The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio, by Hubert Wolf

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The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio, by Hubert Wolf

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:13 pm

I ordered the German version of this book from Amazon.de, but there is an English translation of it. The book is purely factual research done in the archives of the Inquisition, which John Paul II opened to researchers about 20 years ago. It relates the case of an Austrian princess who wanted to be a nun, and was assigned to Sant'Ambrogio convent. There she came under the supervision of the Mistress of Novices, one Maria Luisa (it's confusing, because essentially all the nuns in the convent had Maria as their first name, and the princess herself chose to be Luisa Maria).

Maria Luisa was a very beautiful young woman who wanted to be revered for her piety. But she didn't feel it was actually necessary to be pious. She apparently seduced two of the priests who served the convent, and she used many novices as sex slaves, according to their own testimony. (This is the seamiest and steamiest prose I have read since the last time I glanced at a Danielle Steele novel.) She got the two priests to break the seal of the confessional and tell her what the novices had confessed to them. This was necessary, because she was mishandling the convent's money, and because she was poisoning all the novices she felt had betrayed her. Almost certainly, she poisoned at least three others before her unsuccessful attempts on the princess, who ultimately escaped because she had an iron constitution and also near relatives who were highly placed in the Vatican.

What fascinated me was that Maria Luisa openly sought poison and prepared it with the full knowledge of her novices, and got those novices to administer it to the princess. Eventually, dumb though they were, they figured out she was trying to murder the princess. But she convinced them that what they saw her do with their own eyes was a devilish illusion. Satan had assumed her form to do these things. She also wrote letters to the BVM, and got people to believe that the BVM wrote back to her! It seems the BVM hated the same nuns that Maria Luisa hated and pronounced death sentences on them.

The important takeaway from this book, in my opinion, is the following: Once you have been taught to believe the absurdities that nearly all children are taught in their churches, you are deprived of any anchor in reality. If you can believe that a wafer really is the body of Christ, then you can believe the BVM conducts correspondence in writing and that Satan assumes human form to commit crimes. From there, anything is possible.
"Reserve a part of your wrath ; you have not seen the worst yet. You suppose that this war has been a criminal blunder and an exceptional horror ; you imagine that before long reason will prevail, and all these inferior people that govern the world will be swept aside, and your own party will reform everything and remain always in office. You are mistaken."

George Santayana, "Tipperary" (1918)

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