Sunday, May 12, 2013

Martyrs of Otranto

This morning in Rome, Pope Francis canonized the 813 Martyrs of Otranto. These faithful Christians were victims of muslim brutality and conquest in the Italian city of Otranto in 1480. On August 11, the besieged town was overrun by Ottoman invaders. All men in the town over the age of 50 were slaughtered, and women and children under 15 were sent away into slavery. (That whole "religion of peace" meme notwithstanding.) The leader of the invaders, Pasha Ament ordered over 800 surviving Christian men brought before him and commanded them to convert to islam or face death. The faithful refused to cave in to his barbarous demands.

One of the men came forth and spoke in a manner that we should all pray we could emulate,
My brothers, until today we have fought in defense of our country, to save our lives, and for our lords; now it is time that we fight to save our souls for our Lord, so that having died on the cross for us, it is good that we should die for him, standing firm and constant in the faith, and with this earthly death we shall win eternal life and the glory of martyrs.
Angered that they would not renounce their faith, the Pasha ordered all the men killed. On August 14, 1480, the prisoners were brought to a nearby hill and beheaded, while their families and friends were forced to watch. According to tradition, the body of the first victim, tailor Antonio Primaldo, refused to fall over until the entire group had been executed. The destruction of the town complete, and its population decimated, the invaders continued their march toward Rome.

A year later, in October 1481, the bodies of the martyrs were found to be uncorrupted and moved to the Otranto cathedral. On December 14 1771, Pope Clement XIV beatified these brave men. Their cause for Sainthood is completed today as Pope Francis declares the Martyrs of Otranto to be among the Saints in Heaven.

Martyrs of Otranto, Ora pro nobis!

Relics of the Otranto Martyrs
Also see "How the 800 Martyrs of Otranto Saved Rome" for more on the martyrs and their place in the history of Christendom.


  1. Lovely post. Thank you. I'm so glad to hear that these martyrs have been canonized at last. I've been shocked, though, by the mainstream media coverage I've seen, which keeps saying that this canonization will strain the fragile relationship between the Church and Islam. It'd be one thing if the Pope were canonizing 800 people who had murdered Muslims. But this is 800 Christians who were murdered BY Muslims -- and yet this is going to offend Muslims? Very strange reasoning -- worth pondering further, I think.

    1. This morning our local paper actually mentioned they were killed for "not converting to islam", rather than the more generic "refusing to denounce their faith. However, they also questioned how this would affect "relations" with islam. Sadly, the scimitar is still the conversion tool of choose for islam, even after 600 years. The dhimmitude of the press and the current administration continues unabated. As we saw at Ft. Hood, Benghazi and Boston, "political correctness" leads to dead Americans.

  2. I find the media's worry about the act offending Muslims very interesting considering how little they care how Catholics are offended.

    And I find it interesting that they aren't offended enough by Muslim slaughter of Christians to report on it often and in depth.

    But maybe that's just me.

    1. The leftist media has aligned itself with the promoters of sharia, in order to break the resolve of Christians. Just wait until their own "social agenda" is attacked by those same barbarians they court now. It's going to be a rude awakening.


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