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Saint Dominguito del Val

Saint Dominguito del Val was a choirboy and the alleged victim of a ritual murder by Jews in Saragossa in c. 1250. St Dominguito is no longer included in the official Catholic calendar of saints, because the church now recognizes how the stories of such saints have contributed to anti-Semitism, but Spanish hagiographies of him describing his murder by "wicked" Jews can still be found on the Internet, even on sites affiliated with the mainstream Catholic church.

External Link.

English translation of the Spanish text found at EWTN (Warning: The following text contains anti-Semitic beliefs, to illustrate the ties of Saint Dominguito with the blood libel).

In the year 1250 King Alfonso the Wise wrote: "We have heard it said that some very cruel Jews, in memory of the Passion of Our Lord on Good Friday, kidnapped a Christian boy and crucified him." This is what they did with Saint Dominguito del Val.

This boy was born in Saragossa, Spain, and was admitted as a cathedral altar-boy and chorister, because of his special qualities of great piety and purity, and for his beautiful voice. Each day he would go from his house to the church to assist in the Mass, to learn chants and study in the parish school. In his journey there and back he had to pass by a Jewish area of narrow side-streets, and some of them were greatly displeased when Domingo and his companions sung hymns to Christ in the streets as they passed by there. They had already decided on trying to make him disappear.

According to the old stories, a Jewish fortune-teller announced that if they threw the heart of a Christian and a consecrated Host into the river, every follower of Christ who drank from those waters would die. So some of those fanatics paid an evil woman to go to take communion and quickly slip the Sacred Host in a handkerchief and bring it back with her. Then they went to a very poor and hungry man and offered him a bag of gold if he would give them the heart of one of his children. This man pretended to accept the deal and, while he had one of his children scream desperately as though his heart were being taken out, he killed a pig and took out its heart (which is very similar to that of a human being). He took it, still bleeding, to the Jews and exchanged it for the bag of gold.

The chronicles go on to say that the Jews threw the pig's heart and the holy consecrated host into the river that ran through the city, and that in a few days a terrible epidemic developed among the pigs in the surrounding areas, many of which died. The criminals realized that the man who sold them the heart had deceived them. Therefore they determined to get hold of the heart of a Christian child themselves so there were no mistakes.

They had already obtained a holy consecrated host through the hands of a sacristan and so on Good Friday they decided to sacrifice a child, reenacting the tortures with which in another time the Jews of old killed Jesus Christ.

And Dominguito del Val was walking by with his acolyte's and choirboy's cassock in front of one of those Jewish houses when suddenly, without giving him enough time even to let out a cry, some great big hands took him by the neck and covered his face with a mantle, blocking his mouth with cloth so he could not say a word.

Shaking with fear, Dominguito perceives that they are taking him before a group of Jews who are acting out the tribunal that condemned Jesus. One plays Pilate, another Caiaphas and another Anias. They ask him if he wants to carry on being a follower of Christ and he exclaims that, yes, he would prefer to die rather than betray the religion of Our Lord Jesus. So they sentence him to death and, as he is with his vestments of altar-boy and chorister, crucify him.

They removed his heart and sent one of those in the group to go with the Consecrated Host and the boy's heart and throw them in the river so that all the Christians that drunk from there would die. But they had no idea what was about to happen to them.

The man who was taking the two treasures to throw them in the river, in order that no-one should be suspicious of him, decided to enter a church and pretend to pray. And kneeling there on a pew, he opened the book in which he was carrying the Sacred Host. However, some ladies who were nearby saw with wonder that brilliant light was emanating from this book. They supposed that this man must be a saint and went to inform the priests of this marvel. They came and asked him to show them the book and there they found the Sacred Host. Then they called the authorities who, when they searched him, found the boy's heart.

This rogue, on seeing himself discovered, was filled with dread and promised that if they spared him he would denounce all those who had committed the crime. And this they did. The authorities went to the house of the Jews and seized them all. They died on the gallows as partners in crime (except for the one who denounced them, who paid for his sin with life imprisonment).

And since then Dominguito del Val has been called on as the patron saint of altar-boys or acolytes and choirboys (in modern times he is invoked together with another patron of these boys, namely Saint Domingo Savio, who was also a choirboy and acolyte).


Simon Whitechapel, Flesh Inferno: Atrocities of Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition (Creation Books, 2003). ISBN 1840681055