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Iberian Saint


The Lives of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself


After Don Quixote, Santa Teresa is the story most Spanish have read. It is a piece of candid self-revelation, written in the liveliest and most unforced conversation prose. ( cII).

Much of it written in Toledo, and gives an account of her life up till her fiftieth year, she died in 1565, and book was begun some eight years before by the asking of the confessors. Much of the books success was the result of its sheer good writing. (cII).

Saint Teresa of Ávila life demonstrated self fashioning, country-wide respect, the mystical experience through mystical theology, the methodology of interior-trancelike-state of prayer, a religious superstar, missionary and advocate of a new branch of Carmelite order establishing 15 convents along with her first on of Saint Joseph, a guideline of how to becomes one with God, self-examination at the hands of an advisor, a need to have a conviction and perseverance in the face of interior and exterior opposition. Collectivism over individualism, the need for a large population of non-intellects in society for a greater capacity of community spirit.

 He book “the Life of saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself” is a blue-print book meant to show a path to union with God, and uses a word to describe the methodology called mystical theology. This established a reputation she was blessed, it marked a living saint. After she published the book she became a spiritual superstar. Her early life was spent with varying illness that incapacitated her for most of the time. In her forties she made a miraculous recovery and began her spiritual investigations.

She claimed by stages of prayer one can achieve a union with God. In 1557 she claimed that after reading St. Augustine’s Confessions, led her to a more spiritual life, or a more disciplined approach. This was, of course, her conversion moment a rebirth of sorts. This juxtaposition of Augustine, she meditated in front of a state of Christ, her life changed. She felt the presence of God, and received the gift of compunction ( tears). This was the first sign of her interior conversion.  

Her book is guide to the formula for the union with God. There are four stages of prayer to pass through before one can achieve a union with god.  She claims she not educated enough to speak in scholastic language, so she tried the best analogies she can think of which is a garden production. She describes it as a garden scene: First, drawn from a well, till and make ready the soil in which is the hardest labor. Self-examination at the hands of an advisor; “Spiritual advisor is necessary.” The advisor is a necessary vital integer.  They must be a learned person (semi-undefined), and needs three virtues (Doesn’t have to be religious): learning, humility and virtue. Second, Water-wheel and buckets, worked by a windless.  This stage has less labor, is defined by joy of prayer and supernatural feelings, and most cannot pass beyond this level. The Lord must raise one in order to get to the stage of the prayer of the quiet. Confessor is usually needed.  One needs to understand the soul is no good. Charity is begun. Thirdly, a stream or spring to keep the soil moist all the time. This stages has less labor then stage two. Courage, great joy- soul leaving the body, the should to abandon itself entirely into the arms of God.

The flowers bloom and its fragrance of God gives off a sweet smell; The stage of self-realization of doing God’s work. Fourthly, “or by heavy rain, when the lord works it Himself without any labor of our and this is an incomparable better method than all the rest.” The stages consists of Ecstasy, Exalted stage, Rapture & Union

Officially called the Prayer of Union, Soul dissolves, God is everywhere, Rapture is a flame that leaps from a fire and is part of the same fire which is God. The effects cause great courage, humility grows greater and the Soul loathes this world and all material in it.

One of the greatest passages of all time come when Teresa is discussion the need for less intellects in society. Obviously she lived in the proliferation of arbatristas and out of work theologians and lawyers.

Logical in contrast to ideal (Worker Bees)

Ideal: everyone wants to be a king, magnate, wealthy, powerful, learned, and adored. No one wants to work manual, hard labor.

Logical: A society cannot sustain  on such an ideal, some need to be the costodians, work in sacrifice for the whole of the group. this is anti-individualism, and wholy logical and anti-idealism.

Worker bees Analogy argues the need for a non-intellect working class needed in society. “ If the will wishes to inform the intellect of the nature of its joy, or strives to being it into recollection, it will not succeed. It will often happen in this quiet and union of the will that the intellect will be in great disorder. But the will had better leave it alone and not run after it. It – I mean the will – should remain in the enjoyment of that grace, and recollected like the wise bee. For if no bees entered the hive and all flew about trying to being one another in, there could not be much honey made.” (106)

In  Conclusion,

Peter of Alcántara, blessed friar, he lived in a cell, wore only sackcloth [ apparently metal-pieces], ate only once every three days, sometimes fasted for longer, and had great raptures and transports. His poverty was extreme, and she became enamored by his poverty. He inspired Teresa, and he will be of great service in her life including her founding of St. Joseph in Alcala. He advised her on many subjects, including the disciplines of prayer, and championed her favors, and didn’t dispute her claims. He appeared to her many times, including after his death, in which she predicted, on of many predictions she claims to had made, causing us to call her a prophet, and spoke of his penance gained him great glory in the after life. This gave Teresa great recourse for her own life.

She changed the Carmelite institution from basically a convent for noble women full of special privileges to a convent dedicated to simpleness and dedicatory nature of helping the underprivileged. She founded the church-convent, pre existing house, on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1562 in which it was first established to help four orphan children. She was canonized in 1622 by Gregory XV.

In 1622 the Pope was pro-Spanish, that is Pope Gregory XV, the pope that sponsored all the Spanish canonizations in the 1620s.  Pope Gregory XV canonized Teresa of Avila (the religious superstar and reformer of the Carmelites in Spain), Isidore the Farmer (Spanish husbandman and layman),   Ignatius Loyola. (Jesuit founder: "The Company of Jesus”), Francis Xavier (Jesuit's most successful missionary), and  Philip Neri. He also beatified Aloysius Gonzaga and Peter of Alcantara (Minorite:  designation for a person from a Franciscan order, he was directly connected to Teresa’s life). This brought Spain recognition because they had received more canonizations than any other country in Europe. They had parades and celebrated which brought a sense of unity and pride. This was a period that saw a Catholic France supporting the Protestant side, just for political reasons and for increasing France-Habsburg rivalry. This was a bright spot in their heritage.

In her youth she was fond of romance and chivalry, and felt shameful for wanting to read as it was, as her tone implies, not permitted for various religious purity qualifications. She read only a few books according to Cohen; of the few she read these two she knew well, Confessions (Augustine) and Imitation of Christ.

In Teresa’s last eight chapters, the balance between outer and inner events is at last achieved , and we leave her, at the end of her book, seemingly bent on a life of austere withdrawal from the world (Something she mentions in chapter one as well). (c13).

Proper names are very few, she doesn’t follow an autobiography script, and she is chiefly concerned about telling one of her conversion. (c12). She addresses the novice by citing the obvious to the mystically inclined, but her life was set about helping other in need than herself, and spiritual pathways and salvation was one. For instance in Ch. One she helps a local religious man curb his secret addiction of neighborhood relations a year before he dies. She talks simply to people who she know they will one day  seek the path and a simplistic teaching, a novice type of instructional, will help along the people in need of spirituality of what one will come to expect along the path to salvation.

She claimed by stages of prayer one can achieve a union with God. In 1557 she claimed that after reading St. Augustine’s Confessions, led her to a more spiritual life, or a more disciplined approach. This was, of course, her conversion moment a rebirth of sorts. This juxtaposition of Augustine, she meditated in front of a state of Christ, her life changed. She felt the presence of God, and received the gift of compunction ( tears). This was the first sign of her interior conversion.

Interior-trancelike-state of prayer.

She receives divine rapture ( the Biblical Revelations type), the union. He book “the Life of saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself” is a blue-print book meant to show a path to union with God, and uses a word to describe the methodology called mystical theology.

This established a reputation she was blessed, it marked a living saint. After she published the book she became a spiritual superstar.

“We resolve to be poor, and that is a great merit. But very often we resume our precautions and take care not to be short of necessity, also of superfluities, and even to collect friends who will supply us.” (76)

The Stages of Prayer

There are four stages of prayer to pass through before one can achieve a union with god.

She claims she not educated enough to speak in scholastic language, so she tried the best analogies she can think of which is a garden production.

“A beginning must look on himself as one wetting out to make a garden for the lord’s pleasure, on most unfruitful soil which abounds in weeds. “ (78)

How will this garden be watered?

1)      Drawn from a well ( hardest labor)

2)      Water-wheel and buckets, worked by a windless (Less labor, defined by joy of prayer and supernatural feelings, most cannot pass beyond this level).

3)      Stream or spring to keep the soil moist all the time.

4)      “or by heavy rain, when the lord works it Himself without any labor of our and this is an incomparable better method than all the rest.” (78).


He [the person] knows he is pleasing his master in this, and his purpose must be please him and not himself. (79).

These labors bring awards

1)      Enduring this level for many years.

