazie, Olalla. She is recorded in both eastern and western calendars. Feast: 12 February (western calendar) 22 August (eastern calendar).
Sts. Optatus, Lupercus, Successus, Martial, Urban, Julia, Quintilian, Publius, Fronto, Felix, Cecilian, Eventius, Primitivus, Apodemius and four named Saturninus were all martyred in Saragossa in c. 304 on the orders of the prefect Dacian. Feast: 16 April.
Sts. Gaius and Crementius were also martyred in Saragossa in 304. Feast 16 April.
St. Engratia (Encratia, Engracia), virgin-martyr, also of Saragossa in 304. A church still stands on the site of her terrible tortures and 'ardour in suffering for Christ'. Feast: 16 April.
St. Victor was martyred in Mérida in 304. Feast: 24 July.
St. Cucuphas (Cugat, Cucufate), one of the most famous male martyrs of Spain, was martyred near Barcelona in 304. The monastery of St. Cugat del Valles was later founded on the site of his martyrdom. Feast: 25 July.
Sts. Centolla and Helen, virgin-martyrs in c. 304 near Burgos in Old Castile in central northern Spain. Feast: 13 August.
St. Maginus, born in Tarragoña and evangeliser of the area around this town was martyred in c. 304. Feast: 25 August.
Sts. Faustus, Januarius and Martial were atrociously mutilated and martyred in the same year in Cordoba. They were known as 'The Three Crowns of Cordoba' . Feast: 13 October.
In Saragossa another group of martyrs, 'innumerable' was martyred at about the same time, but their names were not recorded unlike the eighteen above. Feast: 3 November.
St. Eulalia of Saragossa, whose name is recorded only in eastern calendars was martyred in the same city in the same year. Feast: 11 November.
Sts. Acisclus and Victoria, brother and sister, natives of Cordoba, who had turned their home into a church, were martyred in 304. they are the main patron saints of this city which saw and was to see so many martyrs. Feast: 17 November.
St. Eulalia, probably the most famous of all Spanish martyrs and recorded in both eastern and western calendars on the same date, was a maiden from Mérida in central south-western Spain. At the age of thirteen she was burnt at the stake in that fateful year of 304. Feast: 10 December.
St. Julia suffered at the same time as St. Eulalia in the same city. Feast: 10 December.
Sts. Justus and Pastor, two brothers aged thirteen and nine, were scourged and beheaded in the town of Alcalá in c. 304. Feast: 14 December.
Sts. Vincent, Orontius and Victor, the first two brothers, came from the south of France and preached the Gospel in the Pyrenees, being martyred there in 305 at Puigcerda not far from Barcelona. Feast: 22 January.
Sts. Cyriacus and Paula were stoned to death at Malaga in 305. Feast: 18 June.
Sts. Servandus and Germanus were martyred in Cadiz on the southern coast of Spain in c. 305. Feast: 23 October.
St. Secundinus was martyred in Cordoba in c. 306. Feast: 21 May.
St. Lucretia, virgin-martyr at Mérida in 306. Feast: 23 November.
Sts. Narcissus and Felix, bishop and deacon, were martyred in c. 307 at Gerona in Catalonia. Feast: 18 March.
A number of other martyrs are recorded in the fourth century, the date of their martyrdom not precisely known, but it can be assumed that they all suffered under Diocletian. They are:
Sts. Hemiterius and Cheledonius, both soldiers, were martyred at Calahorra in Old Castile. Miracles followed at their tomb, where a baptistery was built. Feast: 3 March.
St. Felix, a deacon martyred in Seville. Feast: 2 May.
St. Anastasius, patron saint of Lerida in Catalonia and probably martyr. Feast: 11 May.
St. Marina, martyred in Orense in Galicia. Feast: 18 July.
Sts. Fabrician and Philibert at Toledo. Feast: 22 August.
St. Obdulia, virgin of Toledo, where her relics are enshrined. Feast: 5 September.
St. Peter, also martyred in Seville. Feast: 8 October.
St. Crispin, Bishop of Ecija in Andulasia, was beheaded; Feast: 19 November.
St. Eutychius (Oye), probably martyred at Mérida. Feast: 11 December.
After this final period of Roman persecution begins an age of consolidation, of struggle against heresy, led by monastics, holy bishops and laypeople. The opening symbol of this era is St. Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa, who though he had suffered arrest and exile was not martyred like his deacon, St. Vincent (see above) and died peacefully in Saragossa in 315, his memory being kept on 28 January. His relics are now in Greece. He was followed by another highly symbolic figure, St. Hosius of Cordoba (c. 258 - c. 359). He had considerable influence over St. Constantine, indeed it was the idea of St. Hosius to call the First Oecumenical Council at Nicea just outside Constantinople in 325, which Council he presided. Not as is sometimes stated, he was firm in his support of St. Athanasius and his opposition to Arianism and for this was imprisoned at the end of his life. He reposed in c. 359 after an extraordinary episcopate of over sixty years and is commemorated in eastern calendars as a confessor on 27 August.
