The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Sprenger

Possibly the world's most popular inclination, the impulse to export your suffering to another seems to be near-universal. Not confined to any race, sex, or age category, the impulse to cause pain appears to well up from deep inside human beings. This is mysterious, because no one seems to enjoy pain when it is inflicted on them. Go figure.

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:56 am


Herein is set forth the Question, concerning the Two Divine Permissions which God justly allows, namely, that the Devil, the Author or all Evil, should Sin, and that our First Parents should Fall, from which Origins the Works of Witches are justly suffered to take place.

The second question and proposition is that God justly permitted certain Angels to sin in deed, which He could not have allowed unless they were capable of sin; and that in like manner He preserved certain creatures through grace, without their having previously suffered temptation; and that He justly allows man both to be tempted and to sin. And all this is clearly shown as follows. For it is a part of Divine providence that each single thing should be left to its own nature, and not be altogether impeded in its natural works. For, as Dionysius says (de Diuin. Nom., IV), Providence is not a destroyer, but a preserver of nature. This being so, it is manifest that, just as the good of the race is better than the good of the individual (Aristotle, Ethics, I), so also the good of the universe takes precedence over the good of any particular creature. Therefore we must add that, if men were prevented from sinning, many steps to perfection would be removed. For that nature would be removed which has it in its power to sin or not to sin; but it has already been shown that this is a natural property of man’s nature.

And let it be answered that, if there had been no sin, but immediate confirmation, then there would never have appeared what debt of grace in good works is due to God, and what the power of sin has been able to effect, and many other things without which the universe would suffer great loss. For it behoved that Satan should sin, not through some outside suggestion, but that he should find in himself the occasion of sin. And this he did when he wished to be equal to God. Now this is to be understood neither simply and directly, nor indirectly, but only with a reservation; and this is declared according to the authority of Esaias xiv: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. For it must not be understood simply and directly, because in that case he would have had a limited and erring understanding, in seeking something which was impossible for him. For he knew that he was a creature created by God, and therefore he knew that it was impossible for him to become equal to his Creator. Neither, again, must it be understood indirectly; for since the whole transparence of the air consists in its subjection to the sun’s rays; therefore nothing which would be contrary to the good of its nature could be sought for by an Angel. But he sought for equality with God, not absolutely, but with a reservation, which was as follows. The nature of God has two qualities, that of blessedness and goodness, and the fact that all the blessedness and goodness of His creatures issues from Him. Therefore the Angel, seeing that the dignity of his own nature transcended that of the other creatures, wished and asked that the blessedness and goodness of all the inferior creatures should be derived from him. And he sought this in his own natural capacity, that just as he was the first to be endowed in nature with those qualities, so the other creatures should receive them from the nobility of his nature. And he sought this of God, in perfect willingness to remain subject to God so long as he had that power granted to him. Therefore he did not wish to be made equal with God absolutely, but only with a reservation.

It is further to be noted that, wishing to bring his desire to the point of action, he suddenly made it known to others; and the understanding of the other Angels of his desire, and their perverse consenting to it, was also sudden. Therefore the sin of the First Angel exceeded and preceded the sins of the others in respect of the magnitude of his guilt and causality, but not in respect of duration. See Apocalypse xii. The dragon falling from heaven drew with him the third part of the stars. And he lives in the form of Leviathan, and is king over all the children or pride. And, according to Aristotle (Metaph., V), he is called king of princes, inasmuch as he moves those who are subject to him according to his will and command. Therefore his sin was the occasion of sin in others, since he first, not having been tempted from outside, was the external temptation of others.

And that all these things happened instantaneously may be exemplified by physical things; for the ignition of a gas, the sight of the flame, and the impression formed by that sight all happen at one and the same time.

I have put this matter at some length; for in the consideration of that stupendous Divine permission in the case of the most noble creatures with regard to the one sin of ambition, it will be easier to admit particular permissions in the case of the works of witches, which are in some certain circumstances even greater sins. For in certain circumstances the sins of witches are greater than that of the Angel or of our first parents, as will be shown in the Second Part.

Now the fact that the providence of God permitted the first man to be tempted and to sin is sufficiently clear from what has been said concerning the transgression of the Angels. For both man and the Angel were created to the same end, and left with free-will, in order that they might receive the reward of blessedness not without merit. Therefore, just as the Angel was not preserved from his fall, in order that the power of sin on the one side and the power of the confirmation of grace on the other side might work together for the glory of the universe, so also ought it to be considered in the case of man.

Wherefore S. Thomas (II, 23, art. 2) says: That by which God is glorified ought not to be hindered from within. But God is glorified in sin, when He pardons in mercy and when He punishes in justice; therefore it behoves Him not to hinder sin. Let us, then, return to a brief recapitulation of our proposition, namely, that by the just providence of God man is permitted to sin for many reasons. First, that the power of God may be shown, Who alone is unchanging while every creature is variable. Secondly, that the wisdom of God may be declared, Who can bring good out of evil, which could not be unless God had allowed the creature to sin. Thirdly, that the mercy of God may be made manifest, by which Christ through His death liberated man who was lost. Fourthly, that the justice of God may be shown, which not only rewards the good, but also punishes the wicked. Fifthly, that the condition of man may not be worse than that of other creatures, all of whom God so governs that He allows them to act after their own nature; wherefore it behoved Him to leave man to his own judgement. Sixthly, for the glory of men; that is, the glory of the just man who could transgress but has not. And seventhly, for the adorning of the universe; for as there is a threefold evil in sin, namely, guilty, pain, and loss, so is the universe adorned by the corresponding threefold good, namely, righteousness, pleasure, and usefulness. For righteousness is adorned by guilt, pleasure by pain, and all usefullness by loss. And by this the answer to the arguments is made plain.

Solutions to the Arguments.

According to the first argument it is heretical to maintain that the devil is allowed power to injure men. But the opposite appears rather to be true; for it is heretical to assert that God does not permit man, of his own free-will, to sin when he wishes. And God permits much sin, by reason of His power to hurt men in the punishment of the wicked for the adorning of the universe. For it is said by S. Augustine in his Book of Soliloques: Thou, Lord, hast commanded, and it is so, that the shame of guilt should never be without the glory of punishment.

And that is not a valid proof of the argument which is taken from the wise ruler who keeps away all defect and evil as far as he can. For it is quite different with God, Who has an universal care, from one who has only a particular care. For God, Whose care is universal, can bring good out of evil, as is shown by what has been said.

For the second argument, it is clear that God’s power as well as His goodness and justice are manifest in His permission of sin. So when it is argued that God either can or cannot prevent evil, the answer is that He can prevent it, but that for the reasons already shown it does not behove Him to do so.

Neither is it valid to object that He therefore wishes evil to be; since He can prevent it but will not; for, as has been shown in the arguments for the truth, God cannot wish evil to be. He neither wishes nor does not wish it, but He permits it for the perfecting of the universe.