2)      “I believe that it is the lord’s pleasure to send these torments and many other temptations, which often occur at the beginning and sometimes later also, in order to test his lovers, and to discover whether, they can drink the cup and help to bear his cross, before he entrusts them with great treasures” (80).

First stage continued…

“ we must have great confidence, for it is the most important not to limit our good desires but to believe that, with God’s help, we gradually increase our efforts, we shall reach, though perhaps not at once, that height which many saints have attained to , through His favour.” (88)

God is a lover of the courageous.

“ His Majesty is the friend and lover of courageous souls, so long as they proceed humbly and without trust in themselves.” (88)

“Freedom of spirit is not to be had in that way” ((Doo it put this in???)

The advisor is a necessary vital integer.

“ the beginning requires advice.” (93)

Stage 1) Self-examination at the hands of an advisor; “Spiritual advisor is necessary.” They must be a learned person (semi-undefined), and needs three virtues (Doesn’t have to be religious): learning, humility and virtue.

Stage 2) the Lord must raise one in order to get to the stage of the prayer of the quiet.

“ Need to understand the soul is no good.” (94)

Second Stage

The goal is to get rid of the intellect.

“No seeing or understanding or hearing at all.” (176)

A divine locution, she hears things, but are not audible. (176)

Stage 2) analogy to the watering of the garden with the use of the windless, buckets and drawing ( less labor)

This stage is not self-realization prayer step any longer, but a further step for prayer to benefit others such as praying to the Church, souls in purgatory, pray to draw near you, and “all prayer that comprises a great deal, and is more achieved by it than by much intellectual reflection” (107)

No tiredness in prayer at this level

Joy and a supernatural sense contends this level.

A certain joy should fill the void of the intellect.

soul begins to be supernatural, but be careful and judge with reservation (100)

Charity is also begun? (107 bottom)

In order to overcome the devil’s power the soul, by stripping the intellect it is left open as designed in stage two, but not with the guard of humility as its protector ( Submissiveness); joy should be accompanied with the humility. Instead of seeking out own pleasure of desire of love we must concentrate on the burden of carrying the cross, suffering like Jesus. “They must be like good soldiers, willing to serve their King without present pay because they are sure of their final reward. They must keep their eye fixed on the true and everlasting kingdom which we are striving to attain.” (109)

She used to think of the soul as a garden. (101)

Contradictions: Or social adjustments!

  • The need for a large population of non-intellects in society.

The will is in union with God

“The will calls the intellect and the memory back.” (104)

Worker bees Analogy to a non-intellect working class needed in society.

“ If the will wishes to inform the intellect of the nature of its joy, or strives to being it into recollection, it will not succeed. It will often happen in this quiet and union of the will that the intellect will be in great disorder. But the will had better leave it alone and not run after it. It – I mean the will – should remain in the enjoyment of that grace, and recollected like the wise bee. For if no bees entered the hive and all flew about trying to being one another in, there could not be much honey made.” (106)

“The soul will lose a great deal if it is not careful about this, especially when the intellect is a lively one. Once it begins to compose speeches and draw up arguments, especially if these are clever, it will soon imagine that it is doing important work.” (107)

We can imagine the phraseology of the Devil is in the details, or more aptly put, the further one thinks the further one falls into Hell. Is this a contradiction, for without reason, one cannot discern right or wrong or God or the Devil.

Stage Three

  • Courage, great joy- soul leaving the body, the sould to abandon itself entirely into the arms of God.

  • The flowers bloom and its fragrance of God gives off a sweet smell.

  • The stage of self-realization of doing God’s work. (118)

  • Complete death in all things of this world and a fulfillment in God.

  • The soul is in bewilderment, a heavenly madness, in which true wisdom is acquired. (112) (122?)

  • The soul knows its strengths arises from the outside. (114)

  • Pedro Ibánēz, commanded her to write this work (114)

  • The Lord takes her out of herself (114)

“ I beseech you, Father, let us all be mad, for the love of Him, who was called for our sake.” (115).

“Even Preachers have the habit of so framing their sermons to abstain from public sin? Do you know what I think? It is because preachers have too much worldly wisdom. They do not fling all restraint aside and burn with the great fire of God, as the Apostles did; and so their flames do not throw out much heat. I do not say that their fire could be as great as the Apostles’, but I wish they had more than I see they have. Do you know, Father, what our chief care ought to be? To hold our life in abhorrence and despise reputation.” (p.115)

  • Stage Four

  • Ecstasy, Exalted stage, Rapture & Union

  • Officially called the Prayer of Union

  • Soul dissolves

  • God is everywhere

  • Rapture is a flame that leaps from a fire and is part of the same fire which is God.

  • Effects;

  • Great courage

  • Soul loathing this world and all material in it.

  • Humility to grow greater

  • The should now understands the fruits in the garden are not of its own doing but entirely God’s work, and now one can began to share these fruits with others.

  • She doesn’t like to befriend anyone, including family members, that do not love god and practice prayer.

  • These ecstasy are transformational experiences, where the soul and body become one and leave the body.

  • Distress of having to come back, to return, to life.

  • Sun-dial analogy, do not need to close one’s eyes to during stage four. One will already achieve ecstasy.

  • Rapture can last two-three days or more.

  • All senses bound in joy and cannot act in any other way.

  • No power left in the body- and the soul possesses none- by which this joy can be communicated. (122)

  • Everything becomes one mind, body and soul and picture the flame leaping out of the fire.

  • They should leaps out like “ a whole flame and see flame leaping.” (123)

  • Absorption of one’s soul into God. One is so full of God it cannot comprehend anything it use to understand intellectually, i.e. love, understanding. (127) “ nor can I understand this [ what I’m writing] “ She was on level four when she wrote these words.

  • What she realized is ‘ God is present in al things, he is always there – so he always lets the water rain down on the garden and you do not have to do anything. But must be at this level of course.

  • Difference between Union and Rapture.

  • These transformations last 30 minuets or less, but feel timeless.

  • Little donkey works the water wheel, we must be those donkeys, with blinders on, walking and servicing the water wheel. This is level two.

Beginning Prayer. Challenges.

She read the “The Ascent of Mount Sion,” Touches on the subject of the Union with God 1559….? (166)

Beginning prayer: Overcoming fear, get a guide, a master of prayer, and don’t get discouraged, it takes time. When choosing a director, have discretion, don’t divulge personal things, the director should have enough wisdom to know ehn each level is needed when the apprentice is ready. ( parap. 167).

He first rapture, 1559, after meeting Father Baltasar Alvares, he becomes her confessor between 1559-64. (172). She heard [Voices],” I want you to converse now not with men but with angels.” (172)

She only liked people that practiced prayer and loved God. If not, even family members, she doesn’t want anything to do with them.

“ These devils keep us in terror, because we lay ourselves open to being terrorized.” (182). She likes these experiences with those of scholars.

There were no learning institutionalisms for women. This hadn’t happened yet. “ Whenever the Lord told me in prayer to do one thing and my confessor said something else, the Lord would speak again and tell me to obey him.” ( 186) What I saw before me game me so much to think about and so many subjects for recollection, and the Lord showed me such love and taught me in so many ways, that I have had very little or no need of books since.” (186)

By decree of the Grand Inquisitor, 1559, many Spanish books had been Indexed. Only the originals in Latin remained, and therefore, she could not read these. We need to remember she loved to read.

Many types of transports ( visions), She sees, but does not. She knows the presence. Other visions she sees them as pictures, but more human or life-like. Peter of Alcántara, blessed friar, he lived in a cell, wore only sackcloth [ apparently metal-pieces], ate only once every three days, sometimes fasted for longer, and had great raptures and transports. His poverty was extreme, and she became enamored by his poverty. He inspired Teresa, and he will be of great service in her life including her founding of St. Joseph in Alcala. He advised her on many subjects, including the disciplines of prayer, and championed her favors, and didn’t dispute her claims. He appeared to her many times, including after his death, in which she predicted, on of many predictions she claims to had made, causing us to call her a prophet, and spoke of his penance gained him great glory in the after life. This gave Teresa great recourse for her own life.

“Vision is not a dazzling radiance but a soft whiteness and infused radiance, which causes the  eyes great delight an never tires them.” (197)

Further on light:  The Vision was so indistinct that I did think it was a painting, but better than real paintings, more living (198).

