22 October: Sts. Nunilo and Alodia! Virgins and Martyrs

The members of the Religion of Peace like to try to kill innocent people on anniversaries, it seems. Today, the Canadian Parliament was attacked. HERE I suspect they weren’t Quebec separatists.

Today is the Feast of St. John Paul II. BUT!…

Today, 22 October, is the feast of the glorious martyrs Sts. Nunilo and Alodia!

Nunilo and Alodia were 9th c. virgin martyrs in Huesca, Spain. They were born to a Muslim father and Christian mother. They chose their mother’s Christianity.

As a result of their choice for Christ, the Emir Abd ar-Rahman II executed them as apostates according to Sharia law.  Ah, the Religion of Peace!  The things change…

Oh yes.  Before I forget, it is also the memorial of Bl. John Paul II.

We read about Sts. Nunilo and Alodia also in good old Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

Among the numberless martyrs who in those days sealed their fidelity to the law of God with their blood, two holy virgins were most illustrious.

They were sisters, of noble extraction, and their names were Nunilo and Alodia. Their father was a Mahometan, and their mother a Christian, and after the death of her first husband, she was so unhappy as to take a second husband who was also a Mahometan. Her two daughters, who had been brought up in the Christian faith, had much to suffer in the exercise of their religion from the brutality of this step-father, who was a person of high rank in Castile. They were also solicited by many suitors to marry, but resolving to serve God in the state of holy virginity, they obtaine

d leave to go to the house of a devout Christian aunt, where, enjoying an entire liberty as to their devotions, they strove to render themselves every day more agreeable to their divine Spouse.

Their fasts were severe, and almost daily, and their devotions were only interrupted by necessary duties or other good works.

The town where they lived, named Barbite, or Vervete, (which seems to be that which is now called Castro Viejo, near Najara in Castile, upon the borders of Navarre), being subject to the Saracens, when the laws of king Abderamene were published against the Christians, they were too remarkable by their birth and the reputation of their zeal and piety not to be soon apprehended by the king’s officers.

They appeared before the judge not only undaunted, but with a holy joy painted on their countenances. He employed the most flattering caresses and promises to work them into a compliance, and at length proceeded to threats. When these artifices failed him, he put them into the hands of impious women, hoping these instruments of the devil would be able by their crafty address to insinuate themselves into the hearts of the virgins. But Christ enlightened and protected his spouses, and those wicked women after many trials were obliged to declare to the judge that nothing could conquer their resolution.

He therefore condemned them to be beheaded in their prison; which was executed on the 22d of October, 851, or, according to Morales, in 840. Their bodies were buried in the same place: the greatest part of their relics is now kept in the abbey of Saint Saviour of Leger, in Navarre. Their festival is celebrated with an extraordinary concourse of people at Huesca in Aragon, and at Bosca, where a portion of their relics is preserved.

Someone translated a bit of Memoriale Sanctorum, by St. Eulogius of Cordoba about the saints (Book Two, Chapter Seven: Nunilo and Alodia, virgins and martyrs.)

Also, for a spiffy hymn to the sisters go here.

From the Mozarabic Psalter, pp. 262-263, a hymn to these sister-saints. It seems to follow the St. Eulogius account pretty closely.

Restant nunc ad Christi fidem
virtutis insignia,
que sanctorum rite possint
adsequi preconia,
que unius festa diem
celebrantur gloria.

Now they hold out toward Christ’s faith
The banners of virtue,
Who from the saints were able solemnly
To come as heralds,
Who together on one feast day
Are celebrated in glory!

Adsunt nempe sanctitatis
nobilis prosapie,
Nunilo siquidem virgo,
sanctaque Alodia,
que clarent germanitate,
clarentque martirio.

They are, of course, of holiness.
Of noble lineage,
Nunilo, though only a maiden,
and holy Alodia
who shone in sisterhood,
and shone in martyrdom!

Que ambo inueunti
etatis infantie
martires deo qua fide
dilitescunt domui,
sed Christi accense igne
enitescunt celibes.

Who both from the beginning,
From the age of babies,
Martyrs of God whose faith
they hid in the house,
But Christ, you reckon the fire
the unmarried ones started shining.

Tunc deinde functionem
cuiusdam versipelli
inpelluntur ad conspectum
presidis viam vici
vitam normam confitentes
Christiani dogmatis.

Then from there by the doing
of a certain Deceiver*
they were impelled into the sight
of the governor, in the street by chance;
they confessing to the rule of life
of dogma Christians.

Protinus regi delate
perducuntur pariter
urbis Osce adsistentes
principis presentia;
que interrogate pari
Christum voce clamitant.

Immediately carried to the king,
they are brought together
to stand before the city of Osca (Huesca/Adahuesca)
in the presence of the prince;
How both, questioned,
cry out, “Christ!” With one voice!

Ylico traduntur alme
private custodiam,
ubi quaterdenum tempus
dierum instantie
respuunt promissiones,
respuunt supplicia.

They were handed over on the spot, fed
under private guard,
where for four-tens’ time
of days of approaches
they spit on promises,
they spit on entreaties.