In the third argument S. Augustine and Aristotle are quoted on the subject of human knowledge, saying that it is better for a man not to have knowledge of that which is evil and vile for two reasons: first, that then he will have less opportunity to think of evil, since we cannot understand many things at the same time. And secondly, because knowledge of evil sometimes perverts the will towards evil. But these arguments do not concern God, Who without and detriment understands all the deeds of men and of witches.

For the fourth argument: S. Paul excepts the care of God from oxen, to show that a rational creature has through free-will command over its actions, as has been said. Therefore God has a special providence over him, that either blame or merit may be imputed to him, and he may receive either punishment or reward; but that God does not in this way care for the irrational beasts.

But to argue from that authority that the individuals of irrational creation have no part in Divine providence would be heretical; for it would be to maintain that all things are not subject to Divine providence, and would be contrary to the praise which is spoken in Holy Scripture concerning the Divine wisdom, which stretches mightily from end to end and disposes all things well; and it would be the error of the Rabbi Moses as was shown in the arguments for the truth.

For the fifth argument, man did not institute nature, but puts the works of nature to the greatest use known to his skill and strength. Therefore human providence does not extend to the inevitable phenomena of nature, as that the sun will rise to-morrow. But God’s providence does extend to these things, since He is Himself the author of nature. Wherefore also defects in nature, even if they arise out of the natural course of things, are subject to Divine providence. And therefore Democritus and the other natural philosophers were in error when they ascribed whatever happened to the inferior creation to the mere chance of matter.

For the last argument: although every punishment is inflicted by God for sin, yet the greatest sinners are not always afflicted with witchcraft. And this may be because the devil does not wish to afflict and tempt those whom he sees to belong to him by just title, or because he does not wish them to be turned back to God. As it is said: Their plagues were multiplied, and they turned them to God, etc. And that all punishment is inflicted by God for sin is shown by what follows; for according to S. Jerome: Whatever we suffer, we deserve for our sins.

Now it is declared that the sins of witches are more grievous than those of the bad angels and our first parents. Wherefore, just as the innocent are punished for the sins of their fathers, so are many blameless people damned and bewitched for the sins of witches.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:57 am


The Enormity of Witches is Considered, and it is shown that the Whole Matter should be rightly Set Forth and Declared.

Concerning the enormity of crimes, it is asked whether the crimes of witches exceed, both in guilt, in pain, and in loss, all the evils which God allows and has permitted from the beginning of the world up till now. And it seems that they do not, especially as regards guilt. For the sin which a man commits when he could easily avoid it is greater than the sin which another man commits when he could not so easily avoid it. This is shown by S. Augustine, de Ciuit. Dei: There is great wickedness in sinning when it is so easy not to sin. But Adam, and others who have sinned when in a state of perfection or even of grace, could more easily because of the help of grace have avoided their sins — especially Adam who was created in grace — than many witches, who have not shared in such gifts. Therefore the sins of such are greater than all the crimes of witches.

And again in respect of punishment: the greatest punishment is due to the greater blame. But Adam’s sin was the most heavily punished, as is plainly proved by the fact that both his guilt and his punishment are shown in all his posterity by the inheritance of original sin. Therefore his sin is greater than all other sins.

And again, the same is argued in respect of loss. For according to S. Augustine: A thing is evil in that it takes away from the good; therefore where there is the more good lost, there the greater evil has gone before. But the sin of our first parent brought the greatest loss both to nature and to grace, since it deprived us of innocence and immortality; and no subsequent sin has brought such loss, therefore, etc.

But the contrary side: that which includes the most causes of evil is the greater evil, and such are the sins of witches. For they can, with God’s permission, bring every evil upon that which is good by nature and in form, as is declared in the Papal Bull. Besides, Adam sinned only in doing that which was wrong in one of two ways; for it was forbidden, but was not wrong in itself: but witches and other sinners sin in doing that which is wrong in both ways, wrong in itself, and forbidden, such as murders and many other forbidden things. Therefore their sins are heavier than other sins.

Besides, sin which comes from definite malice is heavier than sin which comes from ignorance. But witches, out of great malice, despise the Faith and the sacraments of the Faith, as many of them have confessed.

Answer. The evils which are perpetrated by modern witches exceed all other sin which God has ever permitted to be done, as was said in the title of this Question. And this can be shown in three ways, in so far as they are sins involving perversity of character, though it is different with the sins that contravene the other Theological virtues. First in general, by comparing their works indifferently with any other worldly crimes. Secondly in particular, by considering the species of the superstition and into what pact they have entered with the devil. And thirdly, by comparing their sins with the sins of the bad Angels and even with that of our first parents.

And first, sin is threefold, involving guilt, punishment, and loss. Good also is correspondingly threefold, involving righteousness, felicity, and use. And righteousness corresponds with the guilt, felicity with punishment, and use with loss.

That the guilt of witches exceeds all other sins is apparent in this way. For according to the teaching of S. Thomas (II, 22, art. 2), there is in the matter of sin much that may be considered whereby the gravity or lightness of the sin may be deduced; and the same sin may be found heavy in one and light in another. For example, we can say that in fornication a young man sins, but an old man is mad. Yet those sins are, simply speaking, the heavier which are not only attended by the more extensive and more powerful circumstances, but are in their nature and quantity of a more essentially serious sort.

And so we can say that, though the sin of Adam was in some respects heavier than all other sins, inasmuch as he fell to the instigation of a smaller temptation, since it came only from within; and also because he could more easily have resisted on account of the original justice in which he was created: nevertheless in the form and quantity of sin, and in other respects which aggravate the sin the more in that it is the cause of many yet heavier sins, the sins of witches exceed all other sins. And this will be made still clearer in two ways.

For one sin is said to be greater than another in one or other of the following respects: in causality, as was the sin of Lucifer; in generality, as Adam’s sin; in hideousness, as was the sin of Judas; in the difficulty of forgiving it, as is the sin against the Holy Ghost; in danger, as in the sin of covetousness; in inclination, as is the sin of the flesh; in the offending of the Divine Majesty, as is the sin of idolatry and infidelity; in the difficulty of combating it, as the sin of pride; in blindness of mind, as the sin of anger. Accordingly, after the sin of Lucifer, the works of witches exceed all other sins, in hideousness since they deny Him crucified, in inclination since the commit nastiness of the flesh with devils, in blindness of mind since in a pure spirit of malignity the rage and bring every injury upon the souls and bodies of men and beasts, as has been shown from what has been said before.

And this, indeed, is indicated, according to S. Isidore, by the word. For they are called witches (maleficae) on account of the enormity of their crimes, as has been said above.