She was also afflicted by many visions of devils and,

Significance: these visions made her a different person. She was nervous to go out into public if these visions suddenly happened. I guess she had no control. She began to be afraid of these impulses; she sometimes went into a stupor for days. (210). “I wanted to avoid human company and withdrawal completely from the world.” (236) One of her fears were being ordered to go on visits. She called these her indulgences, but makes it clear she didn’t like it. She would always talk about her patron saint, Joseph, the one that cured her and to whom she would name her covenant in Alcala. These public raptures she didn’t want people to know about. “Now the devil began to spread the news from one person to another that I had received some revelation about this matter [  ] , and people came to me in great alarm, saying these were difficult times, and that some charge might be brought against me, and that I might have to appear before the Inquisitor. But this mearly amused me [ she had many friends in high places at this time in her life] and made me laugh. I never had fear of that score.” (243)

She had opposition from the town to build the covenant. There were financial obligations that needed a patent from Rome and the agreement from the Capital of Spain. Gasper de Salazar trusted her with utmost secrecy to build the convent. She was informed not tell the nuns or her Superior. St. Joseph appeared to her to tell her money was coming to help her finance the building of the convent. She couldn’t afford to build from scratched so she found a renovated chapel-house. “About this time, on the Festival of Our Lady’s Assumption, I was in the Covent-Church of the Order of the glorious Dominic thinking of many sins that I had confessed there in time past, and of other incidences in my wicked life, when I was ceased  by a rapture so strong that it almost completely took me out of myself.[…] While in this state I seemed to see myself clothed in a robe of great whiteness and clarity, and at first I could not tell who was putting it on me. But afterwards I saw Our Lady on my right and my father St. Joseph on my left. I was given to understand that I was now cleansed of my sins.” (247)

Now her task was how to found the convent. A prelate is needed, and so she meets up with Don Alvaro to ask permission in Rome. She apparently had no idea of the legalities. It is here in the book that she declares that she has made many prophecies which had all come to pass. She uses her methods of prayer to get want God wants. She also at this time helps her dieing half-sister cleanse her life which profited her soul so she only spent one week in purgatory. She learns about patents from Rome, and also the time it takes to orderly fashion the financial paperwork from a legal revenue agreement. This she didn’t want to become involved in because it would take her away from her prayer time and other things she thought were more important. Also didn’t want the job of Superior, for time restrictions on her life’s work. Peter of Alcántara shows her the new poverty way of the theme of the new convents she would found. This caused her trouble. The Carmelite Order had already established it methodology. She was to change it which troubled many and they started trouble against her filing a lawsuit at the Capital of Spain. So she decided to go a different rout. She placed the authority under Ordinary jurisdiction, not Provincial. Then she claims the devil viciously attacked her, meaning her opposition to founding an existing order under non-normal circumstances. She founded the church-convent, pre existing house, on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1562. The Provincial rebuked her claiming ‘ she wants to make a name for herself,’ Teresa wrote. This ‘scandalizing the people;’  ‘and introducing new ideas.’ The poverty and small quarters were things not associated with the Carmelite convents. They were initially for noble women who had money.

The Counselor, the Chapter Carmelite did not sanction her convent. The reason was a “notable harm to the community.” (270). They ask to shut it down. Father Domingo Bánez, stood up for her and claimed there was no need for a rush to judgment. A grant lawsuit was issued, and Priest Gonzalo de Aranda represented Teresa at the Capital, and Master Gaspar Daza was also a help. At first she fought for the endowment, but then Alcántara spirit appeared to her and said do not take it. So she informed Gonzola not to seek it. She didn’t seem to say much more of this but begins to speak of the people beginning to calm down and actually accept the new convent in Alcala. During all this process the little house became a home for four-orphans. She tried to make the place like a little community, a schema, a prayer and service center for God.

The next chapters she speaks on relationships with men, and a sense of loneliness accompanies these passages. She concludes that liking boys ruined her partialness.

Then she attacks the foci of convents. ‘Some say convents should be breeding grounds for schools and courts’, she says, and she doesn’t want that. This is part of the anti-intellectual argument of hers. She wants people to be ignorant, or a certain level of knowledge, surely she distained university knowledge. At that time in Spain Universities were growing powerful in research and degree out-put which many scholars in theology came out of and set their sights on reforming whatever they saw needed. However, she seems to have an intelligence to record the following intellectual factoid: “Rule of Our Lady of Carmel, and it is kept without any relaxation, in the form drawn up by Friar Hugo, Cardinal of Santa Sabina, and published in 1248, the fifth year of the reign of Pope Innocent IV.” (275)

This was the period she was trying to found her first convent.

The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself, trans. J.M. Cohen ( London: Penguin Books, 1957)


“The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself”, trans. J.M. Cohen ( London: Penguin Books, 1957)





(mjm ID) King Phillip II, Patron in Chief, Bureaucrat in chief, moved the capital to Madrid, a outpost town which evolved under him to one of the largest cities in Europe.


1580 – the Spanish Empire.


King Phillip II, married Mary I, was a staunch Catholic and it was him and the quarrel with Queen Elizabeth I of England that amounted to the Spanish Armada battle being sent to England. He inherited much of Holland, Austria, and the lower sections including Milan, Naples  


Timeline of Philip of Spain's life and achievements

1 Table, source, schools History Organization, UK, ( Some revision and addition included by me)


1527 Born, son of The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal.

1543 Marries Maria of Portugal.

1554 Remarries. he married Mary Tudor, Queen of England

1556 Crowned King of Spain. Philip had already been given Naples, the Netherlands, Sicily and Milan by his father.

1559 Remarries, to Elizabeth of France (Mary I had died by this time)

1567 Sends army to put down the protestant uprising in the Netherlands.

1571 Exiled Christianized Muslims from Spain.

1571 Spanish navy destroys Turkish navy.

1580 Conquers Portugal and claims it's throne.

1584 The magnificent El Escorial palace was completed near Madrid.

1588 Philip sends the Spanish Armada to invade England.

1590- 1598 Spanish war against the Huguenots in France.

1598 Philip of Spain died, September 13th. 


Philip of Spain was King of England as well for a brief period of time! He was married to Queen Mary.

He became King of Spain before his father died.

Philip was brought up by Roman Catholic Clergymen.

Philip inherited a lot of land in South America, including most of modern Brazil, Peru, Honduras and Mexico!

Philip banned the Protestant religion in all of the countries he ruled.

Philip disliked the English because of the 'pirates' such as Drake and Raleigh.

Philip wanted to make England a Catholic country again.

King Philip married 4 times.

Philip made use of the Spanish Inquisition to control his people.

The Philippines are named after King Philip of Spain.


King of Spain, only son of the Emperor Charles V, and Isabella of Portugal, b. at Valladolid, 21 May, 1527; d. at the Escorial, 13 Sept., 1598. He was carefully educated in the sciences, learned French and Latin, though he never spoke anything but Castilian, and also showed much interest in architecture and music. In 1543 he married his cousin, Maria of Portugal, who died at the birth of Don Carlos (1545). He was appointed regent of Spain with a council by Charles V.In 1554 he married Mary Tudor, Queen of England, who was eleven years his senior. This political marriage gave Spain an indirect influence on affairs of England, recently restored to Catholicism; but in 1555 Philip was summoned to the Low Countries, and Mary's death in the same year [actually in 1558 -- Ed.] severed the connection between the two countries. At a solemn conference held at Brussels, 22 Oct., 1555, Charles V ceded to Philip the Low Countries, the crowns of Castille, Aragon, and Sicily, on 16 Jan., 1556, and the countship of Burgundy on the tenth of June. He even thought of securing for him the imperial crown, but the opposition of his brother Ferdinand caused him to abandon that project. Having become king, Philip, devoted to Catholicism, defended the Faith throughout the world and opposed the progress of heresy, and these two things are the key to his whole reign. He did both by means of absolutism. His reign began unpleasantly for a Catholic sovereign. He had signed with France the Treaty of Vaucelles (5 Feb., 1556), but it was soon broken by France, which joined Paul IV against him. Like Julius II this pope longed to drive the foreigners out of Italy. Philip had two wars on his hands at the same time, in Italy and in the Low Countries. In Italy the Duke of Alva, Viceroy of Naples, defeated the Duke of Guise and reduced the pope to such distress that he was forced to make peace. Philip granted this on the most favourable terms and the Duke of Alva was even obliged to ask the pope's pardon for having invaded the Pontifical States. In the Low Countries Philip defeated the French at Saint Quentin (1557) and Gravelines (1558) and afterwards signed the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis (3 April, 1559), which was sealed by his marriage with Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II. Peace concluded, Philip, who had been detained in the Low Countries, returned to Spain. For more than forty years he directed from his cabinet the affairs of the monarchy. He resided alternately at Madrid which he made the capital of the kingdom and in villégiatures, the most famous of which is the Escorial, which he built in fulfillment of a vow made at the time of the battle of Saint Quentin.

