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St. Liberatus and Family

Facts

Death: 484

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In 484 the king of the Vandal tribe, Huneric, an adherent of the Arian heresy that denied the divinity of Christ, issued an edict against the Catholic Church in North Africa. In this persecution, the Catholic doctor Liberatus, his wife, and their two young sons were apprehended. King Huneric ordered the parents to be separated from their children and to be exiled. Grieving this separation, Liberatus wept, but his wife urged him to take courage. The husband and wife were placed in separate prison cells, unable to see each other. Liberatus' wife was subsequently told the falsehood that Liberatus had apostatized. When afterward she was led to her trial and saw her husband standing near the spectators, she angrily grabbed him and rebuked him for denying his faith. But her husband quickly told her the truth of the matter: "In the name of Christ, I remain a Catholic." Both Liberatus and his wife were executed. Their sons were put to death by drowning, as was another seven-year-old Catholic boy, who cried out, "I am a Christian," as he was dragged away from his distraught mother.

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