On 9 March we remember St. Pacian, Bishop of Barcelona from 365 to c. 390 who wrote much on church discipline and from whom there survives a work on repentance and three letters. St. Gregory of Elvira, now Granada (> c. 394), championed the Faith against the great enemy of the fourth and fifth centuries, Arianism. At the Council of Rimini in Italy in 359 he stood firm for Christianity and is feasted on 24 April. St. Dictinus, Bishop of Astorga, reposed in 420 and is remembered on 24 July.
St. Turibius, Bishop of Astorga in north-western Spain, defended the Faith against heresy during an episcopate of forty years, reposing in c. 460 and is honoured as a patron of Astorga on 16 April. St. Florentius of Seville, reposed in the same period in c. 485, is commemorated on 23 February. In about 527 St. Nebridius, Bishop of Egara near Barcelona reposed and is still remembered on 9 February. At nearby Urgel also in Catalonia the first bishop, St. Justus, is remembered by his Life written in the seventh century and his commentary on 'The Song of Songs'. He also departed this life in about 527 and is feasted on 28 May. In 528 reposed another St. Turibius, Bishop of Palencia, who had founded a great monastic centre at Liebana in the north of Spain. He is remembered on 16 April. In c. 560 St. Victorian, born in Italy, founded a monastery at Asan, now called San Victorian, in the Pyrenees. He is feasted on 12 January. On 5 May we remember St. Sacerdos, Bishop of Murviedro on the eastern coast of Spain, who also reposed in about 560. St. Fidelis, said to have been born in the East, became Bishop of Mérida. He departed this life in c. 570 and is commemorated on 7 February. From this period of holy bishops and monastic founders, strugglers against heresies, we have one Saint who stands out in particular. This is St. Emilian or 'Millan', who was a shepherd in Navarre in the western Pyrenees. Born in about 474 in poverty in La Rioja near Navarre, he became a hermit and was eventually ordained priest who greatly loved the poor and gave everything he had to them. However, the Saint loved solitude and isolated himself in a remote place with some disciples. Becoming their Abbot, he so founded the great monastery of La Cogolla and is considered to be one of the patron saints of Spain. He reposed a centenarian in 574 and is feasted on 12 November. Also in the Pyrenees a monk under St. Victorian at Asan (see above), St. Gaudiosus, became Bishop of Tarazona near Saragossa, reposing in c. 585 and is feasted there where his relics still lie on 3 November.
The end of the sixth century marks a turning-point in the history of Spanish Christianity with the conversion of the Visigoths, whose capital was then still Seville in southern Spain, from Arianism to Orthodoxy. In 586 Hermenegild, the son of the then virtual ruler of Spain, Leovigild, put aside Arianism and was baptised an Orthodox Christian, taking the name John. He was disinherited by his father and imprisoned. On Easter Eve, 13 April, 586, after refusing communion at the hands of an Arian bishop, he was put to death on the orders of his stepmother. As a result of his sacrifice he was to be universally commemorated as a martyr for the Faith on 13 April in western calendars and 1 November in eastern calendars. His relics are in Seville, of which he is a patron. Three years later at the Third Council of Toledo in 589 the next King of the Visigoths, Hermenegild's brother Recared, also converted from Arianism to Christianity. Together with the preceding period of consolidation by the holy bishops and monks listed above, this event laid the foundations for the seventh century in Spain. This age may be considered to be the golden age of Spanish Orthodoxy, marking a period of full co-operation between Church and State.
The first Saint of this period and great symbol of what was to come, is St. Leander, Archbishop of Seville (c. 540 - c. 601), the elder brother of a wonderful family of Saints, as we shall shortly see. Born of a noble family in Cartagena on the south-east coast of Spain, he entered the monastery of St. Claudius (see above c. 300) very young and, given his talent, was sent on a mission to Constantinople, where he spent several years. Here he tried to list the aid of the Roman Emperor against the Arians - aid which was later forthcoming when East Roman troops conquered southern Spain. In Constantinople he also met St. Gregory the Great, the future Pope of Rome, who became a close friend. St. Gregory later sent St. Leander an Icon of the Mother of God of Guadalupe which was much venerated in Seville. On St. Leander's return he was appointed Archbishop of Seville, the then capital of Spain. Here he was very active, revising the Spanish liturgy, converting the above-mentioned St. Hermenegild and the Visigoths and held two Councils of Toledo in 589 and 590. It was at the first of these in May 589 that it seems the 'filioque'was introduced as a temporary measure to convert the Arians to Orthodoxy. If, in St. Leander's thought, the Holy Spirit comes to us through Christ, how could Christ not be the Son of God, as the Arians claimed? It was most unfortunate that this diplomatic ploy was then deformingly reinterpreted and abused at the end of the eighth century in Germany by semi-barbarians for their sinister political purposes. St. Leander is undoubtedly one of the greatest Saints of Spain, some of his many writings still survive and he is honoured universally, on 27 February in the western calendar and in the eastern calendar on 1 November together with St. Hermenegild.
The importance of the Arian problem is highlighted by other events. The first in 630 was the martyrdom of St. Vincent, Abbot of the monastery of St. Claudius (see above c. 300) in Léon, on 11 March 630. This was followed two days later by the massacre, while they were at prayer of St. Ramirus, the prior of the same monastery, and the whole community. St. Vincent is remembered on 11 September in memory of a later translation, St. Ramirus and the other fathers on 13 March. In 633, St. Severus, Bishop of Barcelona was also cruelly martyred by still Arian Visigoths who killed him by driving nails into his head. His feat of martyrdom for Christ is feasted on 6 November.
St. Helladius, Bishop of Toledo from 615, was active at the court of the Visigoths, where he was a minister. But he so loved monasticism that he quit it for the monastic life at Agalia near Toledo, and later became its Abbot before becoming Archbishop of his native city. He reposed in 632 and is feasted on 18 February. In about the same year reposed a younger brother of St. Leander, St. Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija in Andalusia, also a leading light in the Spanish Church at that time. He is remembered on 16 January. At the same time reposed St. Renovatus, a converted Arian, who became Abbot of Cauliana (now in Portugal) and then Bishop of Mérida for some twenty two years. He is honoured on 31 March. Next in this glorious catalogue comes St. Florence (Florentina), sister of Sts. Leander and Fulgentius. She became nun and Abbess in a convent for which St. Leander wrote a still surviving and most touching rule in the form of a letter. Reposing in around 636, she is feasted on 20 June.
We now come to the greatest figure of this seventh-century golden age, the most celebrated of this holy family, St. Isidore, Archbishop of Seville (c. 560-636). He was educated by his eldest brother St. Leander, whom he suceeded as Archbishop in 600. He led the fight against Arianism, presided over many synods, founded schools, encouraged monasticism and completed the 'Mozarabic' liturgy. He expressed his encyclopedic knowledge in still surviving writings on theology, scripture, history, geography, astronomy and the Lives of the Saints. In his lifetime he was venerated as a miracle-worker and is feasted on 4 April.
Another considerable figure and writer of Lives of the Saints is St. Braulio, who studied under St. Isidore. A monk at the monastery of St. Engratia (see above, c. 304) in Saragossa, he was ordained deacon and priest by his own brother Archbishop John of Saragossa, whom he was later to succeed. He was Bishop for twenty years and forty-four of his letters survive. He is remembered on 26 March. Returning to the now primatial see of Toledo we come to St. Eugene, Bishop of Toledo, poet, musician and lover of the liturgy. Also a monk at St. Engratia with St. Braulio, whose archdeacon he became, he also knew St. Helladius of Toledo. In 646 he became Bishop of that city. reposing in 657: he is remembered on 13 November.
He was succeeded by his own nephew, St. Ildephonsus (Alphonse, Alonzo). Born in Toledo in c. 607, he studied under St. Isidore, became monk at the monastery of Agalia (see St. Helladius above), became Archbishop, unified the Spanish liturgy and wrote much of the Mother of God, to Whom he was especially devoted. He departed this life in 667 and is feasted on 23 January. Next we come to another monastic father, St. Nunctus, Abbot of a monastery near Mérida in Extremadura. Killed by robbers in 668, ever since he has been honoured as a martyr on 22 October.
This glorious seventh century closes in the 690's with three representative figures. The first is St. Julian of Toledo, successor of Sts. Eugene and Ildephonsus. Of Jewish origin, he was baptised by St. Eugene and became a monk at Agalia. He was appointed Archbishop of the then capital, Toledo, in 680, presided over three councils there and was the first Archbishop to exercise authority over the whole Iberian peninsula. An outstanding and prolific writer, he presided over several synods and worked much on the liturgy. He reposed in 690 and is commemorated on 8 March. Secondly there is St. Valerius. A native of Astorga he became first monk then Abbot of the monastery of San Pedro de Montes and left us several ascetical writings. He departed this life in 695 and his memory is kept on 21 February. Thirdly we have St. Prudentius, first hermit, then priest and finally Bishop of Tarazona in Aragon, of which diocese he is a patron saint. He reposed in c. 700 and is feasted on 28 April.
The Spiritual Renaissance of seventh-century Spain comes to an end but a no less glorious period then begins. It is a second age of martyrdom, this time under the Muslim Moors or Saracens, who invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and showed themselves to be just as ferocious as the pagan Romans.
However, the full extent of Moorish cruelty did not become apparent until the ninth century and the eighth century is something of an overlapping period between the seventh and the ninth. Nevertheless what was to come in the ninth was presaged by the first-fruit of this age, St. Eurosia (Orosia), martyred at Jaca in the Pyrenees in 714. Here she is venerated as patron saint to this day, her feast being kept on 25 June. She was followed by two brothers and a sister, Sts. Fructus, Valentine and Engratia, the latter two being martyred at Sepulveda in Old Castile in northern Spain in c. 715. St. Fructus escaped, but died a hermit and the relics of all three are enshrined and venerated in Segovia where their memory is kept on 25 October. Not all the Saints of the eighth century are martyrs, as is proved by the case of St. Prudentius, Bishop of Tarazona in Aragon, of which diocese he is a patron saint. He reposed some time after 700 and he is feasted on 28 April. Similarly St. John de Atarés, a hermit near Jaca in the Pyrenees is not a martyr either. He built a hermitage beneath a huge rock (in Spanish la Peña) and was soon joined there by two brothers from Saragossa, Sts. Votus and Felix. This hermitage later became the monastery of St. John de la Peña, which was to become the cradle of the Christian kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon, later centres of Christian culture and resistance in an otherwise Muslim-dominated Spain. St. John and Sts. Votus and Felix reposed in c. 750 and they are remembered on 29 May.