In Spain, Philip continued the policy of the Catholic Ferdinand and Isabella. He was merciless in the supression of the Lutheran heresy, which had appeared in various parts of the country, notably at Valladolid and Seville. "If my own son were guilty like you", he replied to a gentleman condemned to death for heresy who had reproached him for his cruelty, "I should lead him with my own hands to the stake". He succeeded in exterminating Protestantism in Spain, but encountered another enemy no less dangerous. The Moriscoes of the ancient Kingdom of Granada had been conquered, but they remained the implacable enemies of their conquerors, from whom they were separated by religion, language, dress, and manners, and they plotted incessantly with the Mussulmans outside the country. Philip wished to force them to renounce their language and dress, whereupon they revolted and engagedin a bloody struggle against Spain which lasted three years (1567-70) until ended by Don Juan, natural son of Charles V. The defeated Moriscoes were transplanted in great numbers to the interior of the country. Another event of historical importance in Philip's reign was the conquest of Portugal in 1580. After the death of the young King Sebastian at the battle of Alcazar (1578) and that of his successor the aged Cardinal Henry (1580), Philip II, who through his mother was a grandson of King Emmanuel, pleaded his title of heir and sent the Duke of Alva to occupy the country. This was the only conquest of the reign. Iberian unity, thus realized, lasted from 1580 to 1640. Other events were the troubles in Aragon, which were fomented by Antonio Perez, former secretary of the king. Being pursued for high treason he sought refuge in his native country, and appealed for protection to its fueros that he might not be delivered to the Castilian judges, nor to the Inquisition. The inhabitants of Saragossa defended him by force of arms and he succeeded in escaping abroad, but Philip sent an army to punish Aragon, infringed on the fueros and established absolutism in the Kingdom of Aragon, hitherto proud of its freedom (1592).

In the Low Countries, where Philip had committed the government to his aunt [some sources say half-sister --Ed.], Margaret of Parma, the nobles, chafed because of their want of influence, plotted and trumped up grievances. They protested against the presence in the country of several thousands of Spanish soldiers, against Cardinal de Granvelle's influence with the regent, and against the severity of Charles V's decrees against heresy. Philip recalled the Spanish soldiers and the Cardinal de Greavelle, but he refused to mitigate the decrees and declared that he did not wish to reign over a nation of heretics. The difficulties with the Iconoclasts having broken out he swore to punish them and sent thither the Duke of Alva with an army, whereupon Margaret of Parma resigned. Alva behaved as though in a conquered country, caused the arrest and execution of Count Egmont and de Hornes, who were accused of complicity with the rebels, created the Council of Troubles, which was popularly styled the "Council of Blood", defeated the Prince of Orange and his brother who had invaded the country with German mercenaries, but could not prevent the "Sea-beggars" from capturing Brille. He followed up his military successes but was recalled in 1573. His successor Requesens could not recover Leyden. Influenced by the Prince of Orange the provinces concluded the "Pacification of Ghent" which regulated the religious situation in the Low Countries without royal intervention. The new governor, Don Juan, upset the calculations of Orange by accepting the "Pacification ", and finally the Prince of Orange decided to proclaim Philip's deposition by the revolted provinces. The king replied by placing the prince under the ban; shortly afterwards he was slain by an assassin (1584). Nevertheless, the united provinces did not submit and were lost to Spain. Those of the South, however, were recovered one after another by the new governor, Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma. But he having died in 1592 and the war becoming more difficult against the rebels, led by the great general Maurice of Nassau, son of William of Orange, Philip II realized that he must change his policy and ceded the Low Countries to his daughter Isabella, whom he espoused to the Archduke Albert of Austria, with the provision that the provinces would be returned to Spain in case there were no children by this union (1598). (See ALVA; EGMONT; GRANVELLE; NETHERLANDS.) The object of Philip's reign was only partly realized. He had safeguarded the religious unity of Spain and had exterminated heresy in the southern Low Countries, but the northern Low Countries were lost to him forever.

Philip had three enemies to contend with abroad, Islam, England, and France. Islam was master of the Mediterranean, being in possession of the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, Egypt, all the coast of northern Africa (Tunis, Algiers, Morocco); it had just conquered the Island of Cyprus and laid siege to the Island of Malta (1505), which had valiantly repulsed the assault. Dragut, the Ottoman admiral, was the terror of the Mediterranean. On several occasions Philip had fought against the Mussulman peril, meeting alternately with success and defeat. He therefore eagerly joined the Holy League organized by Pius V to resist Islam, and which Venice consented to join. The fleet of the League, commanded by Don Juan, brother of Philip II, inflicted on the Turkish fleet the terrible defeat of Lepanto (7 Oct., 1571), the results of which would have been greater had Venice not proved false and if Pius V had not died in 1572. Nevertheless, the Turkish domination of the Mediterranean was ended and in 1578 Philip concluded a treaty with the Turks which lasted till the end of his reign. Relations of intimacy with England had ceased at the death of Mary Tudor. Philip attempted to renew them by his chimerical project of marriage with Elizabeth, who had not yet become the cruel persecutor of Catholicism. When she constituted herself the protectress of Protestant interests throughout the world and did all in her power to encourage the revolt of the Low Countries, Philip thought of contending with her in her own country by espousing the cause of Mary Stuart, but Elizabeth did away with the latter in 1587, and furnished relief to the Low Countries against Philip, who thereupon armed an immense fleet (the Invincible Armada) against England. But being led by an incompetent commander it accomplished nothing and was almost wholly destroyed by storms (1588). This was an irreparable disaster which inaugurated Spain's naval decline. The English corsairs could with impunity pillage her colonies and under Drake even her own coast; in 1596 the Duke of Essex pillaged the flourishing town of Cadiz, and the sceptre of the seas passed from Spain to England. From 1559 Philip II had been at peace with France, and had contented himself with urging it to crush out heresy. French intervention in favour of the Low Countries did not cause him to change his attitude, but when at the death of Henry III in 1589 the Protestant Henry of Bourbon became heir to the throne of France, Philip II allied himself with the Guises, who were at the head of the League, supplied them with money and men, and on several occasions sent to their relief his great general Alexander Farnese. He even dreamed of obtaining the crown of France for his daughter Isabella, but this daring project was not realized. The conversion of Henry IV (1593). to Catholicism removed the last obstacle to his accession to the French throne. Apparently Philip II failed to grasp the situation, since he continued for two years more the war against Henry IV, but his fruitless efforts were finally terminated in 1595 by the absolution of Henry IV by Clement VIII.

No sovereign has been the object of such diverse judgments. While the Spaniards regarded him as their Solomon and called him "the prudent king" (el rey prudente), to Protestants he was the "demon of the south" (dæmon meridianus) and most cruel of tyrants. This was because, having constituted himself the defender of Catholicism throughout the world, he encountered innumerable enemies, not to mention such adversaries as Antonio Perez and William of Orange who maligned him so as to justify their treason. Subsequently poets (Schiller in his "Don Carlos"), romance-writers, and publicists repeated these calumnies. As a matter of fact Philip II joined great qualities to great faults. He was industrious, tenacious, devoted to study, serious, simple-mannered, generous to those who served him, the friend and patron of arts. He was a dutiful son, a loving husband and father, whose family worshipped him. His piety was fervent, he had a boundless devotion to the Catholic Faith and was, moreover, a zealous lover of Justice. His stoical strength in adversity and the courage with which he endured the sufferings of his last illness are worthy of admiration. On the other hand he was cold, suspicious, secretive, scrupulous to excess, indecisive and procrastinating, little disposed to clemency or forgetfulness of wrongs. His religion was austere and sombre. He could not understand opposition to heresy except by force. Imbued with ideas of absolutism, as were all the rulers of his time, he was led into acts disapproved by the moral law. His cabinet policy, always behind-hand with regard to events and ill-informed concerning the true situation, explains his failures to a great extent. To sum up we may cite the opinion of Baumstark: "He was a sinner, as we all are, but he was also a king and a Christian king in the full sense of the term". 2

Institutional memory

The significance of intuitional memory contains the notion of privilege and right.


Philip developed the key mechanism of administrational control. Archives are memories. He began an archive of administration documents, understanding the Roman Catholic church’s power not of a Papal Army, but of it inflection of power caused by its efforts to produce documents from centuries ago, stating they had a right to this or that and one should abide by these documents. Isabella and Ferdinand had a few chests they carried around with them of all the important documents, and Charles V, had extended the box count to include a few more chests. These comprised of Spain’s’ agency. Now Phillip was smart enough to understand a need for making permanent dwellings for recordkeeping. One thing was the Papacy had papers containing contracts going back centirues that they could produce. For example, one such claim called on Spain to contribute 7,000 white horses per year. This was because of institutional memory.

