20 de abril de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

The devilish rag doll in Mexico's archives, a history of love and madness

By Ines Amarelo.

By Ines Amarelo.

Mexico City, Apr 14 (efe-epa).- Mexico's General Archive of the Nation (AGN) safeguards incredible stories such as that of the rag doll from the 18th century that belonged to Francisco Xavier Palacios, a man who, out of love, entered religious life but ended up selling his soul to the devil.

Along with the doll, the AGN also holds the report the Mexican Inquisition drafted when Francisco denounced himself for heresy.

The correspondence he maintained with his lover Josefa Sosa, who made the doll so that he would remember her, was discussed with EFE by historian and head of the AGN educational department Alejandro de Avila.

The Mexican Inquisition was established in 1569 by Phillip II of Spain and was an office charged with pursuing and punishing actions contrary to the Catholic faith.

In this case, it was not necessary to prosecute Francisco because in 1782 he said he wanted to cooperate with that institution, which left his written testimony at the Santo Domingo convent in the city of Oaxaca, as well as the records of the investigation conducted by the official in charge of the case.

The story began when Francisco was about 15 and met Josefa Sosa, who was twice his age, establishing a motherly-sisterly relationship with her, given that he had lost his own mother and his father treated him badly.

But soon thereafter the pair became lovers.

It was Josefa who asked Fransisco, taking advantage of the fact that he sang in the parish's choir, to enter religious life so he could maintain a secret and prohibited relationship with her since, aside from their difference in age, she was married.

Although the young man agreed, he soon noticed that he was not cut out for religious life, which included chastity, shutting himself off from the outside world and spending 24 hours a day in the service of God.

That was when - in the face of his lover's refusal to let him leave the convent - he began to have problems with his colleagues and to blaspheme on a daily basis.

Such was the hatred Francisco developed for his environment and for the limits placed on him there that he even tried to kill himself twice and, after fruitlessly trying everything he could to change his situation, he began to call on the devil to help him.

One day, when he had given himself up for lost, the story goes that a man introducing himself as the devil himself appeared in his cell asking him to fulfill his promise.

Francisco offered his soul in exchange for getting out of religious life and being able to charm as many women as he wanted, and the devil appearing as a man made it come to pass.

The young man left the convent within three years and was able to use assorted powders and potions to be able to open doors and take women to bed, Francisco himself told the Inquisition.

In addition, the alleged devil asked him to have one of his lovers make a rag doll with which to worship him.

After some time living a madcap an uninhibited life, Francisco began to feel remorseful about it all and decided to go to the Inquisition and report himself for heresy.

"He was so desperate that he preferred the Inquisition's prison to remaining in the convent," De Avila said.

It was then that the story of the priest began to fall apart: the commissioner handling the case discovered that the women with whom Francisco claimed to have had relations did not exist - until he came to Josefa.

The woman told the commissioner that the doll was not made to worship the devil but rather while Francisco was locked up in the convent so that he could remember his lover when he looked upon it, "even with a sexual connotation," the historian added.

She also turned over the letters Francisco had sent her, in which they signed themselves with nicknames and included code words and abbreviations.

"With this, Josefa revealed the love they had for each other and the story Francisco ... had crafted began to crumble," De Avila said.

After this, the priest was found guilty only of having claimed that hell was a lie and that souls could change bodies, concepts that for the 18th century Inquisition were completely unacceptable.

After his conviction, it is not known what the fates of the two lovers were, whether they had any further contact or whether Francisco was able to focus his life in any particular way.

Housed at the AGN are more than 1,500 volumes of reports prepared by the Inquisition that were hidden when Mexico was in the midst of obtaining its independence from Spain and turned over to the Anthropology Museum by historian Silvio Zavala during the 20th century.

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Democratic presidential candidate calls for impeachment trial against Trump

Washington DC, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday urged the House of Representatives to initiate...

Cops scatter opposition protest against Ortega near Managua cathedral

Managua, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Nicaragua's anti-disturbance police scattered demonstrators protesting against the Daniel Ortega government at the end of the...

Guaido seeks military aid in ousting Venezuelan President Maduro

Caracas, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido this Friday called on people from all over the country to join in a grand march...

Mexican muralist chronicles the coming of the conquistadors

Veracruz, Mexico, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- Melchor Peredo Garcia has created six murals to represent the "historical and sociological phenomenon" of the arrival...

US lawmakers subpoena unredacted version of Mueller Report

Washington, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- The head of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representative issued a subpoena Friday for the unedited version of...

Peru's Garcia left suicide note

Lima, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Peruvian former President Alan Garcia wrote a note before taking his own life to avoid prosecution on corruption charges, his...

Newcomer lands main role in Mexico's grandest Passion Play

Mexico City, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- On this Good Friday, for the first time in 15 years, the role of Jesus in the famed Passion Play in the Mexico City borough...

Maradona reverses course, says he'll stay with Mexico's Dorados

Culiacan, Mexico, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Weeks after musing publicly about quitting as coach of Dorados de Sinaloa, Diego Maradona now says he's committed to...

Pentagon: no change to US stance on North Korea after new weapons test

Washington DC, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Acting Secretary of Defense of the United States, Patrick Shanahan, said Thursday that neither the Pentagon's "posture"...

Trump tried to control probe, Barr says no obstruction, Mueller to testify

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump tried to influence Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the...

Long lines once again in Caracas, this time for humanitarian aid

By Barbara Agelvis.

Thousands of Peruvians bid farewell to Alan Garcia

Lima, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Peruvians gathered on Thursday to say their last goodbyes to former President Alan Garcia, dead at 69 of a...

Mexican hamlet marks 500 years since Cortes came ashore

La Antigua, Mexico, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- In legends, in ruins and in the natural exuberance of the ceiba trees, the legacy of Hernan Cortes lives on in this...

Mexican gov't foils attempt by Cuban migrants to get to capital

Mexico City, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government on Thursday foiled an attempt by 300 Cuban migrants to reach this capital while keeping thousands of...

AG Barr says Trump did not commit obstruction of justice

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Attorney General William Barr said Thursday ahead of the release of the special counsel's report on Russian interference in...

Brazilian inmates' creations to hit runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sao Paulo, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A score of male inmates at one of Brazil's maximum-security prisons have been hard at work for months on creations set to...

Congress calls Mueller to testify on May 23

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, on Thursday called Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had...

Special counsel finds that Trump tried to control investigation

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump tried to influence Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the...

US Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke of Texas campaigns in Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Alexandria, USA, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Wednesday condemned racism in the highest positions of power in the...

US government strengthens sanctions on Cuba

By Ivonne Malaver.

Peru in shock over suicide of ex-President Alan Garcia

Lima, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The death Wednesday of former President Alan Garcia after he shot himself in the head as police arrived at his home to arrest him...

Firefighters battle wildfires in 18 Mexican states

Mexico City, Apr 17 (epa-efe).- Ninety-five wildfires of different sizes are burning in 18 Mexican states and the authorities are attempting to control them...

US announces new sanctions on Venezuelan Central Bank

Miami, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The United States government will impose new sanctions on the Venezuelan Central Bank, which is the institution that is "keeping...

Peasants in Mexico seek alternatives to growing opium poppies

Chilpancingo, Mexico, Apr 17 (epa-efe).- Peasants in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero who have long subsisted by growing opium poppies want to get out...