08 June 2006

Salamanca



I havenĀ“t been very good in keeping up with the posts. Lo siento mucho. But I am now in Salamanca, and it is beautiful. I will post pictures of the cathedrals when I get back to the states, but wow. The history here is amazing. We went to the University of Salamanca, founded in 1218, yesterday. There we saw the classroom of Fray Luis de Leon. He was sent to prison for five years by the Inquisition, but the story goes that when he was released he went to his podium, opened the book to the same page and said "As we were saying..." Anywho, we also visited the chapel of the university. There we saw the diploma of St. Teresa of Avila from the university proclaiming her Doctor ecclesiae (Doctor of the Church, but not the title given by the Pope which came in 1970). It was fascinating to be standing in the chapel with a beautiful painting of the Immaculate Conception behind the altar, knowing that for hundreds of years, prominent theologians on staff stood in the same place to swear to defend the dogma.
Many famous people studied or lectured at the University. Miguel de Cervantes, Saint Ignatius Loyola, and Saint John of the Cross are among the most prominent.

The patron saint of Salamanca is Saint John of Sahagun. In Salamanca, his feast day is celebrated on June 12, so we will be here for it. Saint John was born in 1419, the oldest of seven children. He was very much devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and at Mass he would often see the Host "resplendent in glory" and the bodily presence of the Lord. He was a great peacemaker and "in his sermons he, like another St. John the Baptist, fearlessly preached the word of God and scourged the crimes and vices of the day, though thereby the rich and noble were offended. He soon made many enemies, who even hired assassins, but these, awed by the serenity and angelic sweetness of his countenance, lost courage. Some women of Salamanca, embittered by the saint's strong sermon against extravagance in dress, openly insulted him in the streets and pelted him with stones until stopped by a patrol of guards. His scathing words on impurity produced salutary effects in a certain nobleman who had been living in open concubinage, but the woman swore vengeance, and it was popularly believed that she caused the saint's death by poison" (Catholic Encyclopedia).

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3 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

Wow...St. Teresa of Avila...St. Ignatius Loyola...that is too awesome. St. Teresa's body is incorrupt, and her heart shows signs of Transverberation (piercing of the heart).

Can't wait to see pictures!

June 16, 2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger David Ketter said...

Update, update, update! :D

July 31, 2006 10:20 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Okay, okay! Check out Toledo below. More to come soon. Patience. :P

July 31, 2006 10:40 AM  

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