Phillip was born on top of the world. The Spanish were the power of Europe.  People feared them. They were transversing the world; Philippines, Mexico, China, they were a  global threat. They really united the world as one global entity.

Phillip controlled the Conciliar System, which were made up of Councilsof State (1522), Council of War (1517?), and they would coalesce into one entity soon; The Council of Inquisition (1483), Council of Military orders (1495), the Council of Cruzada (1509), The Council of Finances (Hacienda, 1523), and the territorial councils, The Council of Castile, will blend into the Financial departments (contadurlas) absorbed into the Council of Finance, 1523 ( Council of Castile developed  from royal Council of Knights of Castile, recognized 1480), the Camara de Castilla ( 1588), The Council of the Indies (1524), the Council of Aragon ( developed from royal Council of King of Aragon, recognized 1494), the Council of Italy (1555), the Council of Portugual (1582) and the Council of Flanders (1588). Now what is so amazing that Phillip was a hands on type of administer. He read the mail and administered by letter judgments to all these councils. He went over meticulously account books, could if he wanted to send ‘ visitors’ to check up on accounting, administration in all his domains.


1580s: Papacy states its annual income about 1.5, to 2,000,000 ducats. In 1580 14,000,000 ducats per annual and state budgets of the Spanish, not including the local budgets in provinces in Milan, 1,500,000 and Naples 3,000,000 and others totally about 6,000,000 ducats per year. So why they lose all their money?

Control of the King, he determines everything.

Policy of allegiances are most important. People are paid to be loyal.

Castile was the biggest financial province for the monarch.


As a hands on ruler, one time Phillip got his hands on a account book and read the Viceroy authorized something that cost 110, Ducats, but the King would point out that he only authorized 85 ducats for that cost. The King was a monitoring system all to himself. Usually the councils would go over the books, but the King took his turn often, which meant he was a hands on ruler.

Charles V borrowed much money from the Genoese and the German empires, in which they bank-rolled his empire, so he left a huge debt that Philip would inherit. Philip called on four bankruptcies to renegotiate the interest terms with his creditors during his reign. Interest rates at the time were solely in the Popes discretion.

Mechanisms called visitations ordered a special visitor to check up in provinces on viceroys or leaders to make sure they were doing their jobs correctly. Phillip would sit in his palace and dictate all day, he would use his pen and right everyone, he was a bureaucratic king. Philip was a hard working, dedicated and disciplined person micro-managing his kingdom. Philip had an extraordinary work ethic. What was the temptation. He could have not administered the kingdom and instead stole money and, take bribes and usually corruption lifestyle, but he didn’t.

Madrid the industry of politics,

El Escorial. (ID)

The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

49 Km from Madrid, was a palace project by Philip II, of Spain, in order to have a place to call home and to arrange for a place to administer all his councils of the empire.


Beginning of the 16th century Madrid is 20-30,000 in population. Once Philip decides to make it the capital, a king administration brings in construction, material jobs, 


(not mine , On the façade of the Basilica, there are the statues of six kings of Judah (Josaphat, Hezequah, David, Solomon, Josiah and Manasseh), which were carried out by the sculptor from Toledo, Juan Bautista Monegro, who also made the main entrance to San Lorenzo.)

1570s, Philip increased his visits and stay-overs in Madrid. He like the outpost, then it was nothing more than a frontier town, he decided to make it his home away from home.

He builds a palace called El Escorial outside of the boundaries of Madrid at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range. , Later it became the seat of studies in aid of the Counter-Reformation. (wiki) “It was designed by the architects Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera in an austere classical style, and built from 1563 to 1584. It is shaped as a grid in memory of the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. It is said that during the battle of Saint Quentin (1557), the Spanish troops destroyed a small hermitage devoted to Lawrence. The King Philip II of Spain decided to dedicate the monastery to the saint in thanks for his victory. The complex has an enormous store of art, including masterworks by Titian, Tintoretto, El Greco, Velázquez, Roger van der Weyden, Paolo Veronese, Alonso Cano, José de Ribera, Claudio Coello and others. Also at the complex is a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts like the collection of the Moroccan sultan Zidan Abu Maali (r.1603–1627). Giambattista Castello designed the main staircase.

It is the burial site for most Spanish kings in the last five centuries, from the houses of Habsburg and Bourbon. The Royal Pantheon contains the tombs of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain), Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, Charles II, Louis I, Charles III, Charles IV, Ferdinand VII, Isabel II, Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII. The two Bourbon kings Philip V and Ferdinand VI, as well as King Amadeo of Savoy (1870-1873), are not buried in the Monastery. It is an extremely popular tourist attraction, often visited as a day trip from Madrid.” (/wiki)

Madrid grows from 100,000 at the end of 16th century.

Antonio Tassis (photo , genealogy) a farmer who had horses worked for Charles as letter carrier became a business and shuffled mail from Rom and Italy to Span for Philip.  He is where we get the modern term for taxi from; because a century earlier a family member , most possibly the grandfather, Roger Cornello, was allowed by the emperor to change his name to Roger von Taxis (See: The House of Thurn und Taxis). A letter from Rome to Madrid took six weeks at the beginning of the mail to there, but over time it got down to less than a month, and mail frequently came twice a month speeding administration things up quite a bit. Tassis would be granted a noble title, and receive land for his services over the years. Modern documents become important to the king’s legacy.


Philip was a passionate collector of the arts. He imported to Castile the best that Europe and the New World had to offer. The work of the Europeans Artists piled up in the royal collections. A subsequent monarch who shared the same passion was Philip IV, friend and patron of Velázques and Rubens, and zealous purchaser of foreign works of art. 3

The foreign dynasties that ruled in Spain –  the Hapsburgs were German, the Bourbons French – stimulated tastes that in time became more widely accepted. In the transfer of specific aspects of culture, including music and in particular art. 4

The empire held to form the identity of Spaniards, but at the same time it aroused profound and continuous criticism from them. Few of its aspects provoked such controversy as the discovery and conquest of the New World. A persistent current in Spanish opinion viewed America as the cause of all subsequent ills. 5

Spaniards in the world empire were proud of and clung to their roots. Like all migrants, they had a basic loyalty to their place of origin. They displayed the debt openly in all the places of America to which they gave names of their home towns: Córdoba, Guadalajara, Laredo. 6 From the Castilian town of Brihuega to Puebla, the second largest city of New Spain, saw emigration to the new world. During the period 1560 – 1620 over a thousand people from Brihuega’s expertise in textile manufacture. At the same time they attempted to get on in their new home, they were intent on preserving their identity as natives of Brihuega. 7 In the new world the Jesuits world becomes a factor, but back in Europe they became great educators. Philip initially thought they were a group of conspirators, and it took him a while to get around to allowing them to start preaching and teaching in Spain littoral. The Empire was a strong educational collection with the prime institutions in Italy and the 23 main ones that arose in the 1700s in Iberia. For a while, the Spanish Empire had the most scholars in Europe, and at a point they had too many which caused a problem in itself.


Education at the Universities turned out theologians and lawyers, and at a point the Spanish Empire was overrun with these two Ph. D degreed populations. The question was where to put them? The government only needs so many.


Rich deposits of silver. More than gold the silver mines of the New World created economic destabilization in the old world.


1545 Potosi ( Bolivia)

1548 Zacatecas ( mexico)

Gold was worth ten times the amount of silver, but the process of mercury amalgam, a fairly new technology then, isolated silver from its waste minerals which made it an advantage to coin it. The process was developed in 1555 from German ideas, by the Sevillan Bartolomé de Medina, and first extensively used in Mexico, then in Peru from the 1570s onward. 8 

Spain became caught in a credit boom. The trade fairs in Spain, of which the best known are the fairs in Medina de Campo, no longer handled cash; most transactions were international credit. (293) ‘People from all nations go to these fairs,’ reported Tomas de Mercado, ‘you hardly see coin, all is paper.’ 9

When Mercado wrote ‘foreigners’ he meant above all the Genoese, the financiers who attracted most hostility from Castilians. The Genose, went the complaint in the Cortes of Madrid in the 1540s, controlled everything, and charged interest at extortionate rates. In 1569, for example, large quantities of bullion from the Indies were being shipped to Genoa, to pay above all for the wars in Granada, which depended heavily on weapons imported by the Genoese from Italy. 10  

The foreigners dominated the Spanish business financial institutions by craft. Some historians have argued that the 1492 expulsion of Jews from the ranks of citizenry of Spain killed-off their own chances at controlling internal banking talents, and artisan groups well enough to maintain production of crafts for resale of finish products. The argument includes the Jews were good at finance and trade, and understood how to make money grow, flourish, and become more profitable.  How far this goes in a historical context is yet, in my opinion, to be seen as a major factor why the Spanish couldn’t control their new found wealth.

