« AnteriorContinuar »
“It was scarcely three o'clock, or nine, hands and all his strength, multiplying his according to the Spaniards’ mode of reckon- furious and cruel blows. ing, when three or four guards of the Pacha “Seeing this, other renegades from the entered the bath and inquired for Geronymo, numerous troop of refugees from the true who was still in the church recommending faith, which surrounded the Pacha, wished himself to God. He came forth towards these also to exhibit themselves as good Mussulmans men, who, as soon as they perceived him, and accomplished Turks, and seizing other
, commenced, according to their custom, to rammers, and ramming down the earth which overwhelm him furiously with insulting lan- they brought to the spot, accomplished the guage. The servant of God replied not a death of this glorious martyr of Christ. single word.
“The spirit of Geronymo, we must believe, * The guards having placed him in their according to our holy faith, was received by midst, directed their steps towards the fort, our Lord amongst the number of his saints in of which we have already spoken, where the Heaven, the martyr obtaining the crown and Pacha awaited him, and which was destined to recompense of his holy and glorious death. be the scene of his glorious death. Geronymo
20. “All being thus ended, and the body of having arrived in the presence of the governor, the holy man being covered up in his noble who was accompanied by many renegades and sepulchre, Euldj-Ali returned to the palace, Turks, Euldj-Ali addressed him in these remarking upon the way, that in truth he had words:
not expected this Christian would have received “ Bre, juppe !' which means in Turkish : death with so much courage. Hallo, dog! wherefore wilt thou not be a “ This occurred in the middle of September Mussulman ?'
of the year 1569, upon the 18th, a day which “I will not be one in anything,' replied will remain a perpetual remembrance to those the martyr of God. 'I am a Christian, and who love the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. I shall remain a Christian.'
“ The Christians who were labouring at the "Ah, well,' replied the Pacha, “if thou fort Bal-el-Oued, deliberated whether they wilt not become a Mussulman-look there!' should remove from thence the body of the and he showed him the mould for the block of saint ; but this did not appear possible, since mud. • Look there: I will bury thee alive they would have been seen by the Turks and there!'
Moors who guarded them. Besides, such a “Do what thou wilt,' returned the holy removal would not have been desirable, seeing man, with admirable courage. 'I am prepared that the memory of this most happy martyr, for all things. The aspect of death will not and his glorious death and courage, would be make me abandon the faith of our Lord Jesus bost preserved if he remained interred there, Christ.'
on the spot where he suffered, fully in sight “Euldj-Ali, perceiving his grand resolution, not only of the Christians, but of the blind ordered the chain upon his leg to be struck Turks and Moors, and, above all, by the reneoff, and his feet and hands to be bound to-gades, who, regarding so excellent a martyr of gether; also that he should be placed at the God, would feel themselves confounded, and bottom of the mud-mould which he had had would suffer regret for their sin. prepared the previous day, and after this was “If the fort be looked at towards the north, done, that he should be forthwith buried alive in order to discover the spot where the holy there,
corpse is interred, it may be clearly recognised “ The guards immediately executed his in the wall, since upon this side there is a orders; and Geronymo, his limbs bound, was block broken up, and, as it were, disturbed. placed between the planks. A Spanish rene- The reason being that the flesh having, in the gade of the house of Hadji-Mourad, known in lapse of time, been consumed from the bones, Christendom under the name of Tamango, the earth of this block has sunk, a movement and by the Turks under that of Djafar, who which is very remarkable. had been taken at the defeat of Mostaganem “We await through the Divine Goodness with the Count d'Alcaudete, jumped with both the arrival of a day when Geronymo shall be feet upon the martyr of God, and seizing in drawn forth from this place, and when his his hand one of the rammers lying near, called body sball be united to those of many other out that they should at once bring him earth. holy martyrs of Christ whose blood and most Accordingly, earth was brought and spread happy deaths have consecrated this country, over this holy one of God, who spake not one in order to be laid together in a more honourword, opened not his mouth, being like a able and suitable place, to the glory of the gentle lamb before his shearers. Then began Lord, who has left to us captives such saints Tamango to ram down the earth with both his land such examples.
