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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

March 24

St. Simon, an Infant, Martyr at Trent

IN the year 1472, when the Jews of Trent (famous for the last general council held there) met in their synagogue on Tuesday, in Holy Week, to deliberate on the preparations for the approaching festival of the Passover, which fell that year on the Thursday following, they came to a resolution of sacrificing to their inveterate hatred of the Christian name, some Christian infant on the Friday following, or Good Friday. A Jewish physician undertook to procure such an infant for the horrid purpose. And while the Christians were at the office of Tenebræ on Wednesday evening, he found a child called Simon, about two years old, whom by caresses and by showing him a piece of money, he decoyed from the door of a house, the master and mistress whereof were gone to church, and carried him off. On Thursday evening the principal Jews shut themselves up in a chamber adjoining to their synagogue, and at midnight began their cruel butchery of this innocent victim. Having stopped his mouth with an apron to prevent his crying out, they made several incisions in his body gathering his blood in a basin. Some, all this while, held his arms stretched out in the form of a cross: others held his legs. The child being half dead, they raised him on his feet, and while two of them held him by the arms, the rest pierced his body on all sides with their awls and bodkins. When they saw the child had expired, they sung round it: “In the same manner did we treat Jesus the God of the Christians: thus may our enemies be confounded for ever.” The magistrates and parents making strict search after the lost child, the Jews hid it first in a barn of hay, then in a cellar, and at last threw it into the river. But God confounded all their endeavours to prevent the discovery of the fact, which being fully proved upon them, with its several circumstances, they were put to death: the principal actors in the tragedy being broken upon the wheel and burnt. The synagogue was destroyed, and a chapel was erected on the spot where the child was martyred. God honoured this innocent victim with many miracles. The relics lie in a stately tomb in St. Peter’s church at Trent: and his name occurs in the Roman Martyrology. See the authentic account of Tiberinus, the physician, who inspected the child’s body; and the juridical acts in Surius and the Bollandists, with Henschenius’s notes on this day: also Martenne, Ampl. Collectio Vet. t. 2. p. 1516. and Bened. XIV. de Canoniz. l. 1. c. 14. p. 105.  1