In the 17th century in Western Europe, most of the ordinary people and representatives of the clergy believed that the devil could tempt any weak-minded person. The Church was even aware of exactly how the apostate goes over to the side of Lucifer: he renounces God and signs with his blood an agreement to sell the soul to the unclean.
In the conclusion of an agreement with Satan, the Catholic priest Urbain Grandier was accused and executed by the Inquisition.
Father Urbain Grandier, the head of one of the parishes of Louden, was a fairly wealthy man. In addition, according to legend, he was very handsome, and in his 40-odd years, he was known as a notorious womanizer and even a fatal handsome man. Despite the prohibition for priests to have relations with women, Father Grandier defiantly and with enviable regularity violated celibacy. But the holy father got away with it.
So did a book that Urbain Grandier wrote and even published. In it, the padre questioned the need for Catholic priests to observe the vow of celibacy. Grandier’s impunity, however, gave rise to fatal carelessness. The Holy Father began to write pamphlets in which he openly criticized Cardinal Richelieu himself. It was already too much.
Trouble never walks alone
In 1632, in order to cool down the priest’s literary fervor a little and at the same time to direct his energy in a more intimate direction, Urbain Grandier was invited to become a father confessor in the holy abode of the nuns of the Ursuline nuns.
What Grandier did not know was that the abbess of the convent, Sister Jeanne, had a great passion for him. But besides this “mother” was also a very impulsive and vindictive person.
Taking the rejection as a personal insult, Sister Jeanne decided to take vicious revenge on Urbain Grandier. Soon enough, several young nuns in the Ursuline monastery accused Father Grandier of a terrible sin. They reported that the padre had seduced them all by using black magic. Allegedly, the holy father enchanted a bouquet of flowers and then threw it over the monastery wall.
For the Holy Inquisition (which had not taken its eyes off the careless priest for a long time), the accusation of the nuns became an occasion for an immediate reaction. Urbain Grandier was arrested and imprisoned “pending clarification of all the circumstances.” However, the wealthy priest had very influential friends in church and secular power circles.
Justification and new arrest
Indirect evidence, discrepancy in the testimony of “seduced” nuns, as well as good lawyers – all this helped Grandier to be acquitted in a fairly short time and to be released. However, the holy father clearly underestimated his main enemy, against whom he dared to write corrosive pamphlets – Cardinal Richelieu.
Not a week later, Urbain Grandier was arrested a second time. The charge was the same – witchcraft. The investigation began again. This time, however, it was much more serious. Even though the Ursuline nuns no longer pressed charges of seduction and seduction against the holy father, Grandier was “interrogated with passion”.
The inquisitors tried to “beat” the priest into a voluntary confession of witchcraft. Who knows, perhaps fortune and influential friends would later help Urbain Grandier avoid the death penalty. However, the proud priest, even after torture with the “Spanish boot” – red-hot in the fire peculiar vise with spikes inside, which the executioners placed on the foot of the victim, refused to confess to witchcraft.
The pact with Lucifer
The evidence of Grandier’s guilt during the second trial was even less than after the accusation by the nuns. However, “from above” they insistently demanded “a fair trial of the sorcerer”. And the church judges presented the accused with the last, but the most compelling evidence. They showed a “devilish document” – a treaty that Urbain Grandier allegedly concluded with evil spirits.
The agreement stated that for taking a blood oath in their loyalty, as well as desecrating certain church rules and shrines, the demons pledged to grant Urbain Grandier not only “flowers of virgins”, the love of women, strength and boundless lust, but also all kinds of honors and respect from powerful monarchs. The agreement was signed by Grandier and the 5 most powerful demons – Astaroth, Beelzebub, Leviathan, Lucifer, and Satan.
Naturally, this document was pure fake. However, such “evidence” meant only one thing for the Holy Inquisition – the suspect was guilty of being connected with evil spirits. And there could be only one verdict for such accused – a fire. The trial, which until then seemed to be deadlocked, immediately resumed at triple speed.
The next day, Urbain Grandier was charged, and the verdict was read. Nothing and no one could now save the careless priest. He was executed in the most brutal way possible – he was publicly burned alive in the town square. Not forgetting to absolve of all his sins before execution.
Nearly 200 years more would pass, and the ecclesiastical tribunals would cease to exist. However, many more innocent people will be sent to be “purified by fire” during this time. Until the last victim of the Catholic Inquisition climbs the scaffold: When and for what the Spanish teacher Caetano Ripoll was executed.