“The most happy martyr Geronymo, accord- But, besides this remarkable clue in the ing to appearance at the moment of his glorious Spanish narrative, there is also an expression death, might have reached the age of five-and- which very clearly defined the position of the thirty years.
He was spare and small of spot sought for. It is where Haedo remarks stature; his face was thin and his complexion that the side of the rampart where the martyr very brown, such as is that mostly of the reposes is a place in sight not only of the Moors of this country of Barbary.”
Christians, but of the Turks and renegades. At the time of the publication in the This supposes, without question, that the spot “Akbar” by M. Berbrugger of the fore- was open to a public road. Now the high going narrative, there was a prospect of the road, which leads from the gate Bab-el-Oued, demolition of the “ Fort of the Twenty-Four passed then, as now, before the front of the Hours,
"*_the fort clearly indicated in Haedo's fort, where, in fact, ultimately the skeleton of history as the scene of the martyr's sufferings Geronymo was found. The great thoroughand of his entombment. “It was,” says M. fare ran parallel with this wall; whilst the Berbrugger, even believed that its destruc- other sides of the fort, alone commanding a tion would be confided to private enterprise. view of the small paths of a cemetery, which Happily however,” he continues, “the hand no place of thoroughfare, in no way of Providence, so conspicuous throughout the answered the description given by Haedo. whole affair, brought about a favourable com- The whole matter was, however, soon set bination of circumstances for the search. at rest by the discovery made on Tuesday, the year 1852 the business of demolishing the December 27th, 1853. fort was confided to a young captain of artil- The official paper of the colony, the “Monilery, M. Suzzoni, who, having heard speak of teur Algérien," has given, December 30th, the my article upon the martyr Geronymo, re- following account of the event:quested from me all needful information in “A very affecting discovery has just been prosecuting a search, which henceforth was made at the fort of the Four-and-Twenty carried on with persistent ardour.”
Hours,' a little after noonday on Tuesday The work was commenced on the northern last. The soldiers employed in the demolition front, that which the text of Haedo appears of the rampart facing the road, perceived, upon especially to designate as containing the sacred removal of the rubbish produced by the exploremains. Nothing being however for some time sion of one of the mines, extending lengthdiscovered, fears were entertained that during ways within a block of mud, an excavation the repairs in former years, of which there were inclosing a human skeleton, which was visible evident traces upon the surface of the wall, from the occipital region to the articulation of the precious relics had perished. These fears the tibia with the femur. In short, excepting vanished upon more careful observation, the the upper portion of the head and the lower lower portion of the building, in which, accord- portions of the legs, the whole body was quite ing to the Spanish narrative, Geronymo had been visible. interred, being found to have escaped repair. “M. Suzzoni, captain of artillery, super
There was no need, however, to have been intendent of the demolition of the fort, was disheartened. The indication of Haedo had been immediately informed of the discovery. A given to him by slaves, mostly men without rapid examination led him at once to the coneducation, who doubtless neither possessed in- clusion that he saw before him the precious struments for scientific observation, nor yet remains of the martyr Geronymo. He hastened the habit of exactitude in description. They to communicate the tidings of this happy discowill simply have remarked that the north- very to Monseigneur Pavy, Bishop of Algiers; eastern projection of the fort where Geronymo and our venerable prelate, accompanied by a reposed was in the prolongation of the gate number of clergy, hastened to the spot. Also, Bab-el-Oued, through which you passed if you M. le Préfet and numbers of gentlemen bewished to go towards the north, as well as longing to the army, to the administration, towards the east, and this will have served as and to the population at large, came to visit the basis of the approximate indication which the remains. they have given.
“ The skeleton is extended upon its face,
the legs lying very closely together. The * The European name of the Fort of the Four-and-Twenty Hours (Fort des Vingt-Quatre-Heures), observes M. Berbrugger, position of the bones of the fore-arm, and a has caused considerable speculation regarding its origin; cord still attached to the spot corresponding and he would suggest whether this mysterious designation may not have referenco to the tragedy acted out in Septem- with the wrists upon the side of the mould ber, 1569, during its erection, and of which the duration from beginning to end was twenty-four hours ; that is, from
left by the impression of the body of the the time when the Pacha was informed that Geronymo martyr in the mud, before the decay of the would not abjure his faith, to the time when his martyrdom was accomplished.
