Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Pair Of Shoes

In medieval times, the likes of the St. Catherine of Siena and self-flagellating St. Dominic Loriactus Loricatus may have taken that message to extremes.

But while many of the excesses of the Catholic church disappeared after the Reformation and the establishment of the Protestant Church in the 16th century, mortification remained.

Indeed, one of the prime movers in launching the Counter-Reformation movement, Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuits, was a big fan of mortification of the flesh and had his own variation on it.

One approving biographer of him writes: 'He bought a pair of shoes of coarse stuff that is often used in making brooms. He never wore but one shoe because he was in the habit of wearing a cord tied below the knee by way of mortification.'

No comments: