No Dowry? It Is Enough That She Is the Daughter of a Martyr

April 29, 2021

In the kingdom of Fingo, the persecution, after having abated, took a fresh impulse. We have spoken of three charitable noblemen who were present at the death of Simon Taquenda. Their names were Joachim Girozaiemon, Michael Faciemon, and John Tingoro, and they directed together a confraternity of mercy that did a great deal of good. Their zeal was the cause why they were thrown into a frightful prison, in which Joachim died a true martyr at the end of two years, a victim of his sufferings. His two companions bore up under this torture for four years, when the king ordered them as well as their children to be beheaded.

This sentence having been made known to them, Michael asked the chief executioner to permit him to be crucified like Jesus Christ, and John begged to be cut to pieces. The officer assented, but he understood that this was to be done only after their death. While going to the place of execution with a rope around his neck, Michael walked rapidly, but John advanced slowly, exhausted as he was by a grave malady, and the rope by which he was bound being fastened so tightly that he could scarcely breathe. While they were on the way, the officers sent some soldiers to bring the children of the holy martyrs; these were Thomas, the son of Michael, aged twelve, and Peter, the son of John, who was only six years old.

Thomas, on hearing that his father was going to martyrdom, conceived so great a desire for death that he hastened to leave the city to join him; and while embracing his father he said: “My father, see your son Thomas who is going to die with you for the faith. Far from fearing death, I desire it; we shall go to heaven together.” Little Peter was expected; but as he delayed in coming, the officer wished to hasten the execution. Michael was the first that was beheaded. The executioner wished to take Thomas aside to spare him the horror of seeing the torture of his father, but the child cried out: “I wish to die near my father.” He was then conducted near the bleeding body; there he offered his head with a countenance all radiant with joy, and invoking the names of Jesus and Mary, he received the death-blow. John was the third one that was beheaded.

There still remained little Peter, as he was at the house of his uncle and had a longer journey to make. Some days before, while the conversation was about the sufferings of his father, he had said: “They will make me die with him, because I am a Christian, and I am so glad.” When the officers called to take him away, he was asleep. They awoke him and told him that his father was waiting for him to die with him. The child immediately set out with his guards, the latter leading him by the hand, and he hastened as fast as he could. On seeing him, the spectators burst into tears. Arrived at the place of execution, he readily went on his knees, and seeing the executioner drawing his sword, extended his neck while clasping his hands in prayer. This movement deeply affected the executioner; he put back the sword into the scabbard, and withdrew, saying that he had not the heart to kill this innocent lamb. Two others sent to do the bloody deed shed tears and were unable to execute the order. At last there was no one found to immolate this tender victim but an unskillful slave, who, striking Peter at first on the shoulders, threw him on the ground. He returned twice to the charge without succeeding in cutting off the head, and he was obliged to saw it off with violence. Truly a barbarity at which a ferocious beast would have revolted!

Michael Faciemon, besides his son Thomas, had a daughter whom the Christians saved and conducted to Arima. Here a gentleman wished to unite her in marriage to his son; and as it was represented that this young orphan was deprived of everything, and had no dowry, he answered: “It is enough that she is the daughter of a martyr.”

Rev. Eugene Grimm, ed. Victories of the Martyrs, vol. 9, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri (New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1888), 341–3.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 775

 

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