Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saint Teresa of Jesus was Jewish

Tomorrow is the birthday of Saint Teresa of Jesus (28 March 1515 – 4 or 15 October 1582).

Saint Teresa died the day the Roman Pontiff, Pope Gregory XIII, instituted the present Gregorian Calendar, skipping from the 4th to the 15th of October.

Another very interesting trivia is that her father, Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda, a holy man, was the son of a Converso who was Judaizing, was penalized by the Inquisition, did his penance and embraced his Catholic faith with most of the family, including his son Alonso.

"[Teresa's] father, Don Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda, known as "the Toledano," was the son of the converso, Don Juan Sánchez de Toledo, a dynamic merchant of Toledo with great fortune, born in 1440, with domicile in the Santa Leocadia neighborhood, and married to Doña Inés de Cepeda, of an old Catholic family of Tordesillas. He had many children by her, of which we know the names of seven sons (Hernando, Alonso, Pedro, Ruy, Alvaro, Lorenzo and Francisco) and of one daughter, Doña Elvira de Cepeda. Don Juan, who had judaized, was "penitenciado" by the Inquisition of Toledo for the 22 of June of 1485 for "heresy and apostasy against our holy catholic faith" and had to go with the reconciled in procession through the churches of Toledo for seven Fridays marked with "a sanbenitillo and its crosses." Reconciled together with him were his children, except the oldest, Hernando, who was not reconciled. Don Alonso was five at the time. His father then decided to move his cloth business to Avila where he again prospered, raising his children in a very Christian way and marrying all of them with very noble families. Don Alonso married Doña Catalina del Peso in 1505..."

Santa Teresa de Jesús, Obras Completas, Editors Efren de la Madre de Dios and Otger Steggink, Madrid: BAC, 1986, p.1.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Protestantism and the Mind

 "If you deprive the human mind of the support of authority of some kind or other, on what can it depend? Abandoned to its own delirious dreams, it is forced again into the gloomy paths which led the philosophers of the ancient schools to chaos. Reason and experience are here agreed. If you substitute the private judgment of Protestants for the authority of the Church, all the great questions respecting God and man remain without solution. All the difficulties are left; the mind is in darkness, and seeks in vain for a light to guide it in safety: stunned by the voices of a hundred schools, who dispute without being able to throw any light on the subject, it relapses into that state of discouragement and protestation in which Christianity found it, and from which, with so much exertion, she had withdrawn it. Doubt, pyrrhonism, and indifference become the lot of the greatest minds; vain theories, hypothetical systems, and dreams take possession of men of more moderate abilities; the ignorant are reduced to superstitions and absurdities." 43-44

"Men of the greatest talent never found themselves at ease in Protestantism. They always felt that there was an immense void in it; this is the reason why they have constantly inclined either towards irreligion or towards Catholic unity... [T]he feeble light which struggles with darkness after the sun has sunk below the horizon, cannot be compared to that of day: darkness advances and spreads; it extinguishes the expiring reflection, and night comes on. Such is the doctrine of Christianity among Protestants." 43

European Civilization: Protestantism and Catholicity: Compared in Their Effects on the Civilization of Europe, Rev. J. Balmes, Baltimore: Murphy & Co., 1850.

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