Sed in tali mancipate
dierum articulo
non cessant Christum precantes
ut illis constantiam
passionis atque mortis
largiretur optio.

But enslaved in such a way
for the days I articulate,
they do not cease praying Christ
for that constancy
to suffering and death,
when the choice would be given.

Igitur conpleta dies
inluxit feliciter;
conproducte producuntur
ad form perniciter
sic se ambo exortantes
ad palmam martirii.

Therefore, the final day
lights them with happiness;
They are led forward together
to the forum quickly,
thus both exhort each other
toward the palm of martyrdom.

Percitus litor hostendens
fulgurantes gladium
ubi conprosilit, prima
Nunilo sanctissima
crine sibi inligata
percussa prosternitur.

Hastily the lictor stretching out
his flashing sword
where it springs up, first
the most holy Nunilo
with her long hair tied up,
struck, was prostrated.

Quod cernens germana virgo
protinus Alodia
excipit flexa cerbice
inminentem gladium,
sicque ambe laureate
preveuntur etheris.

Which, seeing, her virgin sister
Alodia at once
pulls out from the bent neck
the sword sticking out;
and thus by it both, laurel-crowned,
come above the upper sky.

Inde tuam omnes sancte
flagitamus gratiam,
ut earum interventu
dimittantur crimina,
vitaque feliciorum
potiamur gaudia.

From there, all your holy
grace we ask earnestly,
so by their intervention
crimes may be dismissed,
and the life of the happy blessed
we may receive in joy.

Procul sit a corde dolum
pellantur lascivia,
caritatis omnis uno
conectamur vinculo,
quo carisma, dona sancti
perfruamur spiritus.

May deceit be far from our hearts;
may wantonness be beaten;
May everyone be one, in charity’s
chain be joined,
that by the charism, the gifts of the Holy
Spirit, we may be delighted.

Gloria patri natoque
semper et paraclito
laus potestas atque virtus,
gratiarum copia,
que deum cuncta fatentur
seculorum secula. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and the Son,
and the Paraclete always.
Praise, power and virtue,
abundance of graces.
May He be acknowledged God,
for ages of ages. Amen.

* versipelli: Deceiver — “versipellis” is literally a skinturner, skinchanger, shapeshifter. It was used figuratively in classical literature as meaning a crafty, deceitful person. In this case, they’re talking about the Devil.

One correspondent wrote:

PS — Probably the most prominent Alodia namesake today is the Filipina cosplayer and (according to that one fan documentary) “Queen of the Geeks”, Alodia Gosiengfiao. The whole phenomenon of a cosplay supermodel cracks me up…. Happy nameday to her, and to all you Alodias and Nunilons!

Mass singing of a contemporary hymn, and an instrumental version, for Ss. Nunilo and Alodia, from Huescar in Spain (a sort of sister city in Granada to Adahuesca, the saints’ birthplace in Aragon, that adopted the saints as their own). These mp3s are zipped up.

More information about Ss. Nunilo and Alodia, from a local Huescar confraternity. This seems to draw from the Aragonese account.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pseudomodo says:

    Indeed pray for us!

    Incidentaly today was scheduled:

    OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have been cancelled.

    The last-minute announcement comes amid an ongoing emergency in Ottawa, where several shootings have occurred on or near Parliament Hill.

    Harper was to moderate an afternoon question-and-answer session with Yousafzai at a Toronto high school.

    He was then scheduled to head to a downtown hotel, where the 17-year-old from Pakistan was to receive honorary Canadian citizenship.

    Harper’s spokesman says both events have been cancelled.

    Officials in prime minister’s office say Harper was rushed away from the Parliament building and is safe in an undisclosed location.

  2. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    Until more details come out, I’m going to withhold my judgement, and simply pray for all involved.

    That being said…

    My money is on the religion of peace (TM).

    Expect more of this sort of warfare as this century moves along.

  3. Giuseppe says:

    That hymn was almost as good as one of LongSkirts!

  4. Clinton R. says:

    Speaking of the religion of peace, there’s this from the Catholic Herald UK:

    The Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis’s itinerary for his upcoming trip to Turkey.

    The visit, which will take place from November 28 to 30, will begin at the mausoleum of the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The pontiff will also meet Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    On the following day, Francis will travel to Istanbul. He will pay a visit to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica which is now a museum.

    The visit to the Blue Mosque will see Pope Francis follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Benedict XVI who prayed there during his trip to Turkey in 2006.

    Can anyone explain why the post Vatican II popes have felt such a great need to kowtow to Mohammedanism? Did St. Peter go into the Roman temples and pray there? The era of the great apostasy continues. Domine, miserere nobis. Ss. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us. +JMJ+

  5. lmo1968 says:

    Today is the feast day of St. John Paul II, he is not just blessed anymore.

  6. Muv says:

    lmo1968 “Today is the feast day of St. John Paul II, he is not just blessed anymore.”

    Fr. Z has reposted text that has appeared here before the canonisation of St. John Paul. It is an editing error, easily made when copying and pasting.

