HISTORY OF SICILY: THE AUTO-DA-FE’

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I had the impression of having stumbled across a rare precious report about an auto-da-fé, which were held in great numbers throughout Sicily at the time of the Spanish  Inquisition.
According to some historians, 114 autos-da-fé were celebrated throughout Sicily from 1501 to 1748. The word auto-da-fé comes from the Portuguese auto da fé, meaning an act of faith.
An auto-da-fé consisted of a public ceremony where a sentence of the Spanish Inquisition was carried out. Before the enforcement of the judgment, the condemned person was made to file between two lines of people, their hair was shaved, and then they were dressed with a donkey cap and a sack on which were painted the grounds of the judgment. If it was painted with a full Saint Andrew’s cross, it meant that the condemned person had repented in time to avert the execution; a half cross showed that he had been just fined, while the flames meant that he had been sentenced to death at the stake.
A solemn Mass attended by city authorities and a large gathering of the townspeople was celebrated where the auto-da-fé took place. People came together in great numbers as if there was a festival, and many street vendors flocked from the nearby towns and villages to sell cakes, carobs, licorice, and similar things.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo