Friday, January 20, 2012

Martyred In Jerusalem In 1391

Skimming through an article on Haram al-Sharif documents from the 14th century in Jerusalem, "THE HARAM AL-ŠARĪF COLLECTION OF ARABIC LEGAL DOCUMENTS IN JERUSALEM: A MAMLŪK COURT ARCHIVE?" that I found here, I read this, of which I was unawares:

...a very spectacular case that was reported in Mamlūk chronicles in Ḏū l-Hiğğa 793/November 1391: four Franciscan monks from the monastery of Zion had publicly insulted the religion of Islam, the Qur’ān and the Prophet Muhammad. After trial, they were imprisoned and eventually executed in accordance with a ruling by the Hanafī judge. The monks’ exceptional, and for Muslim contemporaries incomprehensible, behavior found its way into the chronicle of Ibn Qādī Šuhba75 and was later also mentioned by Maqrīzī.76 In the Christian West, the monks were revered as martyrs.77

75 Ibn Qādī Šuhba, Taqī al-Dīn Abū Bakr, Ta’rīḫ Ibn Qādī Šuhba, ,A. Darwīsh (ed.), Damascus, 1977-1997, 3:389f., on Ḏū l-Hiğğa 793.
76 Maqrīzī, Taqī al-Dīn Ahmad, Kitāb al-Sulūk li-ma,rifat duwal al-mulūk, S.,A. ,Āšūr (ed.), Cairo 1970, III, 2 (783-801), 3:792, during the year 795. Was this a second group of monks?
77 Heullant-Donat, I., “Les martyrs franciscains de Jérusalem (1391), entre mémoire et manipulation” in D. Coulon et al. (eds.), Chemins d’outre-mer. Études d’histoire sur la Méditerranée médiévale offertes à Michel Balard, Paris, 2004, 439-460, whom I thank for this information.

Interested, I discovered the monks were Nicholas Tavelic, Stephen of Cuneo, Deodato Aribert from Ruticinio and Peter of Narbonne, Franciscan Priests, and the date of their execution - they were burned for "preaching boldly in the public square in front of the Saracens, the Christian religion, professing Strongly Christ Son of God" - was November 14, 1391.

Details are:

...the four Friars Minor, decided to bring the Gospel to the Mohammedans, publicly exposing the arguments of Christianity and Islam and comparing them with those after consultation with two theologians, prepared a memorandum in which, in a detailed and rich in historical references and theological, meticulously exposed the Christian doctrine by refuting Islam.

On November 11, 1391, they went before the Cadi (judge) of Jerusalem in the presence of many Muslims, they were exposed reading this, they worked out with great courage. While they listened carefully, it was not accepted by those present, in the end they went into a rage and then the monks were asked to recall what they said; the four monks refused and so were sentenced to death for three days were put behind bars where they suffered abuse.

On November 14, they were brought back to the streets, again asked to recant what was said against Islam, after rejection this they were killed, blown to pieces and burned, the Muslims did disappear any remains, even the ashes, so that they were not honored by Christians.

This pilgrim, John de Douai from France, as also John of Lamballe, vice-count

witnessed on Nov 14, 1391 the decapitation of four Franciscan martyrs. The execution happened outside Jaffa Gate. The corpses were burned.

They were

the first martyrs of the Custody...after they tried to preach the Gospel on the Haram al Sharif (Temple Mount) and in front of the Cadi of Jerusalem

and this addition:

...In 1335 the Friars Minor were at the "coenaculum" and in 1342 Clement VI formally instituted the Custody of the Holy Land. The friars soon were officiating the "coenaculum", the Holy Sepulchre and Bethlehem...On 11 November 1391 the friars went to the temple mount, which was, and still is, a holy place to the Moslems. That day happened to be the Islamic festival of Bairam. The friars were expelled from the mosque, and taken to the house of the cadi or magistrate, where they preached the Gospel. After being mercilessly beaten they were thrown into prison. On 14 November they were taken out of prison to their place of execution, where they were massacred by the mob and their remains thrown into the fire.

They were multi-national:

Croatian, French, Italian, French

Imagine what it was like to be Jewish there and then.


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