The Children of the Blue Nun

Chapter IVB: The Inquisition seizes Sister María

By Larry Torres
Posted 11/1/19

"Aliaga!" Sister María whispered between clenched teeth.

His very name filled her with trepidation. Starting with the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada a little over 100 years before, the inquisitors had found 90 per cent of accused people guilty of such diverse things as witchery, Judaism, heresy or mocking the Holy Office.

You have exceeded your story limit for this 30-day period.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The Children of the Blue Nun

Chapter IVB: The Inquisition seizes Sister María

Posted

"Aliaga!" Sister María whispered between clenched teeth.

His very name filled her with trepidation. Starting with the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada a little over 100 years before, the inquisitors had found 90 per cent of accused people guilty of such diverse things as witchery, Judaism, heresy or mocking the Holy Office. And now that the soul had warned her, it disappeared and slipped away, blessed by God. Sister Doorkeeper awakened and sidled off in a trance, without saying anything more.

Sister María lay in her cot recalling the events she had been told all of her life. Since her birth in 1602, there had been four inquisitors of the Holy Office: Juan de Zúñiga Flores, bishop of Cartágena; Juan Bautista de Acevedo, bishop of Valladolid; Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas, archbishop of Toledo; and now, Luis de Aliaga Martínez.

It was said that even as a child, his own mother had rejected him. Ever since then, Luis de Aliaga had harbored suspicions aimed at every woman that he had met. Particularly, he carefully scrutinized the folk healers who talked to plants and gathered remedies by the light of the moon. He imagined that every black cat hid a secret demon or a malevolent spirit, familiar of witches. He led a repugnant life, accusing each woman of being the wife of Satan.

Like his predecessors, Luis de Aliaga had believed the writings of a German cleric named Heinrich Kramer.

In 1487 Kramer had written a book that was more popular than the Holy Bible. In Latin it was titled "Malleus Malificarum" or "The Hammer of Witches." It was the most hateful book, written to the great discredit of the feminine gender. The cruel Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada used to read the "Malleus" with much enthusiasm and pleasure, being that in life, every woman had rejected him as a disgusting man.

Aliaga was similar to Torquemada in the great hatred that he bore to all women. He liked to precede over the Sermo Generalis. It was a ceremony in which the Grand Inquisitor pronounced his decision against the accused. If they were innocent, he would set them free from jail. If the accused confessed his crime, he would assign them a penance according to the Canon Law of Holy Mother the Church.

But if they were guilty, they could only expect the severest punishment from the secular authorities because the inquisitors didn't want to be stained with their blood.

Above all else, more than anything, Sister María was afraid of the auto de fe. The auto de fe was the time when the accused heretic or witch would be placed on top of a pile of wood in the public square to be burnt alive before the populace. That is how the holy Joan of Arc of France had died at the hands of the English.

While Sister María trembled with cold sweats, she heard a tumult outside of her cell. A few cruel voices asked for her without receiving an answer. The ministers of the Inquisition broke down the door and entered, followed by the barbarous executioners bearing manacles and shackles.

Pale as a ghost, Sister María tried to rise from her cot, but she fell with fright. Without a word, they seized her with violence and ripped her from her cell, unconscious.

When Sister María awoke, she found herself in the sad, dark dungeons of the Holy Office. She didn't have much hope.

The Spanish version of this story is on Page C4.

Comments


Private mode detected!

In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.