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Friday, April 5, 2019

Holy Martyrs of North Africa Who Suffered by the Vandals During the Paschal Liturgy (+ 459)

Holy Martyrs of North Africa Who Suffered by the Vandals During the Paschal Liturgy
(Feast Day - April 5)

In the year 459, Easter Sunday fell on April 5th. The Orthodox Church in North-West Africa was then suffering persecution from the Vandals; they were Arians, and had been brought into the country by their kings, Genseric and Hunneric. The following took place in the city of Regia, as recorded by Victor Vitensis in his History of the Vandal Persecution (Bk. 1, Ch. 42-43).

"At one time when the solemnity of Easter was being celebrated, the Arians learned that our people had opened a church which had been shut at a certain place called Regia, so they could celebrate Easter Day. Straightaway one of their priests, whose name was Anduit, got together a band of armed men and incited them to attack the throng of the innocent. They went in with swords drawn, they snatched arms; others climbed onto roofs and fired arrows through the windows of the church. Just then, as the people of God were listening and singing, a lector was standing on the platform chanting the Alleluia. At that moment he was struck by an arrow in the throat. The book fell from his hand, and he himself fell backwards, dead.

It is known that many others were killed by arrows and javelins right in front of the altar, and those who were not slain by the sword received harsh treatment at the king's command and were nearly all put to death, especially those who were older. For elsewhere, as happened at Tunuzuda, Gales (Henchir el-Kharrouba), Vicus Ammoniae and some other places, at the time when the sacraments were offered to the people of God they went in wildly, scattered the Body and Blood of Christ on the floor and stamped on it with their filthy feet."


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