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Hermenegild

Hermenegild

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Saint Hermenegild or Ermengild (d. April 13, 586) ' onMouseout='HidePop("52146")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Gothic_language">Gothic
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

 Ermen Gild, "immense tribute"), was the son of king Leovigild of Visigothic Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. He fell out with his father in 579, then revolted the following year. During his rebellion, he converted from Arian Christianity
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 to Roman Catholicism. Hermenegild was defeated in 584, and exiled. His death was later celebrated as a martyrdom due to the influence of Pope Gregory the Great's Dialogues, in which he portrayed Hermenegild as a "Catholic martyr rebelling against the tyranny of an Arian father."

Marriage to Ingund


Hermenegild was the son of King Leovigild and brother to Reccared
Reccared
Reccared I was Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia. His reign marked a climactic shift in history, with the king's renunciation of traditional Arianism in favour of Catholic Christianity in 587.Reccared was the younger son of King Liuvigild by his first wife Theodosia...

. He was brought up in the Arian
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

, but married Ingunthis (the daughter of the Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 King Sigebert I
Sigebert I
Sigebert I was the king of Austrasia from the death of his father in 561 to his own death. He was the third surviving son out of four of Clotaire I and Ingund...

 of Austrasia
Austrasia
Austrasia formed the northeastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising parts of the territory of present-day eastern France, western Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Metz served as its capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims, Trier, and...

), who was a Catholic. Ingunthis was pressured by Hermenegild's stepmother Goiswintha to abjure her beliefs, but she stayed firm in her faith.

Under Ingunthis's influence, and that of Leander of Seville
Leander of Seville
Saint Leander of Seville , brother of the encyclopedist St. Isidore of Seville, was the Catholic Bishop of Seville who was instrumental in effecting the conversion to Catholicism of the Visigothic kings Hermengild and Reccared of Hispania .-Family:Leander and Isidore and...

, Hermenegild was converted to Catholicism. His family demanded that he return to the Arian faith, but he refused. As a result, he led a revolt against Leovigild. He asked for the aid of the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, but he was left without aid. After some time he sought sanctuary in a church. Leovigild would not violate the sanctuary, but sent Reccared instead inside to speak with Hermenegild and to offer peace. This was accepted, and peace was made for some time.

Imprisonment and Death


Goiswintha, however, brought about another alienation within the family. Hermenegild was imprisoned in Tarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

 or Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

. He subjected himself to mortifications, and asked God to aid him in his struggles.

During his captivity in the tower of Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, an Arian bishop was sent to St. Hermenegild during the Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 Season, but he would not accept Holy Communion from the hands of that prelate
Prelate
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.-Related...

. King Leovigild ordered him to be killed, and the axemen found him to be resigned to this end. He was martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

ed on April 13, 586.

The later conversion of King Reccared
Reccared
Reccared I was Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia. His reign marked a climactic shift in history, with the king's renunciation of traditional Arianism in favour of Catholic Christianity in 587.Reccared was the younger son of King Liuvigild by his first wife Theodosia...

 to Catholicism has been attributed to his brother's (Hermenegild's) intercession.

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