    Clinton R. “The visit to the Blue Mosque will see Pope Francis follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Benedict XVI who prayed there during his trip to Turkey in 2006.
    Can anyone explain why the post Vatican II popes have felt such a great need to kowtow to Mohammedanism? Did St. Peter go into the Roman temples and pray there?”

    We don’t know what Pope Benedict prayed to God in his silent prayers. That is entirely between him and the Almighty. Had he bowed down facing Mecca and prayed in Arabic you might have had a point.

  7. Giuseppe says:

    Lmo1968, St. John Paul II will always be blessed. He’s just no longer Blessed.

    Does every pope (not counting some of the disasters) undergo some sort of canonization process?

  8. truthfinder says:

    no. The canonizations of the last couple popes is historically unprecedented. 52 canonized popes were 52 out of the first 54, and only 16 other popes – 4 of which are from this century. 81 total.

  9. The Cobbler says:

    Clinton R.,

    Considering the history of the Hagia Sophia, I can’t help but wonder if that particular element of the papal visits has anything to do with Mohammedanism at all.

    In any case, maybe we’ll finally find out how was the road from Istanbul

  10. ejcmartin says:

    Quebec separatists resorted to violence in the 1960s with several bmombings and finally with the murder by the FLQ of Pierre Laporte a Quebec government Minister of Labour. That being said it appears the gunman was “radicalized” as PC press likes to say.

  11. Giuseppe says:

    Thanks, Truthfinder,
    And, of course, it seems that a number are ‘in process’, although, as you note, 4 popes became saints in the last century. Even Pope John Paul I is in process, and he is already “Servant of God”.
    I know we’re not at ‘everyone gets a trophy’, but it does make me wonder.

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In his 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia article, John Godrycz relates of St. John Cantius, whose Feast we have just had (20 October), that from Krakow he “made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the desire of becoming a martyr among the Turks”.

    The Holy Father will be in Turkey on 28 November – the Memorial of both St. Stephen the Younger, martyred in Constantinople by Iconoclasts, and St. James of the Marches, who preached several Crusades against the Turk, was chief almoner of the 1437 one, and worked at the Council of Florence.

    I wonder if the Herald is correct in speaking of “Benedict XVI who prayed there [in the Hagia Sophia] during his trip to Turkey in 2006.” I understood that to be strictly forbidden to Christians. There seems to be a lot of on-going activism – smiled upon by Mr. Erdogan’s government – to turn it from merely a museum into a mosque again, for example:



  13. Andrew says:

    Restant nunc ad Christi fidem virtutis insignia, quae sanctorum rite possint assequi praeconia, quae unius festi die celebrantur gloria.
    Adsunt nempe sanctitatis nobilis prosapiae Nunilo siquidem virgo sanctaque Allodia, quae clarent germanitate clarentque martyrio.
    Quae ambae in ineuntis aetate infantiae Martyres Deo, quae fide delitescunt domui, sed Christi accensae igne enitescunt caelibes.
    Tunc deinde functione cuiusdam versipellis impelluntur ad conspectum praesidis tyrannici vitae normam confitentes christiani dogmatis.
    Protinus regi delatae perducuntur pariter urbis Oscae assistentes principis praesentia, quae interrogatae pari Christum voce clamitant.
    Illico traduntur almae privatae custodiae, ubi quater denum tempus dierum instantiae respuunt promissiones, respuunt supplicia.
    Sed vinculis mancipatae dierum articulo non cessant Christum precantes, ut illis constantia passionis atque mortis largiretur optio.
    Igitur completa dies illuxit feliciter, comproductae producuntur ad forum perniciter, sic se ambo exhortantes ad palmam martyrii.
    Percitus lictor ostendens fulgurantem gladium, ubi, cum prosilit primo Nunilo sanctissima, crine sibi illigata percussa prosternitur.
    Quod cernens germana virtus protinus Allodia excipit flexa cervice imminentem gladium, sicque ambae laureatae provehuntur aetheris.
    Inde tuam omnes, sancte, flagitamus gratiam, ut earum interventu dimittantur crimina, vitaque feliciorum potiamur gaudia.
    Procul sit a corde dolus, pellatur lascivia, caritatis omnes uno conectamur vinculo, quo charisma, dona Sancti perfruamur Spiritus.
    Gloria Patri Natoque semper et Paraclito, laus, potestas atque virtus gratiarum copia, quem Deum cuncta fatentur saeculorum saecula.

  14. chantgirl says:

    Thanks, Fr Z and SuburbanBanshee, for the information. I was able to use it to put together a presentation on these two saints for our co-op kids yesterday. So far this year, we’ve covered the Battle of Vienna and the Battle of Lepanto, and these two saints fit in nicely. I told them that these child martyrs (who were forced to go to a brothel before their martyrdom) would be good intercessors for the poor Catholic children in the Middle East who were being kidnapped and “mistreated”. It’s difficult to speak to children about sexual slavery so I’ve had to tone down some of the uglier details.

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