Our contention is also deduced from the following. There are two gradations in sin, a turning away, and a change of heart. See our quotation from S. Augustine: Sin is to reject the incommutable good, and to cleave to things that are variable. And the turning away from God is as it were formal, just as the change of heart is as it were material. Therefore the more a man is separated from God by it, the heavier is the sin. And since infidelity is the chief cause of man’s separation from God, the infidelity of witches stands out as the greatest of sins. And this is given the name of Heresy, which is Apostasy from the Faith; and in this witches sin throughout their whole lives.

For the sin of infidelity consists in opposing the Faith; and this may come about in two ways, by opposing a faith which has not yet been received, or by opposing it after it has been received. Of the first sort is the infidelity of the Pagans or Gentiles. In the second way, the Christian Faith may be denied in two ways: either by denying the prophecies concerning it, or by denying the actual manifestation of its truth. And the first of these is the infidelity of the Jews, and the second the infidelity of Heretics.

It is clear from this that the heresy of witches is the most heinous of the three degrees of infidelity; and this fact is proved both by reason and authority. For it is said in II. S. Peter ii: It has been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from it. And it is reasonable to suppose that, just as he who does not perform what he has promised commits a greater sin than he who does not perform what he never promised, so the infidelity of the heretics, who while professing the faith of the Gospel fight against it by corrupting it, is a greater sin than that of the Jews and Pagans.

And again, the Jews sin more greatly than the Pagans; for they received the prophecy of the Christian Faith in the Old Law, which they corrupt through badly interpreting it, which is not the case with the Pagans. Therefore their infidelity is a greater sin than that of the Gentiles, who never received the Faith of the Gospel. But concerning Apostasy, S. Thomas says in the Second of the Second, question 12: Apostasy means a turning away from God and religion, and this may happen according to the different ways by which man is joined to God; that is, by faith, or by the subjection of the will to obedience, or by religion and Holy Orders. S. Raymund and Hostiensis say that Apostasy is a rash departure from the state of faith or obedience or Religion. Now if that which precedes is removed, that which follows from it is also removed; but the converse proposition is not true. Therefore Apostasy from the Faith is a greater sin than the other two forms of infidelity, since in its case a precedent Religion has been removed.

But according to S. Raymund, a man is not to be judged an Apostate or deserter, however far and long he may have strayed, unless he shows by his subsequent life that he has not though of returning to the Faith. And this would be shown in the case of a cleric if he were to marry a wife, or commit some similar crime. In the same way it is an Apostasy of disobedience when a man wilfully spurns the teaching of the Church and the Bishops. And such a man must be convicted of his infamy, and be excommunicated.

Now when we speak of the Apostasy of witches, we mean the Apostasy of perfidy; and this is so much the more heinous, in that it springs from a pact made with the enemy of the Faith and the way of salvation. For witches are bound to make this pact, which is exacted by that enemy either in part or wholly. For we Inquisitors have found some witches who have denied all the articles of Faith, and others who have denied only a certain number of them; but they are all bound to deny true and sacramental confession. And so, even the Apostasy of Julian does not seem to have been so great, although in other respects he did more harm against the Church; but we cannot speak of that here.

But it may be incidentally objected that it is possible that they may keep the Faith in the thoughts of their hearts, which God alone, and not even any Angel, can see into; but do reverence and obedience to the devil only in outward form. The answer to this seems to be that there are two degrees of the Apostasy of perfidy. One consists in outward acts of infidelity, without the formation of any pact with the devil, as when one lives in the lands of the infidels and conforms his life to that of the Mohammedans. The other consists in a pact made with the devil by one who lives in Christian lands, In the first case, men who keep the Faith in their hearts but deny it in their outward acts, though they are not Apostates or Heretics, are guilty of deadly sin. For in this way Solomon showed reverence to the gods of his wives. And no one can be excused on the ground that he does this through fear; for S. Augustine says: It is better to die of hunger than to be fed by Idolaters. But however much witches may retain the Faith in their hearts while denying it with their lips, they are still to be judged Apostates, since they have made a treaty with death and a compact with hell. Wherefore S. Thomas (II, 4), speaking of such magic works, and of those who in any way seek help from devils, says: They are all Apostates from the Faith, by reason of a pact made with the Devil, either in word, when some invocation is used, or by some deed, even if there is no actual sacrifice. For no man can serve two masters.

To the same effect writes Blessed Albertus Magnus, where he asks whether the sin of Magicians and Astrologers is an Apostasy from the Faith. And he answers: In such there is always Apostasy either of word or of deed. For if any invocations are made, then there is an open pact made with the devil, and it is plainly Apostasy in word. But if their magic is simply a matter of action, then it is Apostasy in deed. And since in all these there is abuse of the Faith, seeing that they look for from the devil what they ought to look for from God, therefore they are always to be judged Apostates. See how clearly they set forth two degrees of Apostasy, understanding a third, namely, that of thought. And even if this last is lacking, yet witches are judged to be Apostates in word and deed. Therefore, as will be shown, they must be subject to the punishment of Heretics and Apostates.

And there is in them a third enormity of crime, exceeding all other heresies. For S. Augustine (XXVIII, 1 and 2) tells us that the whole life of infidels is a sin; and the gloss on Romans xiv says that everything which comes not of faith is sin. What then is to be thought of the whole life of witches, that is, of all their other actions which are not pleasing to the devil, such as fasting, attending church, communicating, and other things? For in all these things they commit deadly sin, as is shown as follows. So far have they fallen in sin that, although they have not lost all power of amendment (since sin does not corrupt the whole good of their nature, and a natural light yet remains in them); yet, because of their homage given to the devil, and unless they be absolved from it, all their works, even when they appear to be good, are rather of an evil nature. And this is not seen to be the case with other infidels.

For according to S. Thomas in the Second of the Second, question 10, Whether every action of an infidel is a sin; he says that the deeds of the unfaithful which are, of themselves, good, such as fasting, almsgiving, and deeds of that sort, are no merit to them because of their infidelity, which is a most grievous sin. Yet sin does not corrupt the whole good of their nature, and there remains in them a natural light. Therefore not ever deed of theirs is mortal sin, but only those which proceed from their very infidelity, or are related to it. For example, a Saracen fasts, to observe the law of Mohammed as to fasting, and a Jew observes his Feast days; but in such things he is guilty of mortal sin. And in this way is to be understood the above dictum of S. Augustine, that the whole life of infidels is sin.

That Witches Deserve the heaviest Punishment above All the Criminals of the World.