St. Marcian, Bishop of Pamplona, very close to Jaca, reposed in around 757 and is commemorated on 30 June. During the eighth century St. Emerius, a native of France, founded another monastery, dedicated to St. Stephen the Protomartyr, at Bañoles near Gerona in Catalonia. He is recalled on 27 January, together with his mother, St. Candida, who became an anchoress near her son's monastery and reposed in c. 798. The eighth century closes with the figure of St. Beatus (Feast: 19 February), whose famous commentary on the Apocalypse still survives in three illuminated tenth-century copies. Born in Asturias in northern Spain, he became monk and then priest at Liébana (see above). He stood for Orthodoxy against the arianising or rather nestorianising heresy of Adoptianism. This said that Christ was not the Son of God but only the adopted Son. These ideas, under clear Muslim influence, were then active in Spain. St. Beatus finally retired to the monastery of Valcavado where he departed this life in 789. In around 800 reposed St. Marinus, Abbot and Bishop of the monastery of St. Peter at Besalu in Catalonia; his memory is kept on 19 August.
To this period belong two saints of Galicia. One, St. John of Tuy, was a hermit at Tuy in Galicia on the present Portuguese border, where his relics are still enshrined. He is remembered on 24 June. The other, Alphonse, was Bishop of Astorga. He retired and became a monk at the celebrated monastery of St. Stephen at Ribas de Sil in Galicia. He is remembered on 26 January. Another hermit was a Frenchman, St. Urbitius (Urbez) who reposed in c. 805. Taken prisoner by the Moors, he escaped and became a hermit near Huesca in the Aragonese Pyrenees. He is commemorated on 15 December. Another hermit of the early ninth century, but about whom little is known is St. Daniel of Gerona in Catalonia. He is said to be of Greek origin and was martyred here by the Moors; he is feasted on 29 April.
We now come to the great period of martyrdom of the mid-ninth century, with its centre at the Moorish capital in Cordoba, a period which can only be compared with the suffering in Spain under Diocletian or with the New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke in Greece. This period lasted from 835 to 864. Here is the list of those who were martyred for the faith:
St. Pomposa, a nun at Peñamelaria near Cordoba, she was beheaded in 835. Feast: 19 September.
Sts. Adolphus and John, two brothers born at Seville of a Muslim father and Christian mother were martyred at Cordoba in about 850 under the tyrant Abderrahman II. Feast: 27 September.
St. Perfectus, a Cordoban priest, lived up to his name by being martyred on Easter Sunday 851. Feast: 18 April.
St. Sancho (Sanctus) was brought to Cordoba as a prisoner from Albi in southern France. Having become a guard at the Moorish court, in 851 he was martyred by impalement for his refusal to become a Muslim. Feast: 5 June.
Sts. Peter, Wallabonsus, Sabinian, Wistremundus, Habentius and Jeremiah were all martyred at Cordoba in 851 for publicly denouncing Islam. St. Peter was a priest, St. Wallabonsus a deacon, the others monks. Jeremiah, an old man who had founded a monastery at a nearby place called Tábanos, died during his scourging, the others were all beheaded. Feast: 7 June.
St. Sisenandus was born in Badajoz in Extremadura in western Spain but became a deacon in Cordoba at the church of St. Acisclus (see above). He was beheaded also in 851. Feast: 16 July.
St. Paul, a deacon at the monastery of St. Zoilus (see above) and was zealous in ministering to his fellow-Christians in Muslim captivity. Beheaded in 851, his relics were enshrined at St. Zoilus. Feast: 20 July.
St. Theodemir, a monk, was martyred in the same year at Cordoba. Feast: 25 July.
Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, daughters of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, were imprisoned and beheaded at Huesca in 851. Feast: 22 October.
Sts. Gumesindus and Servus-Dei (in Greek: Christodoulos), respectively a priest and a monk, were martyred at Cordoba in 852. Feast: 13 January.
St. Isaac was born in Cordoba but on account of his fluency in Arabic became a notary at the Moorish court. However he abandoned all this to become a monk at Tábanos about seven miles from Cordoba (see above). In 852 he denounced Mohammed in a public debate and was martyred in his native city at the age of twenty seven. Feast: 3 June.
Sts. George, Aurelius, Natalia, Felix and Liliosa all suffered at Cordoba, probably in 852. Sts. Aurelius and Natalia and Sts. Felix and Liliosa were husbands and wives but St. George was a monk and deacon from Palestine. Feast: 27 July.
Sts. Leovigild and Christopher, both monks, the former at the monastery of Sts. Justus and Pastor at Cordoba (see above c. 304), were martyred there also in 852. Feast: 20 August.
Sts. Emilas and Jeremiah, the former a deacon, were beheaded at Cordoba in 852. Feast: 15 September.
Sts. Rogellus and Servus-Dei, the former a monk, the latter his disciple, were also martyred in Cordoba in 852 for publicly denouncing Islam. Feast: 16 September.
St. Fandilas, originally from Andulasia, was Abbot of the monastery at Peñamelaria near Cordoba where he was beheaded in 853. Feast: 13 June.
Sts. Anastasius, Felix and Digna were all martyred in Cordoba in the same year. St. Anastasius was a deacon at the church of St. Acisclus (see above 304), but became a monk at the men's monastery of Tábanos together with St. Felix. The latter was a Berber by origin, born in Alcalá, but he had become a monk in Asturias in northern Spain. St. Digna was a nun in the convent of Tábanos. They were all beheaded. Feast: 14 June.
St. Benildis, a laywoman of Cordoba, was so moved by the faith of preceding martyrs that she too braved death at the stake on the following day in 853. Feast: 15 June.
St. Columba, a nun at Tábanos was driven by the Muslim persecution from her monastery back to her native city of Cordoba. Here in 853 when called on to deny Christ, she denied Mohammed, for which she was beheaded. Feast: 17 September.
St. Abundius was a parish priest at Ananelos, a village in the mountains near Cordoba. In 854 he confessed Christ before the Caliph at Cordoba, was beheaded and his body thrown to the dogs. Feast: 11 July.
Sts. Amator, Peter and Luis were martyred in Cordoba in 855. St. Amator was a priest in his native town of Martos near Cordoba. St. Peter was a monk, Luis a layman. Feast: 30 April.
St. Sandila (Sandalus) was martyred in Cordoba in around 855. Feast: 3 September.
Sts. Elias, Paul and Isidore were martyred in Cordoba in 856. St. Elias was an elderly Cordoban priest, the others his young disciples. St. Eulogius (see below) has left us an eyewitness account of their martyrdom. Feast: 17 April.
St. Aurea (Aura), born in Cordoba of Moorish parents, became a Christian and a nun at nearby Cuteclara on her widowhood. She remained here for some twenty years until denounced by her own family and beheaded in 856. Feast: 19 July.
Sts. Flora and Maria, maidens of Cordoba, were both beheaded in 856. St. Maria was the sister of St. Wallabonsus (see above 851) and a nun at Cuteclara near Cordoba. After their martyrdom, which is described most beautifully by St. Eulogius (see below) St. Maria's body was never found. Feast: 24 November.
Sts. Rudericus (Roderick) and Solomon were imprisoned and beheaded in 857. St. Rudericus was a priest at nearby Cabra and was betrayed by his Muslim brother. Feast: 13 March.
St. Argymirus was also from Cabra where he was a senior official. He lost his position on account of his Christian beliefs and became a monk. Shortly afterwards, in 858, he openly denounced Islam, confessed Christ and was beheaded. Feast: 28 June.
St. Eulogius of Cordoba, one of the most attractive of all the Cordoban martyrs, was a prominent priest in the city. Well-known for his learning and his courage, he consoled the Christians in their sufferings and encouraged the martyrs writing a book called 'The Memorial of the Saints' for them. In 859 he himself was scourged and then beheaded for protecting St. Leocritia (see below), a convert from Islam. Feast: 11 March.
St. Leocritia (Lucretia), a maiden of Cordoba of Moorish parents, she was converted to Christianity and driven from her home. Protected by St. Eulogius, she was flogged and beheaded four days after him. Feast: 15 March.
St. Laura was born in Cordoba but, widowed, became a nun at Cuteclara nearby. In 864 she was condemned as a Christian and thrown into a cauldron of molten lead. Feast: 19 October.
St. Laura was the last in this series of martyrs, but not the last martyr to suffer in Spain under the Moors. Indeed the next victim was St. Stephen, Abbot of the Castilian monastery of Cardena near Burgos, who was martyred with other monks in 872. They are remembered on 6 August.
The seed of the Church is Her martyrs. So has it ever been. We now come to the final period of Spanish holiness, that sown by the martyrs and cultivated by the monastics and bishops who followed from the end of the ninth century until the downfall of Orthodox Iberia in about 1050. This last age opens with St. Vintila, a hermit who reposed at Pugino near Orense in Galicia in 890 and is feasted on 23 December. In c. 900 St. Lambert, a servant working near Saragossa, was killed by his Moorish master for being a Christian - his feast is on 16 April. A little after this in 915 the Bishop of Orense, St. Ansurius, helped found the monastery of Ribas de Sil, to where he retired as a simple monk in 922. He reposed in 925 and is feasted on 26 January. Next comes St. Tigridia who, holy Abbess of a nunnery at Oña near Burgos, reposed in c. 925. Her memory is kept on 22 November. Aged about ten, St. Pelagius (Pelayo in Spanish) was taken hostage by the Moors in Asturias in northern Spain and taken to Cordoba. Here he was offered freedom and other rewards if he would become Muslim. After three years in prison, he was tortured before finally dying at the age of thirteen in 925. He is still honoured in Spain on 26 June.