Major other factors that are in fact real conditions were the expensive funding of armies which for Spain were the largest outside of the Ottoman sphere in the old world. Armies cost plenty to keep up and paying the men, even when not in battle. The wealth of the empire became, in the final decades of the sixteenth century, the great prize. 11

Castile had no vast enterprise before the new world loot, and it only exported raw materials, as we noted in history the Roman empires initial eyes were on its mineral deposits, and before them it was the eyes of the Phoenicians which brought them to the Iberian shores. So many things form the new World entered ports, like Seville, and others that people hardly new what to do but to sell it off as raw materials. The Jewish factor comes into play here because they were the artisan class which could have made commodities from the raw materials which would have a larger selling price to Europe than raw materials.  In this way the Spanish could only sell the raw materials which were lower priced to other states which then manufactured the raw material into real commodities for resale. Barcelona was a center for shipping and grain transport, and building ships was a big industry for Spain. Historically Barcelona was a center for Mediterranean trade and it already had a historic merchant class. Valencia was also a historic ship port city.

So how did the Crown become controlled by mostly the Genoese bankers, then later the Italian bankers? Charles V took over power in Castile; foreign financers were (as we have seen) in a good position to give weighty backing to the enterprises associated with the New World and the empire. 12 He had tried the Portuguese, Castilian and Florentines (Francesco de’ Medici), but these initial projects failed to bring about comprehensive knowledge of international financing. The Genoese had been doing this for a very long time in the old world. The Genoese advanced huge sums to the crown in Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands; in return, they were obliged to accept payment only within Castile, because of the ban on exporting specie. What could they with their money” For the most part, they bought up property in Castile, and invested in Castile industry and commerce; in this process, they operated through Castilian capitalists. The result was a boost for the boom period in the Castilians economy. 13

Much of the economy of the Spanish has in part to do with the Portuguese, who without them could not have colonized the Canaries. It was Portuguese investigation and maritime exploration, and all the tools that came along with it, that helped the Spaniards extend to the Asian markets and Africa in the spice and human trade.

The consequence of this inflow of Mexican silver was that during the first half of the seventeenth century Spanish coins became the effective international currency of Southeast Asia. The Chinese themselves used Spanish coin when trading in Maluku. Spain was drawn into the Asian economy and became a market for goods from China, where silver was worth twice as much as in New Spain, making Chinese items correspondingly cheaper to purchase. Silver pesos therefore flowed to Manila and thence to China in much greater quantities than appeared in official registers. 14 China had so accustomed to accepting silver, later on when the British ran out of silver for trade this was one of the reasons for the problems that arose with China and Britain in the early 19th century.

In the same way, silver crossed the Atlantic but not necessarily towards Spain. In 1599 the governor of the La Plata region reported that the silver which passed through the area did not go to Spain; ‘some may go to Lisbon but it is very little, virtually all goes to Flanders and England [note how the British were able to stock up on supplies they later used as trade for their Chinese excursion]; almost all the ships that come to the Brazil coast which they then exchange in Brazil for silver, at process even lower than those in Lisbon.’ He calculated that in the last four years one and a half million pesos had left the area this way. 15

During Philips reign he encountered the cultural and spiritual evolution of the realm. The bureaucracy, the universities, the vibrant urban culture, the larger cities then ancient Roman times, the immigrates that settled in Iberia, that brought art and humanism. The period also saw the decline of church autonomy. From the catholic Monarch period, what the bishopric said mattered to the monarchal policies. The Carranza episode, although not of Philip’s design, saw his administration take the opportunity to respond to the Church in a new way. The ecclesiastical apparatus in Spain were divided over the new thought in upper Europe over Protestant and Erasmus configurations. “Carranza, like all the Spaniards, was strongly of the opinion that the duty of residence was a Divine law (juris divini), and therefore could not be delegated to a vicar. On this question, Carranza wrote and issued a treatise, "Controversia de necessarii residentii personali episcoporum et aliorum inferiorum ecclesiæ pastorum Tridenti explicata" (Venice, 1547), which may be found in Le Plat, "Monum. Trident.", III, 522-584. Carranza also had a share in drawing up the eleven articles proposed by the Spaniards, which treated the duty of episcopal residence and other questions of discipline relatiing [sic] to the office of a bishop.” 16

The appointing of Bishopric positions took place under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs who received a special injunction from the papacy. However, they were limited in overthrowing or trying papal appointments. When the Protestant reformation occurred, it took on a new meaning of retainership. Where official clergy sympathetic to the new theology? These were the questions facing the newly divided ecclesial productions in Spain and throughout the Spanish Empire. But one must be careful of the motive of bishop appointment. Like the Catholic Monarchs, there perspective was a money making venture. If a bishop died or somehow lost his seat, the monarch could postpone the next appointment for a number of years, usually negotiated with Rome. For the Catholic Monarchs, two to three years were their limits. In this way they could seize the revenue of that position and kept it for their purposes. The apparent re-thinking of this policy may have taken on a factor in the overall episode of the Carranza problem.

Surely the archbishop of Toledo, the city that was the prime religious site in Spain, became envied by other religious officers. They accused him of favoring Erasmus, a Christian humanist who wrote on the modern Christian life a “The Handbook of the Militant Christian.” This popular tract coincided with a liberal progressive movement in the north and opposed Aristotelian theology. The Spanish Aristotelians accused Erasmus as a friend of Luther and the Protestants. So Carranza was caught up in the polemic. Even though he has been redeemed in fighting factions of the Protestants, it may have well been his self-preservation that accompanied his survival tactics.  After accompany Prince Philip to Flanders as confessor, around 1552, “Carranza went back to Spain, where, besides his duties in his order, he also took part in the labours of the Inquisition. As almoner of Prince Philip, Carranza came in contact with the prince, and often preached before him and his court.” 17

Carranza’s time working with the grand inquisition may have started the trouble. They were jealous of his abilities as a humanist. They took any opportunity to look for sabotage. Charles appointed Carranza to the The See of Toledo, and Philip persisted as well. Preconized by Pope Paul IV, 16 December, 1557, he was therefore the therefore, Primate of Spain.  Anyone now could be jealous of such power. These were also political position. As I was saying in the Catholic Monarch period, bishopric position offered power in that often the Spanish Monarchs had to take weight into their decisions. Philip will dream of total freedom from Rome. His autonomy matches the preconceived autonomy of the Protestants but for somewhat different reasons.

“In 1558 his "Commentary on the Christian Catechism" (Commentarios del revmo. Señ. Fray Bartolomé Carranza de Miranda sobre el catechismo cristiano) had appeared at Antwerp. A number of views suspected of heresy were found in the book, and the Grand Inquisitor Valdés brought an action against the author.” 18 In 1559 Erasmus’ work appeared on the published Index. This was the opening for the crackdown on ecclesiastical members. “A Brief of Paul IV, dated 7 January, 1559, had granted the Grand Inquisitor of Spain the power, for the space of two years, to investigate the conduct of all Spanish bishops; this measure was intended to conteract [sic]  the threatening danger of the spread of Protestant doctrine.” 19

Pope Pius IV was a pro-Spanish Pope, and he tells Philip that only the Papacy could try their people. Philip puts Carranza under house arrest. “With the permission, therefore, of King Philip II (26 June, 1558) the grand inquisitor had the archbishop arrested at Torrelaguna, 22 August, 1558, and brought a [the] prisoner to Valladolid. Pope Pius IV made repeated requests to Philip II in the matter, and the Holy Father was urged several times, in the years 1562 and 1563, by the members of the Council of Trent, to bring the case of the Archbishop of Toledo before his court. The Congregation of the Index also gave at the council a favourable testimony for Carranza in regard to his commentary.” 20

Philip believed that his kingdom must abide with subservience to the inquisition which had evolved as many institutions do. Under the Catholic Monarchs ( c. 1484-1515) it was rough for any person not of the old Christian model. During Charles V (c. 1517-1555 (’57 technically)) the inquisition focus changed to opposing protestant and Calvinists which were not many in number in the Spanish realm. Next the evolution of the Inquisition drastically changed. Under Philip II it became a surveillance system of the likes of the Stasis of East Germany under the 20th European Communism era. Thus, indicating a vast network of paid spies and informants; father against son and the likes. However, we must keep in mind the Inquisition was stationed only in the major metropolitan cities and went after affluent lifestyles, as a general rule. Yet, going after such a prominent clergy meant they now went to the top of the elite positions in society a field of power broking that established the change of focus. “Nevertheless the Spanish process pursued its tedious course. In 1564, when the Inquisition had closed its investigation, the king expressed the wish to Pius IV that the matter be decided in Spain by judges appointed by the pope.” 21