The crimes of witches, then, exceed the sins of all others; and we now declare what punishment they deserve, whether as Heretics or as Apostates. Now Heretics, according to S. Raymund, are punished in various ways, as by excommunication, deposition, confiscation of their goods, and death. The reader can be fully informed concerning all these by consulting the law relating to the sentence of excommunication. Indeed even their followers, protectors, patrons and defenders incur the heaviest penalties. For, besides the punishment of excommunication inflicted upon them, Heretics, together with their patrons, protectors and defenders, and with their children to the second generation on the father’s side, and to the first degree on the mother’s side, are admitted to no benefit or office of the Church. And if a Heretic have Catholic children, for the heinousness of his crime they are deprived of their paternal inheritance. And if a man be convicted, and refuse to be converted and abjure his heresy, he must at once be burned, if he is a layman. For if they who counterfeit money are summarily put to death, how much more must they who counterfeit the Faith? But if he is a cleric, after solemn degradation he is handed over to the secular Court to be put to death. But if they return to the Faith, they are to be imprisoned for life. But in practice they are treated more leniently after recantation than they should be according to the judgement of the Bishops and Inquisition, as will be shown in the Third Part, where the various methods of sentencing such are treated of; that is to say, those who are arrested and convicted and have recanted their error.

But to punish witches in these ways does not seem sufficient, since they are not simple Heretics, but Apostates. More than this, in their very apostasy they do not deny the Faith for any fear of men or for any delight of the flesh, as has been said before; but, apart from their abnegation, even give homage to the very devils by offering them their bodies and souls. Is is clear enough from this that, however much they are penitent and return to the Faith, they must not be punished like other Heretics with lifelong imprisonment, but must be made to suffer the extreme penalty. And because of the temporal injury which they do to men and beasts in various ways, the laws demand this. Is is even equally culpable to learn as it is to teach such iniquities, say the laws concerning Soothsayers. Then how much more emphatically do they speak concerning witches, where they say that the penalty for them is the confiscation of their goods and decapitation. The laws also say much concerning those who by witchcraft provoke a woman to lust, or, conversely, cohabit with beasts. But these matters were touched upon on the First Question.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:58 am


It is Shown that, on Account of the Sins of Witches, the Innocent are often Bewitched, yea, Sometimes even for their Own Sins.

It is a fact that, by Divine permission, many innocent people suffer loss and are punished by the aforesaid plagues, not for their own sins, but for those of witches. And lest this should seem to any a paradox, S. Thomas shows in the Second of the Second, quest. 8, that this is just in God. For he divides the punishments of this life into three classes. First, one man belongs to another; therefore, if a man be punished in his possessions, it may be that another man suffers for this punishment. For, bodily speaking, sons are a property of the father, and slaves and animals are the property of their masters; and so the sons are sometimes punished for their parents. Thus the son born to David from adultery quickly died; and the animals of the Amalekites were bidden to be killed. Yet the reason for these things remains a mystery.

Secondly, the sin of one may be passed on to another; and this in two ways. By imitation, as children imitate the sins of their parents, and slaves and dependents the sins of their masters, that they may sin more boldly. In this way the sons inherit ill-gotten gain, and slaves share in robberies and unjust feuds, in which they are often killed. And they who are subject to Governors sin the more boldly when they see them sin, even if they do not commit the same sins; wherefore they are justly punished.

Also the sin of one is passed on to another in the way of desert, as when the sins of wicked subjects are passed on to a bad Governor, because the sins of the subjects deserve a bad Governor. See Job: He makes Hypocrites to reign on account of the sins of the people.

Sin, and consequently punishment, can also be passed on through some consent or dissimulation. For when those in authority neglect to reprove sin, then very often the good are punished with the wicked, as S. Augustine says in the first book de Ciuitate Dei. An example was brought to our notice as Inquisitors. A town was once rendered almost destitute by the death of its citizens; and there was a rumour that a certain buried woman was gradually eating the shroud in which she had been buried, and that the plague could not cease until she had eaten the whole shroud and absorbed it into her stomach. A council was held, and the Podesta with the Governor of the city dug up the grave, and found half the shroud absorbed through the mouth and throat into the stomach, and consumed. In horror at this sight, the Podesta drew his sword and cut off her head and threw it out of the grave, and at once the plague ceased. Now the sins of that old woman were, by Divine permission, visited upon the innocent on account of the dissimulation of what had happened before. For when an Inquisition was held it was found that during a long time of her life she had been a Sorceress and Enchantress. Another example is the punishment of a pestilence because David numbered the people.

Thirdly, sin is passed on by Divine permission in commendation of the unity of human society, that one man should take care for another by refraining from sin; and also to make sin appear the more detestable, in that the sin of one redounds upon all, as though all were one body. An example is the sin of Achan in Joshua vii.

We can add to these two other methods: that the wicked are punished sometimes by the good, and sometimes by other wicked men. For as Gratianus says (XXIII, 5), sometimes God punishes the wicked through those who are exercising their legitimate power at His command; and this in two ways: sometimes with merit on the part of the punishers, as when He punished the sins of the Canaanites through His people; sometimes with no merit on the part of the punishers, but even to their own punishment, as when He punished the tribe of Benjamin and destroyed it except for a few men. And sometimes He punishes by His nations being aroused, either by command or permission, but with no intention of obeying God, but rather greedy for their own gain, and therefore to their own damnation; as He now punished His people by the Turks, and did so more often by strange nations in the Old Law.

But it must be noted that for whatever cause a man be punished, if he does not bear his pains patiently, then it becomes a scourge, not a correction, but only of vengeance, that is, of punishment. See Deuteronomy xxxii: A fire is kindled in min anger (that is, my punishment; for there is no other anger in God), and shall burn unto the lowest hell (that is, vengeance shall begin here and burn unto the last damnation, as S. Augustine explains), And there is further authority concerning punishment in his Fourth Distinction. But if men patiently bear their scourges, and are patient in the state of grace, they take the place of a correction, as S. Thomas says in his Fourth Book. And this is true even of one punished for committing witchcraft, or of a witch, to a greater or less degree according to the devotion of the sufferer and the quality of his crime.

But the natural death of the body, being the last terror, is not a correction, since of its nature it partakes in the punishment for original sin. Nevertheless, according to Scotus, when it is awaited with resignation and devotion, and offered in its bitterness to God, it can in some way become a correction. But violent death, whether a man deserves it or not, is always a correction, if it is borne patiently and in grace. So much for punishments inflicted on account of the sins of others.

But God also punishes men in this life for their own sins, especially in the matter of bewitchment. For see Tobias vii: The devil has power over those who follow their lusts. And this is clear from what we have already said concerning the member and the genital powers, which God chiefly allows to be bewitched.

However, for the purpose of preaching to the public it is to be noted that, notwithstanding the aforesaid punishments which God inflicts on men for their own and others’ sins, the preacher should keep as his basic principle and to the people this ruling of the law; which says, No one must be punished without guilt, unless there is some cause for doing so. And this ruling holds good in the Court of Heaven, that is, of God, just as it does in the human Courts of Justice, whether secular or ecclesiastic.

