Upon acknowledgment of Katharina’s denunciation, Pope Pius IX bought an investigation, itself a difficult company because convent at Sant’Ambrogio had many influential Jesuit followers among Vatican higher-ups. The exploring assess, however, is a Dominican friar, and determined to reach the base of the doings on convent. Note: I’m simplifying the byzantine network of conflicting events and passion inside the Vatican here, although Wolf do a superb task of putting all of them down. Furthermore the densely affected bureaucracy of chapel’s appropriate system, like the Inquisition, which would fundamentally tip regarding case making use of pope’s affirmation.
Exactly what the Dominican Christian dating would find out got a secret, cultlike veneration of Maria Agnese Firrao, featuring reports that she a€?trapped the lady tongue under a heavy rock for 5 to six minutesa€? avoiding blasphemy and dressed in a€?an iron mask containing 54 pointed fingernails,a€? also myths of self-mortification. Maria Agnese was also respected to own done amazing healings, together with sisters held this type of relics as scourges she used on the woman looks, as well as other less grisly property, when you look at the notion they retained sacred influence. In short, they managed the president of their purchase as a saint, the actual fact that decades earlier on the Inquisition have invalidated Maria Agnese’s claims to that status, delivered the woman into confinement an additional convent and bought the girl to have no further connection with her a€?daughters.a€?
This quasi-heretical behavior on the part of the siblings is a good number of piqued the Inquisition, whoever character had been largely to sniff out and discipline violations of Catholic doctrine. But bodies were additionally dismayed to find out that Maria Luisa have compelled some newbies into sharing their bed together with engaged in different forms of sexual intimacy with them. The evening before novices were to profess their unique vows, they took part in rites that integrated dancing around within nightshirts and spending the evening during sex making use of amateur domme, a€?often in a fierce embrace.a€?
Invoking the biblical Elijah, she advertised that a€?God provided the creator the surprise to be in a position to share this lady advantage, the lady heart, the lady purity, by putting herself over a nun. And also as she did this she filled the lady with a unique alcohol.a€? The investigator in addition learned that the beginner mistress has covertly enlisted a newcomer with gorgeous handwriting to pen characters basically through the Virgin Mary to Padre Peters. During these, the Holy mom recommended Maria Luisa’s confessor, to engage in an erotic a€?blessinga€? together with the newbie domme that will invest the woman with the power to bless her novices. The guy complied.
All this work, Maria Luisa claimed, served as a€?purificationa€? (the girl recommended targets appeared to be elderly women with a few sexual enjoy, that obviously kept them tainted) along with become established by Maria Agnese, your order’s president
As Wolf describes, the thing that was taking place in Sant’Ambrogio ended up being both conventional and insurrectionary. The scandal arrived toward the end of what spiritual historians relate to as a€?the Marian Century,a€? during which devotion to your Virgin Mary, and apparitions of the Holy mommy to believers, boomed. With their visions and healings, the nuns of Sant’Ambrogio invoked the feminine mystics of this dark ages, like Saint Catherine of Siena, whoever popular description of the woman ecstatic visionary event to Christ has heady, erotic overtones. Their particular male followers inside the Church hierarchy sought for a return to tradition and secret against a vein of liberal Catholicism that planned to modernize the chapel by reconciling they with technology, secular governments and Protestants.
Despite this lady era and humble roots, the inexperienced mistress dominated the convent toward level that she could function as a sexual predator and manipulate even her own confessor into acts that broken his vows
On top of that, female like Maria Luisa can use the iconography of female mysticism and sainthood to accrue certified and private energy typically refused to Catholic female. Maria Luisa would ultimately testify that she just performed these items because she believed them to be the jobs of a leader of the woman order as outlined by Maria Agnese. But this girl altered their facts so many occasions and advised a lot of lies you will never understand fact of that. The one thing is certain: bitious and wanted to located a convent of her own. To start with she eagerly welcomed Katharina von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as a wealthy and well-connected possible promoter. Later, she made an effort to kill her ahead of the princess revealed that which was truly taking place behind the convent’s structure.