In c. 936 reposed St. Gennadius, Bishop of Astorga. As Abbot he had previously restored the monastery of San Pedro de Montes (see above) and was active in revitalising monasticism throughout north-west Spain. He was Bishop of Astorga for some thirty-six years until about 931 when he retired to live as a hermit at San Pedro. Here he reposed and is feasted on 25 May. St. Gennadius was aided by St. Urban, Abbot of Penalba in the diocese of Astorga, who departed this life in c. 940 and is remembered on 6 April. Two years later in about 942 reposed St. Hermogius, a native of Tuy in Galicia and founder of the monastery of Labrugia. Uncle to St. Pelagius (see above), he had also been taken hostage to Cordoba but was freed by the Moors. At the end of his life, he retired as Bishop of Tuy to the monastery of Ribas de Sil. St. Gennadius, whom we have mentioned above, was succeeded by a former disciple, St. Vincent, who reposed in c. 950 and is feasted on 9 May.
To prove that martyrdom had not yet finished even during this period of renewal, we have the examples of Sts. Pelagius, Arsenius and Silvanus, all hermits near Burgos in Old Castile, where they are still venerated. Martyred by the Moors in c. 950, they lived in a cell which was later to become the monastery of Artanza where their memory is kept on 30 August. St. Hermenegild was a monk at Salcedo near Tuy and helped spread monasticism in both Spanish Galicia and Portuguese Galicia with the great Portuguese St. Rudesind. He reposed in 953 and is commemorated on 5 November. Another monastic saint of this period is St. Amaswinthus, monk and Abbot for forty-two years near Malaga in Andalusia. His memory is feasted on 22 December. St. Peter (928-987), born in Venice and originally an admiral of the Venetian fleet, gave up everything to become a monk at the famous monastery of Cuxa in the Pyrenees, where he finished as a hermit. He is recalled on 10 January.
Another St. Peter, surnamed Martinez or St. Peter of Mozonzo, became a monk at the monastery of Mozonzo in Galicia in about 950. In about 986, however, already Abbot of St. Martin's monastery in Compostela in Galicia, he was appointed Archbishop of that city. He is much venerated as a hero of the Spanish Reconquest. Especially devoted to the Mother of God, he reposed in around 1000 and is feasted on 10 September. St. Virila was Abbot of St. Saviour's monastery at Leyre in Navarre. He reposed in c. 1000 and is remembered on 1 October. St. Froilan, also from Galicia, became monk very young and then Abbot of a monastery at Moreruela in Old Castile, before becoming Bishop of Léon. He did much to restore monastic life, creating with his helper, below, monasteries for hundreds of monks and nuns in western Spain. He reposed in 1006 and was traditionally remembered on 5 October in Léon, of which diocese he is the patron. St. Froilan was ably helped by St. Attila (Attilianus) (c. 939-1009), a former hermit who also came from Galicia. At Pentecost 990, on the same day as St. Froilan, he was consecrated Bishop of Zamora to the south of Léon. St. Attilanus is feasted on 5 October, two days after his friend.
St. Hermengaudius (Armengol in Catalan) was the very active and monastically-minded Bishop of Urgel in the Catalan Pyrenees from 1010 to 1035 when he reposed. His memory is feasted on 3 November. St. Guillermo (William) of Penacorada was monk at the monastery of Satagun in Léon. In 988 he fled the Moors and settled with other monks in Penacorada where he founded a monastery now named after him. He reposed in c. 1042 and is commemorated on 20 March. St. Atto was first a monk at Oña in Old Castile and then became Bishop of Oca-Valpusta nearby. He reposed in about 1044 and his memory is kept on 1 June. Finally we come to St. Casilda (> c. 1050). A native of Toledo and probably of Moorish origin she became Christian, a nun and then anchoress at Briviesca near Burgos where she was greatly venerated and honoured on 9 April.
Looking at the history of the peoples of Iberia we feel perhaps particular regret that they did not remain within the Orthodox fold. Had they done so, then not only would the Iberian Church have been adorned with many other Saints, but also all of Latin America from Argentina to Mexico, as well as many other peoples in Africa and Asia, would have have received the full light of the Orthodox Faith and the tragic bloodshed of later times would have been avoided. Never-theless, as we read through the above catalogue of over 200 individually named saints of 'Hispania', a Phoenician place-name which is said to mean 'the hidden land', we cannot but give thanks to God for such heroism and sacrifice in the name of Christ. The feats of the Saints of this 'hidden land' and their authentic spirituality are truly 'the light to lighten the nations and the glory of Thy people Israel'.
The following is a calendar, not only of the saints of Spain and those who became saints in Spain, but also including Spanish Christians who became saints outside Spain (marked *). For example we have St. Daniel of Niverta, an island off Cadiz, who at the end of the tenth century went to Egypt and became a monk there, taking the monastic name of Stephen. He is celebrated on 17 December, but only in eastern calendars. The saints of Portugal are also listed (marked **) and also a saint of the Canary Islands (marked ***) . We also list the two wonderworking Icons of Spain. These are the Icon of Abula, which was revealed in 692 and which is remembered in eastern calendars on 11 June, and the Spanish Icon (more exactly of Seville) which appeared in 792. The intercessions of the latter, portraying the Mother of God enthroned with the Christ-Child, helped the Spanish against the Moors and the Icon is still commemorated in the Orthodox East on 8 April.
