We continue…

In a short break from Blood and Faith, but almost completed it. A tough (emotional) read. The author does not suggest it is simply bad ‘Christians’ and good ‘Muslims’, but given that those professing Christian faith were the ones with the power the responsibility has to come down on that side. It does seem a number of the Muslims had found faith in Jesus and found themselves in a particular hard place. Thrown out and then not welcomed where they went. There is a report of a group sent to Tetuan who refused to enter a Mosque as they were now Christians and were subsequently stoned to death. Thrown out of their land to their death.

It was in September 24, 1609 that the decree went out for the Valencian communidad that all Muslims were to leave within 3 days. On 27th the bishop in the Cathedral of Valencia preached, praising the action of the nation to purge them of ‘domestic enemies who wish to drink our blood and take over Spain.’

The end-result of the expulsion? One-third of the population of Valencia (the communidad and not simply the city) was expelled. It did leave issues as many of the ‘moriscos’ were the stewards of the land. There are even villages in the mountainous areas that were left so desolate that they had to import people from Mallorca (complete with language and customs) to look after the land.

To this day, along with a bizzare number of other titles, the king of Spain carries the title ‘king of Jerusalem’. All a throw back to the crusading era. Just a title? Probably, but when the Spanish troops went into Iraq they were given a flag of the Cross of Saint James (Santiago) to go with them – James who is known as the Moor Slayer.

1517 and one of the issues that riled Luther was that of Indulgences. The church was offering forgiveness in exchange for money… however, indulgences continue in the catholic church. Probably the harsh abuses have gone, but the church can still give out indulgences to lessen the length of time spent in purgatory the other side of death. This past week we have discovered that there are a few places (five) in the world that can offer ‘permanent indulgences’. Jerusalem and Rome – no great surprise there… and three other places. Two ‘holy’ places. The first one Jesus went to (no prophet can die outside of Jerusalem….) to break religious power and the compromising relationship with Imperial power, so that Paul could set his face to get to Rome, the centre of the ‘basileia’ (empire) of Rome and from the law and the prophets proclaim the ‘basileia’ (kingdom) of God!!

Three other places – in Spain!!! Santiago de Compostela… and,

Santo de Toribio de Liebana one of the main ‘holy sites’ in Europe. There is probably evidence that it is from this place the squashing of the Priscillian history and the promotion of the Santiago camino arose.

Caravaca de la Cruz where two angels flew in and delivered a cross when a priest was holding back from demonstrating the eucharist / mass to a Muslim ruler!!! This is not a large place but last time there was a Jubilee (2010) over a million pilgrimages came to visit.

So we have a focus and some work to do…!!!

We are amazed at how at the right time what has been tucked away somewhere hidden gets revealed.


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