In the 850s the Muslim Moor rulers of southern Spain executed 48 Christians for publicly professing the Christian faith. One of these martyrs was Saint Lillian.
The Moors had invaded Spain from North Africa a century before. Many Christians practiced their faith quietly, not wanting to draw attention to themselves. Lillian was one of these. Under Islamic Law non-Muslims were not allowed to declare their religion. However, the persecution of her fellow Christians inspired her to declare her faith publicly. Along with many other Christians, including her husband, St Felix of Cordoba, she was charged with blasphemy and beheaded. She died in 852. She is commemorated on July 27.