The imprisonment dragged on and finally after eight Philip many letter between Philip and Pope aggravated the situation. Carranza went to Rome, where he remained under house arrest. “The pope agreed to this and named (13 July, 1565) four judges who were to pronounce judgment in Spain. These judges were: Cardinal Ugo Buoncompagni, Ippolito Aldobrandini, Fel. Peretti, O. S. F., and J. B. Castagna, Archbishop of Rosano; all four became popes later. However, after their arrival in Spain in November, 1565, they were not permitted to proceed independently of the officials of the Inquisition, and the process, therefore, reached no final settlement. At last, in 1567, owing to the peremptory order of Pius V, the suit was brought before the Curia, the official documents were sent to Rome, and Carranza, who had been in prison eight years, was taken to Rome, where he arrived 28 May, 1567.” 22  He was treated well but being under house arrest had some disadvantages both physiologically and physically. His health deteriorated. “The papal chambers in the Castle of Sant' Angelo were appointed to be his residence during the trial. Once more the case lasted a long time, being nine years before the Curia. It was not until the reign of Gregory XIII that a final decision was reached, 14 April, 1576. Carranza was not found guilty of actual heresy, but he was condemned to abjure sixteen Lutheran propositions of which he had made himself suspected, was forbidden to enter on the government of his diocese for another five years, and was ordered during this period to live in the monastery of his order near the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and there to perform certain religious exercises as penance.” 23

One of Philips demands for his release was the he, harking back to the above topics on Spanish Monarch appointment power of the bishopric, give up his revenue he gained while in prison for all these years. Also, that he would not return to Spain. “Carranza's sorrowful fate was brought about, largely, by the intense desire to keep all Protestant influences out of Spain. At the same time it cannot be denied that expressions which he used and propositions which he occasionally set forth would of themselves give rise to the suggestion of heretical opinions. At a later date the Congregation of the Index also condemned his commentary. This work, a stout folio, treated the doctrines of Christian faith and morals under four heads: faith, commandments, sacraments, and good works.” 24

This episode illustrated the conversion of the monarchy to rule outright its domains. It was part of the price of Empire, just as the Black Legend arose in Holland and England, depicting the Spanish as inhuman citing the New World genocide and the deplorable inquisition. The rise of Auto-da-fé took on a new polemic for Spaniards. The inquisition remained seen as a poisoned environment by suspicion that caused metropolis paranoia. It did slow down intellectual thought and stop many freethinkers in their tracts. The people living in the village were lucky in a sense, because they often never saw The Inquisition. The polemic dark past was contrasted by the success of people like Santa Teresa.

Santa Teresa, a noble-class renaissance women who was a part of self fashioning, lived  a life of mysticism and wrote mystical theology, reformation of the Carmelite monasteries, a classic autobiography the first for Spain in this genre to look to the interior for the answers to experience a union with God, and a devotion to teach others how to commune with God (nothing new in mysticism for history). Her conversion came after she had read Confessions of St. Augustine, according to Professor Thomas Dandlet, but also the Letter of Jerome.  

She was born at Avila, Old Castile, 28 March, 1515; died at Alba de Tormes, 4 Oct., 1582. After her death and the marriage of her eldest sister, Teresa was sent for her education to the Augustinian nuns at Avila, but owing to illness she left at the end of eighteen months, and for some years remained with her father and occasionally with other relatives, notably an uncle who made her acquainted with the Letters of St. Jerome, which determined her to adopt the religious life, not so much through any attraction towards it, as through a desire of choosing the safest course. 25

She claimed that by stages of prayer with proper meditation she achieved a union with God. Her book is a road map. She was sick for most of her life, some think epilepsy, other not, but in her late forties to early fifties she resumed normal health. She established fifteen male Carmelite monasteries and seventeen women Carmelite monasteries. She reformed the foundations of the nobleness to a more aesthetic doctrine.

Her autobiography was spiritual advice and an ongoing discourse of micromanaging one’s spiritual life. It was a Franciscan St. Peter of Alcantara who asked her to write down her visions she was having in Avila. She wrote in the persuasive religio-language of the day, which helped make the book instantly famous. She became famous, and was somewhat criticized because she was a traveler and didn’t maintain a solitude lifestyle as was customary for a nun. She completed her autobiography in 1565. “The account of her spiritual life contained in the "Life written by herself" (completed in 1565, an earlier version being lost), in the "Relations", and in the "Interior Castle", forms one of the most remarkable spiritual biographies with which only the "Confessions of St. Augustine" can bear comparison. To this period belong also such extraordinary manifestations as the piercing or transverberation of her heart, the spiritual espousals, and the mystical marriage. A vision of the place destined for her in hell in case she should have been unfaithful to grace, determined her to seek a more perfect life. After many troubles and much opposition St. Teresa founded the convent of Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of St. Joseph at Avila (24 Aug., 1562), and after six months obtained permission to take up her residence there.” 26

Her broth became St. John of the Cross, and she established a reputation that she was blessed. This marker made her a living saint. Immediate after she died many people in Spain wrote to have her quickly canonized. It was soon after she published her autobiography she became a religious superstar. Her brother describes his own interior mystical practices. He was later canonized. She redefined the noble aloofness of monastic life. Many nobles had their children sent to these institutions where vanity played a role. She restructured the system to make it more austere. She was also forceful and spoke up and even to the King telling him what to do. Since she was not in such a political powerful position of Archbishopric like Carranza, it would have been ill advised to send the inquisition after her.  She posed no threat and there is no evidence the King took her as one. Philip supported her founding in the Carmelite reforms. In 1622 he had become canonized, and was the devotional subject of the 17th century. She became one the many leaders in Roman Catholicism.


1 Schools History Organization, Timeline of Philip of Spain's life and achievements, United Kingdom, [accessed online,

October 2006].

2 The Catholic Encyclopedia, Philippe II Vol. XII (New York, Robert Appleton Company, 1911) [ Accessed online ,

October , 2006] GACHARD, Correspondance de Philippe II sur les affaires des Pays Bas (Brussels and Ghent, 1848-1851); IDEM, Lettres de Philippe II a ses filles (Paris, 1884); IDEM, Don Carlos et Philippe II (Paris, 1863); PRESCOTT, History of the reign of Philip II, King of Spain (London, 1855); CORDOBA, Felipe II, rey de Espana (Madrid, 1876-78); BAUMSTARK, Philippe II, Konig von Spanien (Freiburg, 1875), tr. into French, KURTH (1877); MONTANA, Nueva luz y juicio verdadero sobre Felipe II (Madrid, 1882); FORNERON, Histoire de Philippe II (Paris, 1882); HUME, Philip II of Spain (London, 1897).


3 Kamen, Henry, Empire: How Spain Became A World Power 1492 -1763, 3d ed. (New York: HaperCollins Publichers Inc, 2004) 340.

4 Ibid, 340.

5 Ibid, 371.

6 Ibid, 348 .

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid, 285.

9 Ibid, 293.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid, 295.

12 Ibid, 294.

13 Ibid, 294, 295.

14 Ibid, 292.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Bartolomé Carranza, Vol. XII, J.P. KIRSCH , trans, WGKo

fron With thanks to Fr. John Hilkert, Akron, Ohio  (New York, Robert Appleton Company, 1911)

[Accessed online , October , 2006]  NAVARRETE, Coleccion de documentos inéditos para la historia de España (Madrid, 1844), V; GACHARD, Retraite et mort de Charles-Quint au monastére de Yuste (Brussels, 1854-55f), II; Concilium Tridentianum, ed. Societas Gœrresiana, I; DIARIA, ed. MERKLE (Freiburg im Br., 1901); QUÉTIF AND ECHARD, Scriptores ord. Prædicatorum (Paris, 1721), II; TOURON, Histoire des hommes illustres de l'ordre de S. Dominique (Paris, 1747), IV; LLORENTE, Histoire critique de l'inquisition d'Espagne (Paris, 1818), III; RODRIGO, Historia verdadera de la Inquisicion (Madrid, 1877), III; SCHÄFER, Geschichte des spanischen Protestantismus (Gütersloh, 1902), I and III; REUSCH, Der Index der verbotenen Bücher (Bonn, 1883 sqq.), III; LAUGWITZ, Barth. Carranza, Erzbischof von Toledo (Kempton, 1870); CABALLERO, Vida de Melchior Cano (Madrid, 1871); EHRLE in Der Katholik (1885, I, 86, sqq.).

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid.