10 Peter, Hermit, 987
12 Victorian of Asan, Abbot, c. 560
13 Gusemindus and Servus-Dei, Martyrs, 852
16 Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija, c. 633
21 Fructuosus, Bishop of Taragofia, Augurius and Eulogius, Deacons, Martyrs, 259
22 Vincent the Deacon, Martyr, 304
22 Vincent, Orontius and Victor, Martyrs, 305
23 Ildephonsus (Alphonse, Alonzo), Archbishop of Toledo, 667
26 Alphonse, Bishop of Astorga, 9c.
27 Avitus ***, Apostle of the Canary Islands, 3c.? 27 Candida, Anchoress, c. 798
27 Emerius, Abbot, 8c.
28 Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa, 315
7 Fidelis, Bishop of Merida, c. 570
9 Nebridius, Bishop of Egara, c. 527
12 Eulalia of Barcelona, Martyr, c. 304
16 Honestus, Martyr, 270
18 Helladius, Archbishop of Toledo, 632
19 Beatus of Liebana, Priest and Monk, 789
21 Valerius, Abbot, 695
23 Florentius of Seville, c. 485
23 Martha, Virgin-Martyr, 251
27 Leander, Archbishop of Seville, c. 601
1 Rosendus**, Bishop of Dumio, 977
2 Paul, Heraclius, Secundilla and Januaria**, Martyrs in Porto, c. 305
3 Hemiterius and Cheledonius, Martyrs, 4c.
8 Julian, Archbishop of Toledo, 690
9 Pacian, Bishop of Barcelona, c. 390
11 Eulogius of Cordoba, Priest and Martyr, 859
13 Ramirus and Companions, Martyrs, 630
13 Rudericus (Roderick) and Solomon, Martyrs, 857
15 Mancius**, Bishop of Evora, Martyr, 5c.?
15 Leocretia (Lucretia), Martyr, 859
18 Narcissus and Felix, Bishop and Deacon, Martyrs, c. 307
20 Martin**, Archbishop of Braga, 580
20 Guillermo (William) of Penacorada, Monk, c. 1042
26 Braulio, Archbishop of Saragossa, 646
31 Renovatus, Bishop of Merida, c. 633
4 Isidore, Archbishop of Seville, 636
6 Prudentius*, Bishop of Troyes in France, 861
6 Urban, Abbot, c. 940
8 Icon of the Mother of God of Seville ('Spanish Icon'), 792
9 Casilda, Anchoress, c. 1050
12 Victor**, Martyr at Braga, c. 300
13 Hermenegild, Martyr, 586
16 The Eighteen Martyrs of Saragossa, Optatus, Lupercus, Successus, Martial, Urban, Julia, Quintilian, Publius, Fronto, Felix, Cecilian, Eventius, Primitivus, Apodemius and four named Saturninus, c. 304
