Upon bill of Katharina’s denunciation, Pope Pius IX bought a study, alone a tricky business considering that the convent at Sant’Ambrogio got a lot of important Jesuit followers among Vatican higher-ups. The investigating judge, but was a Dominican friar, and determined to access the base of the doings during the convent. Note: I’m simplifying the byzantine system of conflicting functions and passions within the Vatican right here, although Wolf do a fine task of laying them on. Furthermore the densely affected bureaucracy in the Church’s appropriate system, such as the Inquisition, that would ultimately rule throughout the instance aided by the pope’s approval.
Exactly what the Dominican would see got a secret, cultlike veneration of Maria Agnese Firrao, featuring tales that she a€?trapped their tongue under a heavy stone for 5 to six minutesa€? to stop blasphemy and used a€?an metal mask that contain 54 sharp nails,a€? as well as other reports of self-mortification. Maria Agnese utile link was also respected having performed miraculous healings, as well as the siblings held this type of relics once the scourges she utilized on her looks, along with other less grisly possessions, during the opinion which they retained sacred forces. In short, they addressed the president regarding order as a saint, and even though decades early in the day the Inquisition got invalidated Maria Agnese’s claims to that status, delivered her into confinement in another convent and purchased the girl to possess any further contact with the girl a€?daughters.a€?
This quasi-heretical attitude on the part of the sisters was actually what most piqued the Inquisition, whose part ended up being mostly to sniff out and punish violations of Catholic doctrine. But government had been also dismayed to discover that Maria Luisa have compelled a series of beginners into discussing the lady bed along with engaged in numerous types of sexual closeness with these people. The night before novices comprise to profess her vows, they participated in rites that integrated dancing around in their nightshirts and investing the evening during intercourse with the beginner mistress, a€?often in a fierce incorporate.a€?
Invoking the biblical Elijah, she reported that a€?God gave the president the gift of being in a position to impart their virtue, this lady spirit, this lady purity, by installing herself over a nun. And also as she performed this she stuffed the lady with a unique liquor.a€? The investigator furthermore discovered that the beginner domme has actually privately enlisted a novice with breathtaking handwriting to pen characters basically through the Virgin Mary to Padre Peters. On these, the Holy mom urged Maria Luisa’s confessor, to take part in an erotic a€?blessinga€? aided by the amateur mistress that will spend their using the power to bless the lady novices. The guy complied.
All of this, Maria Luisa reported, supported as a€?purificationa€? (the woman ideal objectives appeared to be elderly lady which includes intimate feel, that obviously remaining all of them tainted) together with been founded by Maria Agnese, your order’s creator
As Wolf explains, what was going on in Sant’Ambrogio had been both old-fashioned and insurrectionary. The scandal arrived toward the termination of what religious historians consider as a€?the Marian millennium,a€? where dedication on the Virgin Mary, and apparitions for the Holy mommy to believers, exploded. Using their visions and healings, the nuns of Sant’Ambrogio invoked the female mystics regarding the old, like Saint Catherine of Siena, whoever popular story of the woman ecstatic visionary wedding ceremony to Christ keeps heady, erotic overtones. Their male followers within chapel hierarchy looked for going back to traditions and mystery against a vein of liberal Catholicism that wished to modernize the Church by reconciling they with research, secular governments and Protestants.
Despite the lady get older and very humble origins, the beginner domme controlled the convent with the degree that she could work as a sexual predator and manipulate also her own confessor into acts that violated his vows
At exactly the same time, females like Maria Luisa would use the iconography of female mysticism and sainthood to accrue official and personal electricity normally refuted to Catholic people. Maria Luisa would sooner testify that she best performed these items because she believed these to function as the duties of a leader of their purchase as presented by Maria Agnese. However, this girl altered the woman tale many period and advised a lot of lies it’s impossible to be aware of the reality of the. Something is definite: bitious and planned to located a convent of her own. At first she excitedly welcomed Katharina von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as a wealthy and well-connected possible promoter. Afterwards, she attempted to destroy the woman prior to the princess uncovered that which was really taking place behind the convent’s structure.