The preacher may predicate this of the Court of Heaven. For the punishment of God is of two kinds, spiritual and temporal. In the former, punishment is never found without guilt. In the latter it is sometimes found quite without guilt, but not without cause. The first, or spiritual punishment, is of three kinds; the first being forfeiture of grace and a consequent hardening in sin, which is never inflicted except for the sufferer’s own guilt. The second is the punishment of loss, that is, deprivation of glory, which is never inflicted without personal guilt in adults, or contracted guilt in children born from their parents’ sin. The third is the punishment of pain, that is, the torture of hell fire, and is plainly due to guilt. Wherefore when it is said in Exodus xx: I am a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation: it is understood as speaking of the imitators of their fathers’ crimes, as Gratian has explained, Book I, quest. 4; where he also gives other expositions.

Now with regard to God’s second, or temporal punishment: first, it may be, as has been said before, for the sin of another (but not without cause), or for personal guilt only, without any other’s sin. But if you wish to know the causes for which God punishes, and even without any guilt of the sufferer or of another man, you may refer to the five methods which the Master expounds in Book IV, dist. 15, cap. 2. And you must take the three first causes, for the other two refer to personal guilt.

For he says that for five causes God scourges man in this life, or inflicts punishment. First, that God may be glorified; and this is when some punishment or affliction is miraculously removed, as in the case of the man born blind (S. John ix), or of the raising of Lazarus (S. John xi).

Secondly, if the first cause is absent, it is sent that merit may be acquired through the exercise of patience, and also that inner hidden virtue may be made manifest to others. Examples are Job i and Tobias ii.

Thirdly that virtue may be preserved through the humiliation of castigation. S. Paul is an example, who says of himself in II. Corinthians xii: There was given unto me a thorn in my flesh, the messenger of Satan. And according to Remigius this thorn was the infirmity of carnal desire. These are the cause that are without guilt in the sufferer.

Fourthly, that eternal damnation should begin in this life, that it might be in some way shown what will be suffered in hell. Examples are Herod (Acts xii) and Antiochus (II. Maccabees ix).

Fifthly, that man may be purified, by the expulsion and obliteration of his guilt through scourges. Examples may be taken from Miriam, Aaron’s sister, who was stricken with leprosy, and from the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, according to S. Jerome, XXIII, 4. Or it may be for the correction of sin, as is exemplified by the case of David, who, after being pardoned for his adultery, was driven from his kingdom, as is shown in II. Kings, and is commented on by S. Gregory in his discourse on sin. It may, in fact, be said that every punishment that we suffer proceeds from our own sin, or at least from the original sin in which we were born, which is itself the cause of all causes.

But as to the punishment of loss, meaning by that eternal damnation which they will suffer in the future, no one doubts that all the damned will be tortured with grevious pains. For just as grace is followed by the blessed vision of the Kingdom of Heaven, so is mortal sin followed by punishment in hell. And just as the degrees of blessedness in Heaven are measured in accordance with the degrees of charity and grace in life, so the degrees of punishment in hell are measured according to the degree of crime in this life. See Deuteronomy xxv: The measure of punishment will be according to the measure of sin. And this is so with all other sins, but applies especially to witches. See Hebrews x: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing?

And such are the sins of witches, who deny the Faith, and work many evil bewitchments through the most Holy Sacrament, as will be shown in the Second Part.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:58 am


The Foregoing Truths are Set out in Particular, this by a Comparison of the Works of Witches with Other Baleful Superstitions.

Now the foregoing truth concerning the enormity of witches’ crimes is proved by comparing them with the other practices of Magicians and Diviners. For there are fourteen species of magic, springing from the three kinds of Divination. The first of these three is open invocation of devils. The second is no more than a silent consideration of the disposition and movement of some thing, as of the stars, or the days, or the hours, and such things. The third is the consideration of some human act for the purpose of finding out something that is hidden, and is called by the name of Sortilege.

And the species of the first form of Divination, that is, an open invocation of devils, are the following: Sorcery, Oneiromancy, Necromancy, Oracles, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Aeromancy, Pyromancy, and Soothsaying (see S. Thomas, Second of the Second, quest. 95, 26, and 5). The species of the second kind are Horoscopy, Haruspicy, Augury, Observation of Omens, Cheiromancy and Spatulamancy.

The species of the third kind vary according to all those things which are classed as Sortilege for the finding out of something hidden, such as the consideration of pricks and straws, and figures in molten lead. And S. Thomas speaks also of these in the above-quoted reference.

Now the sins of witches exceed all these crimes, as will be proved in respect of the foregoing species. There can then be no question concerning smaller crimes.

For let us consider the first species, in which those who are skilled in sorcery and glamour deceive the human senses with certain apparitions, so that corporeal matter seems to become different to the sight and the touch, as was treated of above in the matter of the methods of creating illusions. Witches are not content with such practices in respect of the genital member, causing some prestidigitatory illusion of its disappearance (although this disappearance is not an actual fact); but they even frequently take away the generative power itself, so that a woman cannot conceive, and a man cannot perform the act even when he still retains his member. And without any illusion, they also cause abortion after conception, often accompanied with many other ills. And they even appear in various forms of beasts, as has been shown above.

Necromancy is the summoning of and speech with the dead, as is shown by its etymology; for it is derived from the Greek word Nekros, meaning a corpse, and Manteia, meaning divination. And they accomplish this by working some spell over the blood of a man or some animal, knowing that the devil delights in such sin, and loves blood and the pouring out of blood. Wherefore, when they think that they call the dead from hell to answer their questions, it is the devils in the likeness of the dead who appear and give such answers. And of this sort was the art of that great Pythoness spoken of in I. Kings xxviii, who raised up Samuel at the instance of Saul.

But let no one think that such practices are lawful because the Scripture records that the soul of the just Prophet, summoned from Hades to predict the event of Saul’s coming war, appeared through the means of a woman who was a witch. For, as S. Augustine says to Simplicianus: It is not absurd to believe that it was permitted by some dispensation, nto by the potency of any magic art, but by some hidden dispensation unknown to the Pythoness or to Saul, that the spirit of that just man should appear before the sight of the king, to deliver the Divine sentence against him. Or else it was not really the spirit of Samuel aroused from its rest, but some phantasm and imaginary illusion of devils caused by the machinations of the devil; and the Scripture calls that phantasm by the name of Samuel, just as the images of things are called by the names of the things they represent. [1] This he says in his answer to the question whether divination by the invocation of devils is lawful. In the same Summa the reader will find the answer to the question whether there are degrees of prophecy among the Blessed; and he may refer to S. Augustine, XXVI, 5. But this has little to do with the deeds of witches, which retain in themselves no vestige of piety, as is apparent from a consideration of their works; for they do not cease to shed innocent blood, to bring hidden things to light under the guidance of devils, and by destroying the soul with the body spare neither the living nor the dead.

