By Mr. Craig Harline
This soaking up booklet takes us again to the busy, colourful global of a Netherlandish Catholic bishop and his flock from 1596 to 1620. dependent upon the lately stumbled on daybook of Mathius Hovius, the publication focuses not just on his lifestyles but in addition on key occasions and characters of the interval. Episodes within the lives of clergymen, nuns, pilgrims, peasants, saints, and others carry to lifestyles the event of faith throughout the Counterreformation.
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Extra resources for A Bishop's Tale: Mathias Hovius Among His Flock in Seventeenth-Century Flanders
Since the early part of the present century, the kings of Spain, like many other Catholic princes in Europe, had owned the right to name bishops within their dominions. The pope and the Congregation made the ‘‘canonical conferral’’ and might dispute unworthy nominees, but in practice it was King Philip who made bishops in the Netherlands. For long there were only four bishops to be made there, but by Philip succeeded, after much resistance, in increasing the number of Netherlandish bishoprics to seventeen, with the new archbishopric of Mechelen as primus, or head.
Then Gent the Comical, where during the ceremonies a nervous churchman accidentally girded Isabella rather than Albert with the legendary sword of Baldwin With the Iron Arm. But for Mathias Hovius, who witnessed several of these entries, the most memorable took place in Mechelen the Beloved. His native city’s recent past had been so unsettled and upsetting that the prospect of powerful Catholic rulers here to stay, and come to declare sovereignty and loyalty, surely overpowered him. The date for the entry into Mechelen was ﬁnally set for December.
Rural parishes that did have priests rarely saw them, for they had ﬂed to the relative safety of towns. Churches left standing were often the only shelters around in the countryside, so that they became crowded, stinking places of eating, sleeping, dying, birthing, ‘‘even coupling’’; some rural pastors took up residence in church towers. Though the task of rebuilding city and archdiocese was overwhelming, there were glimmers of hope. Processions were soon resurrected in Mechelen, if without past splendor.