« Alogi Alombrados Aloysius, Saint, of Gonzaga »


ALOMBRADOS, ɑ̄´´lom-brɑ̄´dez (modern spelling, ALUMBRADOS; Lat. Illuminati; “Enlightened”): Spanish mystics who first attracted the attention of the Inquisition in 1524 (Wadding, Annales minorum, under the year 1524), when a certain Isabella de Cruce of Toledo is mentioned as a representative of their quietistic-ascetic teachings and their enthusiastic striving for divine inspirations and revelations. About 1546 Magdalena de Cruce of Aguilar, near Cordova, a member of the Poor Clares, is said to have been accused of spreading immoral antinomian teachings and to have been forced to abjure her heresies; and there are like reports of a Carmelite nun, Catherina de Jesus of Cordova, about 1575, and of a Portuguese Dominican nun, Maria de Visitatione, in 1586. The founder of the Society of Jesus, in his student days, was accused of belonging to the Illuminati at Alcala in 1526, and at Salamanca in 1527, and the second time was imprisoned for forty-two days (cf. Gothein, p. 225; see Jesuits). A connection between the Spanish Illuminati of the sixteenth century and the German reformatory movement has often been conjectured, especially by Roman Catholics, but without good reason; nor can influence from Anabaptists like Münzer or Schwenckfeld be seriously considered.

An ordinance of the Spanish Inquisition dated Jan. 28, 1558, mentions the following heretical teachings as characteristic of the Illuminati: “Only inward prayer is well-pleasing to God and meritorious, not external prayer with the lips. The confessors who impose outward acts of repentance are not to be obeyed; the true servants of God 136 are superior to such discipline and have no need of meritorious works in the common sense; the contortions, convulsions, and faintings, which accompany their inner devotion, are to them sufficient tokens of the divine grace. In the state of perfection the secret of the Holy Trinity is beheld while here below, and all that should be done or left undone is communicated directly by the Holy Spirit. When perfection is attained it is no longer necessary to look to images of the saints, or to hear sermons or religious conversations of the common kind” (J. A. Llorente, Geschichte der spanischen Inquisition, Germ. ed., ii., Stuttgart, 1824, pp. 3-4). A still fuller record of Illuminatic errors is given by Malvasia (Catalogus omnium hæresium et conciliorum, Rome, 1661, xvi. century, pp. 269-274), who enumerates fifty heretical propositions, including besides these already mentioned the following: “In the state of perfection the soul can neither go forward nor backward, for its own faculties have all been abolished by grace. The perfect has no more need of the intercession of the saints, even devotion to the humanity of Jesus is superfluous for him; he has no more need of the sacraments or to do good works. A perfect man can not sin; even an act which, outwardly regarded, must be looked upon as vicious, can not contaminate the soul which lives in mystical union with God."

The ecclesiastical annalist Spondanus records in the year 1623 an inquisitorial process against Illuminatic mystics in the dioceses of Seville and Granada, in which the grand inquisitor Andreas Pacheco mentions no less than seventy-six heretical propositions, many of them antinomian. Like things are told of the French sect of Illuminés (called also Guérinets from their leader the Abbé Guérin) who were prosecuted in 1634 in Flanders and Picardy. Another sect of Illuminés which appeared about 1722 in southern France has more resemblance to the freemasons, and seems to have been a precursor of the Order of Illuminati in south Germany, especially in Bavaria (see Illuminati).

O. Zöckler†.

Bibliography: H. Heppe, Geschichte der quietistischen Mystik in der katholischen Kirche, 41 sqq., Berlin, 1875; M. Menendez y Pelayo, Historia de los heterodoxos Españoles, ii. 521, iii. 403, Madrid, 1880; H. C. Lea, Chapters from the Religious History of Spain Connected with the Inquisition, passim, Philadelphia, 1890; E. Gothein, Ignatius von Loyola und die Gegenreformation, pp. 61-62, 224 sqq., Halle, 1895.

« Alogi Alombrados Aloysius, Saint, of Gonzaga »
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