Blessed Monaldo by Ancona, Francesco da Petriolo and Antonio Cantoni Milan, Martyrs
+ Arzenga, Armenia, March 15, 1314
Of the martyrdom of the Franciscans have a fairly broad and contemporary Carlino Grimaldi, guardian of Trabzon. Sent as a missionary in Armenia, not only took to heart the plight of Catholics living there, but we strive above all to convert to the Christian faith the Muslims of the place.
In the city of Arzenga (geographers who write in different ways: Arzingam, Artzinga, Artzinganis or Ertzinga), located in Armenia at the Euphrates, probably identified with today’s Ersindjan, they used to speak to the crowds gathered in the presence of all, the Friday of each week, which was a public holiday for Muslims, bearing witness to the divinity of Christ and refuting the errors of Muhammad. Cadí when he realized that some of the audience was shocked by the words of the missionaries, put an end to the debate, and dismissed them. But they went to talk to him before the next Friday with new arguments and with renewed zeal, so much so that he was forced to launch a public debate between the religious and the most learned Muslims: it was so much the strength of the arguments, both the ardor of faith, that the infidels did not know what to talk of anger and turned immediately wanting to kill them. The fall, on that occasion, was opposed, and the Board of elderly and fakir was convened and consulted, “May they die – was the answer – why insult our prophet and his law, and every day they are more daring”.
The Friday of the third week of Lent, March 15, 1314 (some authors argue that the year is 1286), while the ardent preachers proclaimed the gospel truth, they were arrested and led into the public square of the city. A saracen who, moved with pity, had tried to defend them, was killed instantly. They arrived in the square, yet confessed to the court their faith in Christ. The Muslims then went at them with swords, ferendoli seriously; amputated their limbs, in torment they recommended their souls to God and were eventually beheaded. While their bodies were abandoned on the square, their limbs and heads were hung on the doors and the walls of the city under the supervision of the soldiers, then their bodies were thrown into the open countryside, where they were devoured by wild beasts.
An Armenian priest, with the help of some Christians and his own expense, failed to collect the remains of the victims and give them an honorable burial. On their tomb a blind man regained his sight. The Good Shepherd Sunday, April 28 of that year, became the translation of relics. The veneration of the Armenians to these servants of God was so much that the canonized patriarch enrolled them in the catalog of saints and Armenian imposed fasting on the eve of their martyrdom.
Author: Silvino da Nadro
Source: Enciclopedia dei Santi