23  Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid, The Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Teresa of Avila,  Benidict Zimmerman, trans. Marie Jutras. Vol. XII (New York,

Robert Appleton Company, 1911) [ Accessed online , October , 2006] .

26 Ibid.


Philip II death was pious and he spent some time preparing for it. This was part of the king’s biography. His life inspired over 100 biographies, the remembrance after death. The old king had sorrowfully confessed ( Prophesized)  that God had not given him a son capable of governing his vast dominions, and had foreseen that Philip III would be led by his servants. This calculation was exactly fulfilled when he appointed Lerma to the position of validos. When Philip passed on the Papacy tried to move away from Spain’s authoritarianism. A Spanish ambassador was sent to Rome in 1598, the Duke of Sessa to Clement VIII (1536-1605),and Lerma paid the Papacy 140,000 to rule in Naples which was less money than forming an army to go their and show force. .

De Sengano (Disillusionment| Like the consumer confidence index, state of affairs)

Arbitrates, layers wrote treaties on everything mostly negatively on how bad something was going, like banditry, agriculture…etc…

Philip III, a time of contradictions,

Felipe III (April 14, 1578 – March 31, 1621) between 1590s to the 1610s witnessed a social notion of “we can hardly maintain what we have” sweep the political catacombs of Spanish society. These interior attitude changes affected the exterior reality of tradition. He thinks about moving his court to Valladolid because he doesn’t want to be next to tombs in El Escorial. His reign didn’t see a decline in the Empire.

Phase I

The first decades Philip likes to hunt, womanize attend music functions and theater. His father doesn’t see him as a serious boy and is concerned, so he positions a new type of bureaucratic novelty arising in Europe.

Challenge I (Lerma)

1604-‘5, crisis in Venice, two Catholic Priest (two clerics, Scipione Saraceno, a canon of Vicenza, and Abbot Brandolino of Nervesa) put on sectarian trial, accused of nutty crimes,  which was not in accordance with the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of tradition, so this created a crisis in which diplomacy by Lerma averted the cost of war. The Pope at the time was pro-Spanish, Paul V (1605-1621), who threatened to excommunicate the whole city, which meant no longer would the have the rights of sacraments. This could cause an international crisis because of the Protestant reformation drove wedges between what was legal now and what was tradition. This cause célèbre for Europeans engaged much of the European continent. Henry of Navarre in 1593 ((Henry IV (French: Henri IV; December 13, 1553 – May 14, 1610), was the first monarch of the Bourbon dynasty in France) became Catholic, so he supported the Venetians. This showed the weakness of the party-king Philip III, and it would promote the position of validos  in which Lerma was recognized for averting a war.

Called the Interdict:

An interdict is a censure, or prohibition, excluding the faithful from participation in certain holy things. These holy things are all those pertaining to Christian worship, and are divided into three classes:

1)      the Divine offices, in other words the Liturgy, and in general all acts performed by clerics as such, and having reference to worship

2)      the sacraments, excepting private administrations of those that are of necessity;

3)      ecclesiastical burial, including all funeral services.1

1A. Boudinhon, Interdict, Transcribed by Tomas Hancil (New York: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII, 2003)

Pope Paul V sided with Spain in 1606 and the threat of economization brought the prospects of war, but Lerma did not want war because he understood the cost of sending 25,000 men was much more money than other solutions, so an interdict was threatened and supported by the Pope, but France held firm and therefore with the intervention, it was a message to Spain not to interfere with Italian politics. However, Jesuits were expelled from Venice. For Spanish perspective and Lerma’s this was a big success, however others have a different perspective and a story of the outcome and significance.

Challenge II (Lerma)

The Morisco Revolt occurred in 1568 ― 1609

Another Challenge of Lerma was the Morisco Revolt in south of Spain (Granada region where good soil had always been in Iberia). The Muslim had run the agriculture project there for a long time, but the Ottoman Empire under the direction of Selim II kept sending agent-agitators to stir up trouble. A fear arose that the Ottomans and the Moriscos would ally with one more type of army and wreaks havoc in the south of Spain. So Philip III sent and army to suppress the revolt.

During this extended revolt however, the Ottoman armies successfully invaded Cyprus in 1570 while Spanish forces destroyed the observatory in Istanbul. Don John of Austria went on from suppressing the revolt, to become famous for defeating the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. It was decided to do something permanent with the Muslims residing in Spain, so taking about 130,000 Moriscos form Valencia region and from Granada, amounting to about 300,000 they were marched-off to the Mediterranean, placed on ships and taken to North African territories and banned from coming back; this led to a gape in agricultural production, because they had been tilling the land for a long time. The implication of these economic struggles eventually arose and lowered output in farm production, because of the loss of 300,000 skilled laborers. Lerma is credited for keeping relative peace in the region by his decision to expel the Moriscos in 1609.

Phase II (1610-1621)

Get rid of Lerma, he was banned from high-office and sent away. His blunderings and plundering were made public by someone and the outcry for his resignation took the king into his second phase of his reign. He will begin to party less and manage more. Viceroys, generals become part of the administration of the councils, which tells us they operate a higher degree of administration than in Philip II’s reign. This could be seen as the best early modern Bureaucracy.

At the year 1610, a Dutch treaty needed renewal, and the lands were not ruled by a viceroy, but by appointment of royalty. Philip III’s sister and her husband ran the official ruling offices in the land of the  Dutch. By 1618 and the outbreak of the religious War, marked the beginning to move out by the Spanish from this region. Philip III stays out of the War of Religion ( 30 Years War), but later Spain will become involved.

Duke of Lerma, ( Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, (b. 1553, Seville, d. 1625, Valladolid)), changed Spanish government, most powerful position under the king, represented a change in absolutism in Europe at this time, was a viceroy of Naples raised to administer position of prime minister-likeness, called a validos - strong men or favorites, and they would govern Spain for the Hapsburg kings up until the end of the 17th Century.  The king technically approved all major decisions, but this position led to autonomous decision-making, a stark contrast of the micro-management of King Philip II’s reign. Philip II had worried of noblemen ruling, which was a problem’s in Spain’s past, but at this time there were no threats to absolute rule during Philip III’s rule, and therefore the change. Philip III had begun very different from his father, and his father worried, because he like to live it up and party, spend money and hunt. Philip III would eventually grow out of this, but not until Lerma would spend a sizable amount of the national treasury on his friends and family, something that would never happened under the micro-management of his father, Philip II.

Believing that Philip III might maintain Spanish supremacy in Europe to some extent by relying on dynastic hegemony, he worked to continue the series of marriages between members of the Spanish royal house and Viennese Habsburgs or French Bourbons. He achieved the peace of London between Spain and England (1604) and the 12-year truce with the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1609).

It was Lerma who sponsored the decrees (1609-14) for the expulsion of the Moriscos, or officially Christianized Moors, from Spain - a decision affecting about 350,000 people. Motivated by religious and political rather than economic considerations, he wanted to stop a controversy that could be solved only by drastic means in view of the failure to assimilate the Moriscos with the Spanish Christians.

Lerma accumulated an immense personal fortune - a fact that his enemies exploited when they launched their final attack on his position. His own son Cristóbal, Duke de Uceda, cleverly manipulated by the ambitious Count (later Duke) de Olivares, took part in the conspiracy against Lerma. Foreseeing his fall from favour, Lerma sought leave to retire into private life but first obtained a cardinal's hat from Pope Paul V (March 1618). He was dismissed from power a few months later (October 1618).

Duke of Lerma, The  Web Gallery of Art (  accessed online, 2006)

Lerma brought his friends and family to Madrid and gives then pensions, offices and favors. Yes, this was a long policy of Spanish politics, to build up loyalty, but this was done at a time when absolute rule had been established and at unprecedented levels. He went overboard and spent a lot of money. One of his friends amasses over a period of 7-9 years 1,240,000 ducats in favors and gifts from Lerma. This level of pilfering was a sign of a dysfunctional or corrupt part of the first decade of Philip III‘s reign. Corruption could happen fast, and this marked the coming of 17th century politics of favorites. For example, he favored a plan set forth by Philip to build a new castle for his logins and on the pillars where traditionally coats of arms for the ruler were displayed he alternately planned to have his own on every other column. This plan never gets approved but it was a symbol of political ambition. Lerma showed shrewd political power and what he was good at was managing crisis.  He steered Spain out of wars from 1589-1621.

A Spanish ambassador was sent to Rome in 1598, the Duke of Sessa to Clement VIII (1536-1605),and Lerma paid the Papacy 140,000 to rule in Naples which was less money than forming an army to go their and show force. This showed a mature diplomatic countenance than previously in Spain. Just because you have a big army doesn’t mean you have to use it.



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