16 Gaius and Crementius, Martyrs, 304
16 Engratia, Virgin-Martyr, c. 304
16 Turibius, Bishop of Astorga, c. 460
16 Turibius of Palencia, Abbot of Liebana, c. 528
16 Fructuosus**, Archbishop of Braga, 665
16 Lambert, Martyr, c. 900
17 Elias, Paul and Isidore, Martyrs, 856
18 Perfectus, Priest and Martyr, 851
22 Senhorina**, Abbess of Basto, 982
24 Gregory, Bishop of Elvira, c. 394
24 Peter**, Archbishop of Braga, Martyr, 5c.?
28 Prudentius, Bishop of Tarazona, c. 700
29 Agapius, Secundinus, Tertulla, Antonia and Companions*, Martyrs in Africa, c. 259
29 Daniel, Hermit and Martyr, 9c.
30 Amator, Peter and Louis, Martyrs, 855
1 Orentius and Patientia, Martyrs, c. 240
2 Felix of Seville, Deacon and Martyr, c. 300?
5 Sacerdos, Bishop of Murviedro, c. 560
9 Vincent, Abbot, c. 950
11 Anastasius, Martyr in Lerida, c. 300
15 Torquatus, Ctesiphon, Secundus, Indaletius, Cecilius, Hesychius and Euphrasius, Missionaries and Martyrs, l c.
21 Secundinus, Martyr, c. 306
23 Epitacius, Bishop of Tuy, lc.
23 Basil*, Bishop of Braga, lc.
25 Gennadius, Bishop of Astorga, Hermit, c. 936
26 Guinizo*, Hermit in Italy, c. 1050
28 Justus, Bishop of Urgel, c. 527
29 Votus, Felix and John de Atares, Hermits, c. 750
1 Atto, Bishop of Oca-Valpuesta, c. 1044
3 Isaac, Monk and Martyr, 851
5 Sancho (Sanctus), Martyr, 851
7 Peter, Walabonsus, Sabinian, Wistremund, Habentius and Jeremiah, Martyrs, 851
11 Icon of the Mother of God of Abula, 692
13 Fandilas, Abbot and Martyr, 853
14 Anastasius, Felix and Digna, Martyrs, 853
15 Benildis, Martyr, 853
18 Cyriacus and Paula, Martyrs, 305
20 Florentina (Florence), Abbess, c. 636
24 John of Tuy, Hermit, 9c.
25 Eurosia (Orosia), Martyr, 714
26 Perseveranda (Pezaine)*, Nun in France, c. 726
26 Pelagius (Pelayo), Martyr, 925
26 Hermogius, Bishop, c. 942
27 Clement, Martyr, c. 298
27 Zoilus and Companions, Martyrs, c. 301
28 Argimir, Martyr, 856
30 Marcian, Bishop of Pamplona, c. 757
11 Abundius, Priest and Martyr, 854
16 Sisenandus, Deacon and Martyr, 851
18 Philastrius*, Bishop of Brescia in Italy, c. 387
18 Marina, Martyr, c. 300
19 Aurea, Nun and Martyr, 856
19 Justa and Rufina, Martyrs, 287
20 Paul, Deacon and Martyr, 851
24 Victor, Martyr, 304
24 Dictinus, Bishop of Astorga, 420
25 Cucuphas, Martyr, 304
25 Theodemir, Monk and Martyr, 851
27 George, Aurelius, Natalia, Felix, Liliosa, Martyrs, 852
4 Peregrinus, Maceratus and Viventius*, Martyrs in Gaul, 6c.
6 Justus and Pastor, Martyrs, c. 304
6 Stephen, Abbot of Cardena and Companions, Martyrs, 872
13 Centolla and Helen, Virgin-Martyrs, c. 304
19 Marinus, Abbot and Bishop, c. 800
19 Leovigild and Christopher, Monks and Martyrs, 852
22 Fabrician and Philibert, Martyrs, c. 300
25 Geruntius, Bishop of Italica, Martyr, c. 100
25 Maginus, Missionary and Martyr,' c. 304
27 Hosius, Bishop of Cordoba, 359
27 Licerius*, Bishop of Couserans in Gaul, c. 548
30 Pelagius, Arsenius and Silvanus, Hermits and Martyrs, c. 950
1 Giles*, Abbot in Italy, c. 1050
3 Sandila (Sandalus), Martyr, c. 855
5 Obdulia, Martyr, c. 300
6 Augustine, Sanctian and Beata*, Martyrs in Gaul, 273
10 Peter, Archbishop of Compostela, c. 1000
11 Vincent of Leon, Abbot and Martyr, c. 630
15 Emilas and Jeremiah, Martyrs, 852
16 Rogelius and Servus-Dei, Martyrs, 852
19 Pomposa, Nun and Martyr, 853
25 Firminus*, Bishop of Amiens in Gaul, 4c.
27 Adolphus and John, Martyrs, c. 850
28 Paternus*, Bishop of Auch in Gaul, 2c.
1 Verissimus, Maxima and Julia**, Martyrs, c. 302
1 Virila, Abbot, c. 1000
5 Froilan, Bishop of Leon, 1006
5 Attila (Attilanus), Bishop of Zamora, 1009
8 Peter of Seville, Martyr, c. 300
13 Faustus, Januarius and Martial, Martyrs, 304
15 Callistus*, Martyr in France, 1003
19 Laura, Nun and Martyr, 864
22 Nunctus, Abbot and Martyr, 668
22 Nunilo and Alodia, Martyrs, 851
23 Servandus and Germanus, Martyrs, c. 305
25 Fructus, Valentine and Engratia, c. 715
27 Vincent, Sabina and Christeta, Martyrs, 303
29 Baldus (Bond)*, Hermit in France, 7c.
30 Claudius, Lupercus and Victorius, Martyrs, c. 300
3 Martyrs of Saragossa, c. 304
3 Gaudiosus, Bishop of Tarazona, c. 585
3 Pirmin*, Missionary-Bishop in Germany, 753
3 Hermengaudius (Armengol), Bishop of Urgel, 1035
5 Hermenegild, Monk, 953
6 Severus, Bishop of Barcelona, Martyr, 633
12 Emilian, Bishop of Tarazona, Hermit, 574
13 Arcadius, Paschasius, Probus, Eutychian and Paulillus*, Martyrs in Africa, 437
13 Eugene, Archbishop of Toledo, 657
17 Acisclus and Victoria, Martyrs, 304
19 Crispin, Bishop of Ecija, Martyr, 4c.
21 Honorius, Eutychius and Stephen, Martyrs,c. 300
22 Tigridia, Nun, c. 925
23 Lucretia, Virgin-Martyr, 306
24 Flora and Mary, Virgin-Martyrs, 851
27 Facundus and Primitivus, Martyrs, c. 300
9 Leocadia, Virgin-Martyr, c. 303
10 Eulalia of Merida, Virgin-Martyr, c. 304
10 Julia of Merida, Martyr, c. 304
11 Eutychius (Oye), Martyr, c. 300
11 Damasus*, Pope of Rome, 384
14 Justus and Abundius, Martyrs, 283
15 Urbitius (Urbez), Hermit, c. 805
17 Daniel of Niverta and Egypt (in monasticism Stephen)*, c. 975
21 Honoratus*, Bishop of Toulouse in Gaul, 3c.
22 Amaswinthus, Abbot, 982
23 Vintila, Martyr, Hermit, 890
31 Columba*, Martyr in Gaul, 273