fleshy portions, lead to the belief that the vic
tim's hands had been fastened behind his the historian and Haedo the archbishop, his back. It appears also probable, judging from patron, and regarding the condition and sufthe juxtaposition of the leg-bones, that the ferings of the slaves in Algiers. Suffice it to legs also had been bound.
say that the further Haedo's narrative is inves“ The garments, which consist of a short shirt tigated with reference to the martyrdom, and and a haïk or a gandoura, have been found ad- that the further the discovered remains have hering to the sides of the mould, where their been examined with reference to Haedo's slightest folds, and the least detail of their account, the more perfectly do the two tally. texture, may be perfectly well recognised. For instance, according to the Spanish Geronymo having been taken captive in May, monk's narrative, we learn that when Gero1569, remained a little more than three nymo fell with his face prostrate upon the months in the bath of Algiers, until the 18th earth at the bottom of the frame prepared to September of the same year, the day of his receive the mud, a Spanish renegade leapt martyrdom. No doubt, during this time he upon his body and called upon the bystanders had been made to assume the dress of the to bring earth with which to bury the martyr; slaves, described by Aranda, and which was and also that the earth was brought. Now it of the simplest character, since it had to be is a remarkable fact that in the mud-block fashioned and sewn by the slave himself out containing the discovered skeleton, the lower of the five ells of coarse stuff delivered by the portion of it, that in which the skeleton lay, Beylik to each of the captives.
is simply composed of pure earth, whilst all “A detailed report relating to this valuable other blocks are made of earth mixed with discovery has been drawn up by M. le Capitaine lime. Also, it is especially noted in the medical Suzzoni, and signed by all the witnesses, ad- report upon the discovery of the skeleton, that dressed to M. le Colonel D'Alayrac, director the greater portion of the ribs are broken ; and
; of the artillery A commission, composed of this circumstance is in entire accordance with doctors, civil and military, charged with the the description given by Haedo of the furious examination of the skeleton, will give their treatment accorded by the regenades to their opinion regarding the question of sex, age, and prostrate victim. race."
M. Berbrugger concludes his volume by an The “Akbar” and the " Moniteur Algérien “Epilogue,” in which he relates how Monseigreprinted the entire article which M. Ber- neur de Pavy, Bishop of Algiers, visited Rome, brugger had published in the “Akbar” in there to lay before the Holy See an account October 1847, regarding Geronymo ; and so of the discovery of the martyr's bones. His great was the public interest excited by the mission appears to have been eminently sucdiscovery, that every extra number of these cessful, and the bones of the poor Moorish papers was sold on the day of publication. slave to have been regarded with great favour
In fact, public interest continuing ever on the by his Holiness, for the Bishop thus writes increase, M. Berbrugger was induced to publish in his pastoral letter :the little book which I have now the pleasure “We are charged in the name of the Holy of introducing to my readers. Proud indeed See to commence apostolic proceedings (with must the day have been to the author, when his reference to Geronymo). We are permitted to religious enthusiasm, and his indefatigable his- transport the remains of this servant of God to toric faith and research were rewarded almost the interior of our cathedral to place them there beyond his own expectation by the disinter above-ground, with an inscription recording the ment of these affecting memorials of Christian tradition of the martyrdom and the discovery fortitude. M. Berbrugger himself observes :- of his remains ; we are permitted to surmount “ It was difficult to preserve a calm aspect at the remains with the martyr's portrait; we are the sight of the eager and respectful crowd, permitted to distribute his relics,” &c. composed of all that is distinguished by social The Holy See had already pronounced or official position in our city, mingled with Geronymo worthy to bear the name of “the the poor and humble, and with the representa- Venerable.” Three stages in the process of tives of the most opposing religous faiths, all canonization, however, remained unfulfilled ; without exception returning deeply moved by the last process dependent upon the lapse of the indescribable spectacle which they had just a stated number of years, during which it is beheld.”
to be proved whether the holy relics possess The limits of this article will only permit the power of miracle-working; and not until me a slight reference to the remaining contents this period has arrived, bringing with it of M. Berbrugger's volume, in which he brings assurance of miraculous power of Geronymo, before his readers much curious and valua- will he bear the title of Blessed. ble historic information regarding both Haedo Nevertheless, great were the demonstrations
of earthly honour paid by church and state to the bones of the poor Moorish slave, already raised into the state of veneration, if not as yet of beatification.
