Roderick (sometimes known as Ruderic or Rodriguez) lived in Spain during the ninth century. During this time Christians were under great persecution by the Moors. Roderick had two brothers, one a fallen-away Catholic and the other who had become a Moslem.
One day his two brothers got into a heated argument and started to fight. When Roderick tried to intervene, they both turned on him and beat him unconscious. When he awoke, still weak from the battering, his Moslem brother paraded him through the streets, pulling him along as he staggered, announcing that Roderick had converted to Islam. When the authorities stopped them and questioned Roderick, he denied his brother’s claim and instead proclaimed his allegiance to Christ. The Moslem authorities took this as apostasy from Mohammedanism and arrested him. He was imprisoned and thrown into a cell with another man named Solomon who was also charged with apostasy. On March 13, 857, Solomon and Roderick were both beheaded.
Moors were members of any of the groups of North African Arabs and Berbers who ruled parts of the Iberian Peninsula from the eighth century until 1492. Southern Spain, where Roderick lived, was under the rule of the Moors during his lifetime.
We thank you, Father, for our freedom in America to practice our faith. Although we are often misunderstood and still persecuted in word, we are grateful that we have the opportunity to receive Christ in the Eucharist and live our faith without fear of death. We pray for those in the world who still suffer the kind of persecution that St. Roderick endured. In the Name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Euphrasia (410), Virgin