Oneiromancy may be practised in two ways. The first is when a person uses dreams so that he may dip into the occult with the help of the revelation of devils invoked by him, with whom he has entered into an open pact. The second is when a man uses dreams for knowing the future, in so far as there is such virtue in dreams proceeding from Divine revelation, from a natural and instinsic or extrinsic cause; and such divination would not be unlawful. So says S. Thomas.

And that preachers may have at least the nucleus of an understanding of this matter, we must first speak about the Angels. An Angel is of limited power, and can more effectively reveal the future when the mind is adapted to such revelations than when it is not. Now the mind is chiefly so adapted after the relaxation of exterior and interior movement, as when nights are silent and the fumes of motion are quieted; and these conditions are fulfilled round about the dawn, when digestion is completed. And I say this of us who are sinners, to whom the Angels in their Divine piety, and in the execution of their offices, reveal certain things, so that when we study at the time of the dawn we are given an understanding of certain occult matters in the Scriptures. For a good Angel presides over our understanding, just as God does over our will, and the stars over our bodies. But to certain more perfect men the Angel can at any hour reveal things, whether they are awake or asleep. However, according to Aristotle, de Somno et Uigilia, such men are more apt to receive revelations at one time than at another; and this is the casein all matters of magic.

Secondly, it is to be noted that is happens through Nature’s care for and regulation of the body, that certain future events have their natural cause in a man’s dreams. And then those dreams or visions are not cause, as was said in the case of Angels, but only signs of that which is coming to a man in the future, such as health or sickness or danger. And this is the opinion of Aristotle. For in the dreams of the spirit Nature images the disposition of the heart, by which sickness or some other thing naturally comes to a man in the future. For is a man dreams of fires, it is a sign of a choleric disposition; if of flying or some such thing, it is a sign of a sanguine disposition; if he dreams of water or some other liquid, it is a sign of a phlegmatic, and if he dreams of terrene matters, it is a sign of a melancholy disposition. And therefore doctors are very often helped by dreams in their diagnosis (as Aristotle says in the same book).

But these are slight matters in comparison with the unholy dreams of witches. For when they do not wish, as has been mentioned above, to be bodily transferred to a place, but desire to see what their fellow-witches are doing, it is their practice to lie down on their left side in the name of their own and of all devils; and these things are revealed to their vision in images. And if they seek to know some secret, either for themselves of for others, they learn it in dreams from the devil, by reason of an open, not a tacit, pact entered into with him. And this pact, again, is not a symbolical one, accomplished by the sacrifice of some animal, or some act of sacrilege, or by embracing the worship of some strange cult; but it is an actual offering of themselves, body and soul, to the devil, by a sacrilegiously uttered and inwardly purposed abnegation of the Faith. And not content with this, they even kill, or offer to devils, their own and others’ children.

Another species of divination is practised by Pythons, so called from Pythian Apollo, who is said to have been the originator of this kind of divination, according to S. Isidore. This is not effected by dreams or by converse with the dead, but by means of living men, as in the case of those who are lashed into a frenzy by the devil, either willingly or unwillingly, only for the purpose of foretelling the future, and not for the perpetration of any other monstrosities. Of this sort was the girl mentioned in Acts xvi, who cried after the Apostles that they were the servants of the true God; and S. Paul, being angered by this, commanded the spirit to come out of her. But it is clear that there is no comparison between such things and the deeds of witches, who, according to S. Isidore, are so called for the magnitude of their sins and the enormity of their crimes.

Wherefore, for the sake of brevity, there is no need to continue this argument in respect of the minor forms of divination, since it has been proved in respect of the major forms. For the preacher may, if he wishes, apply these arguments to the other forms of divination: to Geomancy, which is concerned with terrene matters, such as iron or polished stone; Hydromancy, which deals with water and crystals; Aeromancy, which is concerned with the air; Pyromancy, which is concerned with fire; Soothsaying, which has to do with the entrails of animals sacrificed on the devil’s altars. For although all these are done by means of open invocation of devils, they cannot be compared with the crimes of witches, since they are not directly purposed for the harming of men or animals or the fruits of the earth, but only for the foreknowledge of the future. The other species of divination, which are performed with a tacit, but not an open, invocation of devils, are Horoscopy, or Astrology, so called from the consideration of the stars at birth; Haruspicy, which observes the days and hours; Augury, which observes the behaviour and cries of birds; Omens, which observe the words of men; and Cheiromancy, which observes the lines of the hand, or of the paws of animals. Andone who wishes may refer to the teaching of Nider, and he will find mush as to when such things are lawful and when they are not. But the works of witches are never lawful.



1. “Represent.” For a full discussion of the appearance of Samuel at Endor, see my “History of Witchcraft,” c.v.: “The Witch in Holy Writ,” pp. 176-81.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:59 am


A Comparison of their Crimes under Fourteen Heads, with the Sins of the Devils of all and every Kind.

So heinous are the crimes of witches that they even exceed the sins and the fall of the bad Angels; and if this is true as to their guilt, how should it not also be true of their punishments in hell? And it is not difficult to prove this by various arguments with regard to their guilt. And first, although the sin of Satan is unpardonable, this is not on account of the greatness of his crime, having regard to the nature of the Angels, with particular attention to the opinion of those who say that the Angels were created only in a state of nature, and never in a state of grace. And since the good of grace exceeds the good of nature, therefore the sins of those who fall from a state of grace, as do the witches by denying the faith which they received in baptism, exceed the sins of the Angels. And even if we say that the Angels were created, but not confirmed, in grace; so also witches, though they are not created in grace, have yet of their own will fallen from grace; just as Satan sinned of his own will.

Secondly, it is granted that Satan’s sin is unpardonable for various other reasons. For S. Augustine saus that he sinned at the instigation of none, therefore his sin is justly remediable by none. And S. John Damascene says that he sinned in his understanding against the character of God; and that his sin was the greater by reason of the nobility of his understanding. For the servant who knows the will of his master, etc. The same authority says that, since Satan is incapable of repentance, therefore he is incapable of pardon; and this is due to his very nature, which, being spiritual, could only be changed once, when he changed it for ever; but this is not so with men, in whom the flesh is always warring against the spirit. Or because he sinned in the high places of heaven, whereas man sins in the earth.

But notwithstanding all this, his sin is in many respects small in comparison with the crimes of witches. First, as S. Anselm [1] showed in one of his Sermons, he sinned in his pride while there was yet no punishment for sin. But witches continue to sin after great punishments have been often inflicted upon many other witches, and after the punishments which the Church teaches them have been inflicted by reason of the devil and his fall; and they make light of all these, and hasten to commit, not the least deadly of sins, as do other sinners who sin through infirmity or wickedness yet not from habitual malice, but rather the most horrible crimes from the deep malice of their hearts.

Secondly, although the Bad Angel fell from innocence to guilt, and thence to misery and punishment; yet he fell from innocence once only, in such a way that he was never restored. But the sinner who is restored to innocence by baptism, and again falls from it, falls very deep. And this is especially true of witches, as is proved by their crimes.

