• “I henceforth take Jesus Christ to be mine. I promise to receive Him as a husband to me. And I give myself to Him, unworthy though I am, to be His spouse. I ask of Him, in this marriage of spirit with spirit, that I may be of the same mind with Him — meek, pure, nothing in myself, and united in God’s will. And, pledged as I am to be His, I accept as part of my marriage portion, the temptations and sorrows, the crosses and the contempt which fell to Him. — Jeanne M.B. de la Mothe Guyon, Sealed with her ring.”

NUNILO AND ALOIDA, SISTERS AND CHRISTIAN MAIDENS PUT TO DEATH WITH THE SWORD IN THE CITY OF OSCA, FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, ABOUT A. D. 851

For this contest for the name of Christ, the Lord prepared not only men, but also women, and young maidens so that in the following year, 851, as near as can be reckoned, two sisters, one named Nunilo, the other Aloida, did not hesitate to confess Jesus Christ, their heavenly Bridegroom, among the Mohammedans, not only with their blood, but also with their death; which took place on this wise

Their father was a Mohammedan, and their mother a nominal Christian, but not very pious, since she, according to the testimony of the ancients, after the death of her husband, married a Saracen (Mohammedan) or unbeliever. In consequence of this, these pious young women could not freely observe, and live up to, the confession of their faith, according to the doctrine of Christ, on account of the constraints placed upon them by their unbelieving stepfather. Compelled, therefore, to leave their mother’s house, they went to live with their aunt or mother’s sister, who, being a true Christian woman, brought them up farther in the Christian religion.

The envious enemy of the human race, filled with jealousy because they, the children of a Saracen father, had become Christians, accused them through the instrumentality of wicked persons, to the chief officer of the city of Osca, so that shortly after they were brought before the judge. The latter, in order to draw them away from the Christian religion made them great promises of gifts and presents. He moreover offered to secure their marriage with the most excellent young men, etc., if they would but embrace Mohammedanism. But, if they remained stubborn, and despised the advice of the president or judge, he threatened to torture them with divers torments, and finally to put them to death with the sword.

Thereupon, these pious maidens being strengthened by the Spirit of God, firmly and fearlessly answered the judge, saying, “O judge! how is it, that thou dost command us to turn away from true godliness? since God has made known to us, that no one in the world is richer than Jesus Christ, our Saviour; and that nothing is more blessed than the Christian faith, by which the just live, and the saints have conquered kingdoms. For, without Christ there is no life, and without His knowledge there is nothing but eternal death. To dwell with Him, and to live in Him, is our only and true consolation; but to depart from Him, is eternal perdition. From His communion we will never be separated as long as we live in this life; for, having given and entrusted our innocence (or youth) into His keeping, we hope eventually to become His bride., “For, the profit of the transient riches of this world, with which thou didst think to allure us, we count as dung and loss, that we may gain Christ, because we know that everything under the sun, except Christ and true .faith in Him, is vanity., “Nor are we moved by the threatened punishment; since we know, that the torments endure but a short time; yea, for death itself, which thou hast presented to us as the final terror, we long the more because we know that thereby we go without delay* to heaven, to Christ our Bridegroom, there to be embraced by Him inseparably, through His love.”

The judge, perceiving the steadfastness of their faith, and the power of their confession, deemed it well to commit these young maidens, each separately to certain Saracen women, to be instructed in the Mohammedan religion, strictly prohibiting them from conversing with each other, or with any others of the Christians. The women, who had undertaken to instruct them in the Saracen or Mohammedan religion, daily presented to them their idolatry and pernicious doctrine, seeking thus to poison them with the cup of the wrath of God, from the hand of Mohammed. But all in vain; they remained steadfast, which was called stubbornness by their enemies.

Finally they were brought before the tribunal and made a public spectacle; where they, confessing Christ as before, and declaring Mohammed an enemy of the Christian faith, as well as rejecting his doctrine, were executed with the sword, in the city of Osca in Spain, on the 22d of October, A. D. 851. Though others differ considerably in their chronology of this matter, we leave it to the decision of the intelligent reader. Compare the account of A. Mellinus, second book, fol. 308, col. 1,
*”To go without delay to heaven, to Christ,” may fitly be understood as having reference to the commending of their souls into the hands of Christ; as is stated of the holy martyr Stephen, namely, that he saw the heavens opened, and Christ standing on the right hand of God; to whom, in his extremity, he commended his soul, saying: ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:59,60)
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2, with the authors from whom the same has been extracted. Eulog. Memor. Sanctor., lib. 2, cap. 7, and Interp.

Touching these two pious martyresses; there is also to be observed what is said in the added note respecting John, the first-mentioned martyr.

NOTE.-A. D. 852, the zeal of some to die for the name of Jesus Christ was so great that multitudes of them confessed Christ, and, hastening to martyrdom, suffered themselves to be put to death as defenseless lambs, for Christ’s sake. It is stated that among these there were two young heroes of Jesus Christ, namely Emilas and Hieremias, who, from a well-meaning and special zeal, spoke against -Mohammed, and thus offered themselves, to suffer for Christ their Saviour. For this they were both executed with the sword, whereupon (according to the testimony of the ancients), though the weather had been fine in the forenoon, immediately at the hour of their death, there followed mighty peals of thunder, so that the earth quaked; terrible lightnings fell from the air; great darkness, heavy hailstorms, furious whirlwinds, .and storms manifested themselves, as though the insensible elements (according to Rulogius) were mourning the death of these pious martyrs; whose dead bodies were taken across the river and suspended on stakes, on the 15th of September, A. D. 852. A. Mell., fal. 309, col. 4, from Memor. Sanctor., lib. 2, cap. 2. For certain reasons, however, we will not comment on these persons, though we know of nothing to censure, as regards either their faith or their life.

(Martyrs Mirror)

 

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