April 21, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

The devilish rag doll in Mexico's archives, a history of love and madness

By Ines Amarelo.

Mexico City, Apr 14 (efe-epa).- Mexico's General Archive of the Nation (AGN) safeguards incredible stories such as that of the rag doll from the 18th century that belonged to Francisco Xavier Palacios, a man who, out of love, entered religious life but ended up selling his soul to the devil.

Along with the doll, the AGN also holds the report the Mexican Inquisition drafted when Francisco denounced himself for heresy.

The correspondence he maintained with his lover Josefa Sosa, who made the doll so that he would remember her, was discussed with EFE by historian and head of the AGN educational department Alejandro de Avila.

The Mexican Inquisition was established in 1569 by Phillip II of Spain and was an office charged with pursuing and punishing actions contrary to the Catholic faith.

In this case, it was not necessary to prosecute Francisco because in 1782 he said he wanted to cooperate with that institution, which left his written testimony at the Santo Domingo convent in the city of Oaxaca, as well as the records of the investigation conducted by the official in charge of the case.

The story began when Francisco was about 15 and met Josefa Sosa, who was twice his age, establishing a motherly-sisterly relationship with her, given that he had lost his own mother and his father treated him badly.

But soon thereafter the pair became lovers.

It was Josefa who asked Fransisco, taking advantage of the fact that he sang in the parish's choir, to enter religious life so he could maintain a secret and prohibited relationship with her since, aside from their difference in age, she was married.

Although the young man agreed, he soon noticed that he was not cut out for religious life, which included chastity, shutting himself off from the outside world and spending 24 hours a day in the service of God.

That was when - in the face of his lover's refusal to let him leave the convent - he began to have problems with his colleagues and to blaspheme on a daily basis.

Such was the hatred Francisco developed for his environment and for the limits placed on him there that he even tried to kill himself twice and, after fruitlessly trying everything he could to change his situation, he began to call on the devil to help him.

One day, when he had given himself up for lost, the story goes that a man introducing himself as the devil himself appeared in his cell asking him to fulfill his promise.

Francisco offered his soul in exchange for getting out of religious life and being able to charm as many women as he wanted, and the devil appearing as a man made it come to pass.

The young man left the convent within three years and was able to use assorted powders and potions to be able to open doors and take women to bed, Francisco himself told the Inquisition.

In addition, the alleged devil asked him to have one of his lovers make a rag doll with which to worship him.

After some time living a madcap an uninhibited life, Francisco began to feel remorseful about it all and decided to go to the Inquisition and report himself for heresy.

"He was so desperate that he preferred the Inquisition's prison to remaining in the convent," De Avila said.

It was then that the story of the priest began to fall apart: the commissioner handling the case discovered that the women with whom Francisco claimed to have had relations did not exist - until he came to Josefa.

The woman told the commissioner that the doll was not made to worship the devil but rather while Francisco was locked up in the convent so that he could remember his lover when he looked upon it, "even with a sexual connotation," the historian added.

She also turned over the letters Francisco had sent her, in which they signed themselves with nicknames and included code words and abbreviations.

"With this, Josefa revealed the love they had for each other and the story Francisco ... had crafted began to crumble," De Avila said.

After this, the priest was found guilty only of having claimed that hell was a lie and that souls could change bodies, concepts that for the 18th century Inquisition were completely unacceptable.

After his conviction, it is not known what the fates of the two lovers were, whether they had any further contact or whether Francisco was able to focus his life in any particular way.

Housed at the AGN are more than 1,500 volumes of reports prepared by the Inquisition that were hidden when Mexico was in the midst of obtaining its independence from Spain and turned over to the Anthropology Museum by historian Silvio Zavala during the 20th century.

News history
Adele splits from her husband Simon Konecki

London, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Renowned top-selling singer Adele split from her husband Simon Konecki after a seven-year relation that resulted in one son, her...

Break in the rain allows Easter processions to weave through Spain's streets

By Antonia Méndez Ardila

Mexican muralist chronicles the coming of the conquistadors

Veracruz, Mexico, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- Melchor Peredo Garcia has created six murals to represent the "historical and sociological phenomenon" of the arrival...

Newcomer lands main role in Mexico's grandest Passion Play

Mexico City, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- On this Good Friday, for the first time in 15 years, the role of Jesus in the famed Passion Play in the Mexico City borough...

Thousands of Peruvians bid farewell to Alan Garcia

Lima, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Peruvians gathered on Thursday to say their last goodbyes to former President Alan Garcia, dead at 69 of a...

Mexican hamlet marks 500 years since Cortes came ashore

La Antigua, Mexico, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- In legends, in ruins and in the natural exuberance of the ceiba trees, the legacy of Hernan Cortes lives on in this...

Brazilian inmates' creations to hit runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sao Paulo, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A score of male inmates at one of Brazil's maximum-security prisons have been hard at work for months on creations set to...

Slower-paced tango is conquering thousands in Taiwan

By Francisco Luis Perez,

Uruguay theater bus presents comic reenactment of Paysandu history

By Raul Martinez

Mexican gov't has cut p.r. spending by 50 pct., president says

Mexico City, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government published new guidelines for communications on Wednesday, with public advertising spending being cut...

Migration north of broad-winged hawks makes stopover in Colombia

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

China launches Martian simulator for budding space explorers

By Víctor Escribano

Dog pulled from Gulf of Thailand to be adopted by rescuer

Bangkok, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- A dog that was rescued by oil rig workers more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) off the coast of Thailand was in good health on...

Mexican singer Chavela Vargas honored on 100th anniversary of her birth

Mexico City, Apr 16 (EFE).- Mexican singer Chavela Vargas will be commemorated on the 100th anniversary of her birth as a woman who lived in a rebellious...

Penitents in Atlixco, Mexico, prepare for painful Way of the Cross

Atlixco, Mexico, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The penitents of this town in central Mexico are preparing for one of the country's most representative Stations of the...

Art invites discussion on Havana's Malecon

By Atahualpa Amerise

The street is a graffiti artist's museum, Brazil's Kobra says

By Alvaro Blanco

Spain's Raphael says films still an interest as he accepts Platino Award

Madrid, Apr 16 (epa-efe).- Spanish singer Raphael, who has appeared in such films as "Digan lo que digan," "Mi gran noche" and "El golfo," said after...

2 stolen, restored Van Gogh paintings go back on display 14 years on

Amsterdam, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- A pair of Vincent Van Gogh paintings that were stolen 14 years ago and found during an Italian mafia investigation in 2016...

Reuters 'distressed' its Pulitzer-winning reporters remain in Myanmar jail

Pangshang, Myanmar, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Reuters news agency lamented Tuesday that two of its journalists who were part of a team awarded a Pulitzer Prize for...

Harvard's Hasty Pudding honors Marc Anthony with highest Golden Sphinx award

New York, United States, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Singer Marc Anthony Monday became the first Latin artist to be presented with the 2019 Order of the Golden...

At 101, India’s first voter is set to vote again (Feature)

By Sarwar Kashani

Reporting on Trump, US shootings recognized for Pulitzers

By Helen Cook.

Manhattan skyscrapers are part of latest Met exhibit

By Helen Cook.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.