• Trevisanus Julian et De Ruego Francis

    De Ruego Francis


    Trevisanus Julian and De Ruego Fancis were members of the society at Vicence ; and it is stated, by Sandius and others, that, when this society was broken up, in 1546, Julian Trevisanus and Francis De Ruego, being unable to make their escape, were seized, and put to death at Venice.

    De Porta informs us, that Melanchthon, as early as the year 1539, addressed a letter to the Senate of Venice, in which he put the members of that body upon their guard against several Italians, who had been led, by a perusal of Servet's "Books on the Errors of the Trinity," to give up that doctrine ; it having been said, and that too by no vague report, that there were upwards of forty individuals of the first rank, and the highest literary distinction, in the city and territory of Venice, who had become infected with the notions of Servet. The same historian professes his inability to say, whether this admonition was attended to ; but adds, that he finds elsewhere an account of two men of this description, namely Julian Trevisanus and Francis De Ruego, who were deprived of life by submersion, and whom the Unitarians properly reckon among the number of their martyrs. (Hist. Ref. Eccl. Raet. T. I. L. ii. C. iii. P. 63.)

    It is not said, by any of the Unitarian writers who have mentioned the above fact, when this punishment was inflicted; and there are reasons for supposing, that it was not till after an imprisonment of fifteen, or twenty years. M'Crie remarks, that no one was capitally punished for religion at Venice before the year 1560 ; and adds, "I have little doubt, that the two persons referred to were Julio Guirlauda of the Trevisano, and Francesco Sega of Rovigo." (Hist, of the Ref. in Italy, 2nd Ed. p. 267.) The former of these is mentioned, as the first person, who suffered martyrdom at Venice, after the Reformation ; and the latter, who composed several pious works during his confinement, for the comfort of his fellow-prisoners, (which necessarily implies an imprisonment of considerable duration,) soon afterwards shared the same fate. Both of them were precipitated into the sea, with stones attached to them, for the purpose of sinking them;—a punishment, which it afterwards became customary to inflict upon reputed heretics at Venice. " If the autos de fe of the Queen of the Adriatic," says M'Crie, (ubi supra,) in allusion to this custom, "were less barbarous than those of Spain, the solitude and silence with which they were accompanied were calculated to excite the deepest horror. At the dead hour of midnight, the prisoner was taken from his cell, and put into a gondola or Venetian boat, attended only, beside the sailors, by a single Priest, to act as Confessor. He was rowed out into the sea, beyond the Two Castles, where another boat was in waiting. A plank was then laid across the two gondolas, upon which the prisoner, having his body chained, and a heavy stone affixed to his feet, was placed; and, on a signal given, the gondolas retiring from one another, he was precipitated into the deep."

    It is said of Julio Guirlauda, that, when set upon the plank, he cheerfully bade the captain farewell, and sank, calling on the Lord Jesus. His martyrdom is represented as having taken place on the 19th of October, 1562 ; and that of Francesco Sega de Rovigo, on the 25th of February, 1566. The author of the "Histoire des Martyrs," in allusion to the cause of their death, uses the phrase, "persecutés par nouveaux Ebionites."

    (Vidend. Wissowatii Narrat. Compend. p. 210. Bock, Hist. Ant. T. II. p. 425. De Porta, 1. c. M'Crie, I.e. Illgen, Symb. ad Vit. et Doctr. L. Socini illustr. Partic. i. pp. 38. 68.)


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