Spirituality for Today – April 2009 – Volume 13, Issue 9

Saint of the Month

St. Hermenegild – April 13

An illustration of HermenegildSt. Hermenegild

Hermenegild was born into a royal family. His father, Leovigild, was the king of Spain, and his mother was Princess Theodosia. As an Arian Chrsitian, King Leovigild believed that Jesus was mortal and not divine, and he raised his son Hermenegild in these beliefs.

In 579, Hermenegild married the princess Indegundis, who opposed the Arian heresy. By this time, King Leovigild had married again, and it is believed that his second wife was mistreating Indegundis in an effort to convert her to Arianism. So the king made Hermenegild governor of Seville, and the young couple left the palace. But in the end, Indegundis converted her husband to the orthodox view. As a result, the king ordered his son to give up his position and all of his property.

Despite his father's anger, Hermenegild stood firm and began organizing a rebellion. He sought military support from Constantinople, but to no avail. Some scholars believe that Hermenegild then asked the small Roman army that controlled part of Spain for help, but instead of helping him rebel against the king, they betrayed him. At that point, Hermenegild's brother stepped in and was able to reconcile his father and brother, and Hermenegild was restored to his position as governor.

However, the relationship dissolved over time, and they became estranged again. Hermenegild was charged with heresy and imprisoned at Tarragona. Supposedly he would only be freed if he supported Arianism and received Communion from an Arian bishop. When Hermenegild flatly refused, his father had him killed.

Thank you, dear Lord, for my children.
I pray that they continue to grow in their relationship with You,
and that they always trust that Your way is the only way.
May they turn to You in good times and in bad,
and may they know that You are always there.
May You continue to bless them throughout their lives.
Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives