A broadside from the Mexican Inquisition
[Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition] El orden que se ha de tener, quando se lea la carta de la anathema. [Mexico, n.d.]. Letterpress broadside. 31 x 21 cm. Text within ornamental border. Folds, else fine. Medina, no. 1962.
First printed around 1630, this broadside in Spanish and Latin presents the Catholic ritual of excommunication. The headnote offers a set of instructions in Spanish:
Saldrán con Sobrepellices, y candelas encendidas en las manos, y el Preste con capa negra, y la Cruz cubierta de luto, y con manga negra, y dos circios en ciriales, iran cantando en procession en tono baxo la Letania.
The ritual, in Latin, opens with a recitation from Ps. 109: “Deus laudem meam ne tacueris…” (Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise, For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.”) The passages that follow pray for the heavens to reveal the inquity of the Jews (Revelabunt coeli iniquitatem Iudæ), to seek souls deceived by the Devil (Respice ad animas diabolica fraude deceptas) and set aside all heretical wickedness in the hearts of those who err (omni haeretica pravitate deposita errantium corda).
The printing history of this broadside is uncertain. Medina dates the copy he examined in Archivo de Simancas to 1630 based on the materials with which it was bound. A copy at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is dated to the 1650s for the same reason. The third recorded copy, at UC Berkeley, is dated to circa 1800 based on a pencil annotation. This, the fourth recorded example, resembles the copy at Berkeley, which also features ornamental borders, and we think it most likely dates from the restoration of the Holy Office in 1815.
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