Thirdly, he sinned against the Creator; but we, and especially witches, sin against the Creator and the Redeemer.

Fourthly, he forsook God, who permitted him to sin but accorded him no pity; whereas we, and witches above all, withdraw ourselves from God by our sins, while, in spite of his permission of our sins, He continually pities us and prevents us with His countless benefits.

Fifthly, when he sinned, God rejected him without showing him and grace; whereas we wretches run into sin although God is continually calling us back.

Sixthly, he keeps his heart hardened against a punisher; but we against a merciful persuader. Both sin against God; but he against a commanding God, and we against One who dies for us, Whom, as we have said, wicked witches offend above all.

The Solutions of the Arguments again Declare the Truth by Comparison.

To the arguments. The answer to the first is clear from what was said in the beginning of this whole question. It was submitted that one sin ought to be thought heavier than another; and that the sins of witches are heavier than all others in respect of guilt, but not in respect of the penalties that they entail. To this it must be said that the punishment of Adam, just as his guilt, may be considered two ways; either as touching him personally, or as touching the whole of nature, that is, the posterity which came after him. As to the first, greater sins have been committed after Adam; for he sinned only in doing that which was evil, not in itself, but because it was forbidden. Therefore such sins deserve the heavier punishment.

As to the second, it is true that the greatest punishment resulted from the first sin; but this is only indirectly true, in that through Adam all posterity was infected with original sin, and he was the first father of all those for whom the Only Son of God was able to atone by the power which was ordained. Moreover, Adam in his own person, with the mediation of Divine grace, repented, and was afterwards saved through the Sacrifice of Christ. But the sins of witches are incomparably greater, since they are not content with their own sins and perdition, but ever draw countless others after them.

And thirdly, it follows from what has been said that it was by accident that Adam’s sin involved the greater injury. For he found nature uncorrupted, and it was inevitable, and not of his own will, that he left it defiled; therefore it does not follow that his sin was intrinsically greater than others. And again, posterity would have committed the same sin if it had found nature in the same state. Similarly, he who has not found grace does not commit so deadly a sin as he who has found it and lost it. This is the solution of S. Thomas (II, 21, art. 2), in his solution of the second argument. And if anyone wishes fully to understand this solution, he must consider that even if Adam had kept his original innocence, he would not have passed it down to all posterity; for, as S. Anselm says, anyone coming after him could still have sinned. See also S. Thomas, dist. 20, where he considers whether new-born children would have been confirmed in grace; and in dist. 101, whether men who are now saved would have been saved if Adam had not sinned.



1. “S. Anselm.” Doctor of the Church; Archbishop of Canterbury, born at Aosta, a Burgundian town in the borders of Lombardy, 1033-34; died 21 April, 1109. High praise is given him in the Breviary Office for his Feast, 21 April, Second Nocturn of Matins, Lection VI: “Obdormiuit in Domino, famam non solum miraculorum et sanctitatis (praecipue ob insignem deuotionem erga Domini nostri passionem, et beatam Uirginem eius Matrem) assecutus, sed etiam doctrinae, quam ad defensionem Christianae religionis, animarum profectum, et omnium theologorum, qui sacras litteras scholastica methodo tradiderunt, normam coelitus hausisse ex eius omnibus apparet.” There are several collections of the works of S. Anselm, but of these few, if any, can claim to be critical, and none are adapted for modern requirements. At the same time there are very numerous separate editions, and even translations of the more important treatises, in particular the “Cur Deus Homo.”
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:59 am


Here follows the Method of Preaching against and Controverting Five Arguments of Laymen and Lewd Folk, which seem to be Variously Approved, that God does not Allow so Great Power to the Devil and Witches as is involved in the Performance of such Mighty Works of Witchcraft.

Finally, let the preacher be armed against certain arguments of laymen, and even of some learned men, who deny, up to a certain point, that there are witches. For, although they conceded the malice and power of the devil to inflict such evils at his will, they deny that the Divine permission is granted to him, and will not admit that God allows such things to be done. And although they have no method in their argument, groping blindly now this way and now that, it is yet necessary to reduce their assertions to five arguments, from which all their cavillings proceed. And the first is, that God does not permit the devil to rage against men wish such great power.

The question put is whether the Divine permission must always accompany an infliction caused by the devil through a witch. And give arguments are submitted to prove that God does not permit it, and that therefore there is no witchcraft in the world. And the first argument is taken from God; the second from the devil; the third from the witch; the fourth from the affliction ascribed to witchcraft; and the fifth from the preachers and judges, on the assumption that they have so preached against and punished witches that they would have no security in life.

And first as follows: God can punish men for their sins, and He punishes with the sword, famine, and pestilence; as well as with various and countless other infirmities to which human nature is subject. Wherefore, there being no need for Him to add further punishments, He does not permit witchcraft.

Secondly, if that which is said of the devil were true, namely, that he can obstruct the generative forces so that a woman cannot conceive, or that if she does conceive, he can cause an abortion; or, if there is no abortion, he can cause the children to be killed after birth; in that case he would be able to destroy the whole world; and it could also be said that the devil’s works were stronger than God’s, since the Sacrament of matrimony is a work of God.

Thirdly, they argue from man himself, that if there were any witchcraft in the world, then some men would be more bewitched than others; and that it is a false argument to say that men are bewitched for a punishment of their sins, and therefore false to maintain that there is witchcraft in the world. And they prove that it is false by arguing that, if it were true, then the greater sinners would receive the greater punishment, and that this is not the case; for sinners are less punished sometimes than the just, as is seen in the case of innocent children who are alleged to be bewitched.

Their fourth argument can be added to that which they adduce concerning God; namely, that a thing which a man can prevent and does not prevent, but allows it to be done, may be judged to proceed from his will. But since God is All-Good, He cannot wish evil, and therefore cannot permit evil to be done which He is able to prevent.

Again, taking their argument from the infliction itself, which is alleged to be due to witchcraft; they submit that they are similar to natural infirmities and defects, and may therefore by cause by a natural defect. For it may happen through some natural defect that a man becomes lame, or blind, or loses his reason, or even dies; wherefore such things cannot confidently be ascribed to witches.

Lastly, they argue that preachers and judges have preached and practised against witches in such a way that, if there were witches, their lives would never be safe from them on account of the great hatred that witches would have for them.

But the contrary arguments may be taken from the First Question, where it treats of the third postulate of the First Part; and those points may be propounded to the people which are most fitting. How God permits evil to be, even though He does not wish it; but He permits it for the wonderful perfecting of the universe, which may be considered in the fact that good things are more highly commendable, are more pleasing and laudable, when they are compared with bad things; and authority can be quoted in support of this. Also that the depth of God’s Divine wisdom, justice, and goodness should be shown forth, whereas it would otherwise remain hidden.

