Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 331

Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
(MEXICAN MANUSCRIPTS.) Inquisition proceedings against a priest possessed by demons. [78] manuscript pages. Folio, 12 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches, modern 1/4 gilt calf, minor wear; leaves mounted on stubs, dampstaining, at least one leaf (after the 7th) torn out. Mexico, 1649-59

Additional Details

Testimony and proceedings from the Mexican Inquisition's noteworthy case against Fr. José Brunón de Vértiz, a priest who was initially arrested for supporting the revelations of four Romero sisters in a well-known 1649 case. His mental health apparently began to break down in the Inquisition cells, and he was then accused of denouncing Christianity and the Catholic Church. Like many other controversial trials from the Inquisition, this case took so long that the defendant died in custody in 1656, before his trial even began. He was condemned and burnt in effigy three years later.
Father Vértiz was said to have been demonically possessed. The testimony in this volume, much of it coming from the inquisitors tasked with interrogating him and casting out the demon, is thus a possession narrative, replete with exorcisms and quotes from the demon itself. Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas are said to be in Hell with all the other Doctors of the Church. The inquisitors, Bernabé de la Higuera and Agustín Dorantes, relate their experiences with the accused, in which they attempt to gain whatever information they could from what was left of Fr. Vértiz' soul. An exorcism was of little effect, as was a debate in which the demon, speaking through Vértiz, and the inquisitors futilely traded Bible verses in Latin to justify their authority. The demon which spoke through Vértiz would not relent. The end result was Vértiz' death, by which point he had been unable to even receive the last rites. As a result, he "died like a beast, without the least sign of the Christian and Catholic he once was."