(B.C. 100.) Pan was old, and bleared, and wan,
Bent with the weight of thousands of years, We peasants bad lung ceased worsbipping him,
Or bringing him kids, or lambs, or steers ; No turf was now piled for such offerings, On down, or in forest, by pools or springs.
Yet still, where the kingfisher flitted and dived,
Down by the rippling pebbly shallows, He sat, still watching the bulrusbes bow
- To a spectre line of half-starved willows, From under a chapp'd and dodder'd tree, Racked with old age and with penury.
In a letter addressed to MM. the Presidents of the Councils of the Work of the Propagation of the Faith at Lyons and Paris regarding the Venerable Geronymo, the Bishop of Algiers describes the magnificent ceremonial of the removal of the remains to the cathedral, which took place upon the 28th of May, 1854. This ceremony immediately followed the benediction of the first stone inid of the Parc d'Artillerie, commenced near the site of the demolished fort. Monseigneur de Pavy writes :“After the benediction, we
mounted the rock of the Twenty-Four Hours and arrived in the presence of the remains of Geronymo. There it became once more my duty to verify their identity, and I called forward as witnesses all the persons who had assisted at the various previous inquiries. Each one of these witnesses, having examined the bones and affirmed their identity, signed upon the spot the declaration to be sent to the Congregation of Rites. I made use of this opportunity solemnly to return public thanks to the authors of this precious discovery, to M. Berbrugger, who, through his anterior publications, so to speak, was its prophet; and to M. le Capitaine Suzzoni, who had been, as it were, the evangelist, through the zeal with which he had brought the relics to light.”
The yellow flag flowers knee-deep spread,
All in blooin and so golden bright, The swallows were weaving over the pools,
The east was flushing with crimson light; The bees were in the wild rose sipping, The fawns down every dell were tripping.
The shepherds piped from the distant hill,
The wild notes rang through the sloping copse, And all the hyacinth bells began
To cbime together, as through the tops Of the myrtle bushes a whisper came, Breathing a well-remember'd name.
For it was Spring, and the earth was glad,
The blue sky laugh'd with the dimpliug cloud, The streams ran fast, and the birds began
Their songs, as merry as they were loud,
With feeble eye, and a languid ear,
The old god listeu'd, as soft there rang The song of a thrush, from the ilex top,
Fluting the name that it ever sangIt was Syrinx' soul that had come to see Pan in his age and his misery.
The herdsmen shouted, but still that bird,
High on the topmost ilex spray,
Blent in one innocent roundelay. 'Twas strange, that where Pan sat, thickest grew A little flower of the heaven's own bue.
The cortège reached its destination—the cathedral, passing through an immense concourse of respectful people.
Monseigneur de Pavy goes on to say: “We placed (on arrival) the shrine, together with the precious bones which it contained, in a small sacristy, of which I kept the key. On the morrow, the block was placed in a chapel devoted to the Venerable Geronymo. I shall place therein, as I have been authorised to do, the precious remains, in the same state in which they were found, so soon as the work of encasing the block (in marble) is at an end, which will be within a few days."
“Thus," truly observes M. Berbrugger,
" “have been verified the prophetic words of the historian Haedo, written above two centuries and a half ago.”
“We await through the Divine Goodness the arrival of a day when Geronymo shall be drawn forth from the spot, to be laid in a more honourable and suitable place, to the glory of the Lord !”
ANNA MARY HOWITT WATTS.
“ Forget-me-not” they call that flower ;
And Pan, when the breeze stole through the reeds Arose and cull'd the tallest tube
That in the soft ooze thirsty feeds, And fashion'd a pipe, then, under a fir,
Sat and sang all that day of her.
He play'd! and the deep notes gurgling came,
As froni the throåt of a nightingale, With his youthful skill his fingers sped,
And the music flow'd through the wooded vale, The wild goat rested beside the spring, The birds were all silent listening.
He sang of the better, earlier world,
Ere Astræa pass'd away,
That in sea and in forest play,