Serapion of Algiers

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Serapion of Algiers
O. de. M.
San Serapio, por Francisco de Zurbarán.jpg
Priest; Martyr
Born 1179
Ireland or England
Died 14 November 1240 (aged 61)
Algiers, Algeria
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 23 March 1625, Saint Peter's Basilica, Papal States by Pope Urban VIII
Canonized 14 April 1728, Saint Peter's Basilica, Papal States by Pope Benedict XIII
Feast 14 November
  • Palm
  • Mercedarian habit
  • Crucified in an x-position

Saint Serapion of Algiers (1179 – 14 November 1240) was either an Irish or English Roman Catholic Mercedarian priest killed in Algeria after being crucified in an x-position; he is acknowledged as a proto-martyr. It has been said that he once served in the armies of Richard the Lion-Heart and Leopold VI during the time of the Crusades.[1][2]

He accompanied his father during the Crusades in his childhood and was present at a battle at Acre in 1191.[1] He participated in the Reconquista while serving in the armed forces for Alfonso VIII. He met Saint Peter Nolasco in Barcelona and became a professed member of the Mercedarians in 1222. He was assigned to recruit for the order in England but pirates besieged the ship and left him for dead. He survived and wandered to London to preach which landed him in trouble and he was ordered to leave the town.[3]

The Mercedarians’ goal was to free Christian captives held in Muslim states and the priest offered himself as a hostage at Algiers in 1240 in exchange for some Christian captives.[1][3] The ransom did not arrive in time and so his captors decided to have him killed. He was nailed on an X-shaped cross and was dismembered.

The Baroque artist Francisco Zurbarán depicts the death of Serapion in one of his paintings.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Saint Serapion of Algiers". Saints SQPN. 20 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "St. Serapion of Algiers". Religious Brotherhood. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "St. Serapion". All Saints & Martyrs. 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 

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