For a brief settlement of this question there are various treatises available on this subject for the information of the people, to the effect, namely, that God justly permitted two Falls, that of the Angels and that of our first parents; and since these were the greatest of all falls, it is no matter for wonder if other smaller ones are permitted. But it is in their consequences that those two Falls were the greatest, not in their circumstances, in which last respect, as was shown in the last Question, the sins of witches exceed those of the bad angels and our first parents. In the same place it is shown how God justly permitted those first Falls, and anyone is at liberty to collect and enlarge upon what is there said as much as he wishes.

But we must answer their arguments. As to the first, that God punishes quite enough by means of natural diseases, and by sword and famine, we make a threefold answer. First, that God did not limit His power to the processes of nature, or even to the influences of the stars, in such a way that He cannot go beyond those limits; for He has often exceeded them in the punishment of sins, by sending plagues and other afflictions beyond all the influence of that stars; as when He punished the sin of pride in David, when he numbered the people, by sending a pestilence upon the people.

Secondly, it agrees with the Divine wisdom that He should so govern all things that He allows them to act at their own instigation. Consequently, it is not His purpose to prevent altogether the malice of the devil, but rather to permit it as far as He sees it to be for the ultimate good of the universe; although it is true that the devil is continually held in check by the good Angels, so that he may not do all the harm that he wishes. Similarly He does not propose to restrain the human sins which are possible to man through his free-will, such as the abnegation of the Faith, and the devotion of himself to the devil, which things are in the power of the human will. From these two premisses it follows that, when God is most offended, He justly permits those evils which are chiefly sought for by witches, and for which they deny the Faith, up to the extent of the devil’s power; and such is the ability to injure men, animals, and the fruits of the earth.

Thirdly, God justly permits those evils which indirectly cause the greatest uneasiness and torment to the devil; and of such a sort are those evils which are done by witches through the power of devils. For the devil is indirectly tormented very greatly when he sees that, against his will, God uses all evil for the glory of His name, for the commendation of the Faith, for the purgation of the elect, and for the acquisition of merit. For it is certain that nothing can be more galling to the pride of the devil, which he always rears up against God (as it is said: The pride of them that hate Thee increases ever), than that God should convert his evil machinations to His own glory. Therefore God justly permits all these things.

Their second argument has been answered before; but there are two points in it which must be answered in detail. In the first place, far from its being true that the devil, or his works, as stronger than God, it is apparent that his power is small, since he can do nothing without the Divine permission. Therefore it may be said that the devil’s power is small in comparison with the Divine permission, although it is very great in comparison with earthly powers, which it naturally excels, as is shown in the often quoted text in Job xi: There is no power on earth to be compared with him.

In the second place, we must answer the question with God permits witchcraft to affect the generative powers more than any other human function. This has been dealt with above, under the title, How witches can obstruct the generative powers and the venereal act. For it is on account of the shamefulness of that act, and because the original sin due to the guilt of our first parents is inherited by means of that act. It is symbolized also by the serpent, who was the first instrument of the devil.

To their third we answer that the devil has more intention and desire to tempt the good than the wicked; although he does in fact tempt the wicked more than the good, for the reason that the wicked have more aptitude than the good to respond to his temptation. In the same way, he is more eager to injure the good than the bad, but he finds it easier to injure the wicked. And the reason for this is, according to S. Gregory, that the more often a man gives way to the devil, the harder he makes it for himself to struggle against him. But since it is the wicked who most often give way to the devil, their temptations are the hardest and most frequent, as they have not the shield of Faith with which to protect themselves. Concerning this shield S. Paul speaks in Ephesians vi. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. But on the other hand, he assails the good more bitterly than the wicked. And the reason for this is that he already possesses the wicked, but not the good; and therefore he tried the harder to draw into his power through tribulation the just, who are not his, than the wicked, who are already his. In the same way, an earthly prince more severely chastises those who disobey his laws, or injure his kingdom, that those who do not set themselves against him.

In answer to their fourth argument, in addition to what has already been written on this subject, the preacher can expound the truth that God permits evil to be done, but does not wish it to be done, by the five signs of the Divine will, which are Precept, Prohibition, Advice, Operation, and Permission. See S. Thomas, especially in his First Part, quest. 19, art. 12, where this is very plainly set forth. For although there is only one will in God, which is God Himself, just as His Essence is One; yet in respect of its fulfilment, His will is shown and signified to us in many ways, as the Psalm says: The mighty works of the Lord are fulfilled in all His wishes. Wherefore there is a distinction between the actual essential Will of God and its visible effects; even as the will, properly so called, is the will of a man’s good pleasure, but in a metaphorical sense it is the will expressed by outward signs. For it is by signs and metaphors that we are shown that God wishes this to be.

We may take an example from a human father who, while he has only one will in himself, expresses that will in five ways, either by his own agency, or through that of someone else. Through his own agency he expresses it in two ways, either directly or indirectly. Directly, when he himself does a thing; and then it is Operation. Indirectly, when he does not hinder someone else from acting (see Aristotle’s Physics, IV: Prohibition is indirect causation), and this is called the sign of Permission. And the human father signifies his will through the agency of someone else in three ways. Either he orders someone to do something, or conversely forbids something; and these are the signs of Precept and Prohibition. Or he persuades and advises someone to do something; and this is the sign of Advice. And just as the human will is manifested in these five ways, so is God’s will. For that God’s will is shown by Precept, Prohibition, and Advice is seen in S. Matthew vi: Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven: that is to say, may we on earth fulfil His Precepts, avoid His Prohibitions, and follow His Advice. And in the same way, S. Augustine shows that Permission and Operation are signs of God’s will, where he says in the Enchiridion: Nothing is done unless Almighty God wishes it to be done, either by permitting it or by Himself doing it.

To return to the argument; it is perfectly true that when a man can prevent a thing, and does not, that thing may be said to proceed from his will. And the inference that God, being All-Good, cannot wish evil to be done, is also true in respect of the actual Good Pleasure of God’s Will, and also in respect of four of the signs of His Will; for it is needless to say that He cannot operate evil, or command evil to be done, or fail to be opposed to evil, or advise evil; but He can, however, permit evil to be done.

And if it is asked how it is possible to distinguish whether an illness is caused by witchcraft or by some natural physical defect, we answer that there are various methods. And the first is by means of the judgement of doctors. See the words of S. Augustine On the Christian Doctrine: To this class of superstition belong all charms and amulets suspended or bound about the person, which the School of Medicine despises. For example, doctors may perceive from the circumstances, such as the patient’s age, healthy complexion, and the reaction of his eyes, that his disease does not result from any defect of the blood or the stomach, or any other infirmity; and they therefore judge that it is not due to any natural defect, but to some extrinsic cause. And since that extrinsic cause cannot be any poisonous infection, which would be accompanied by ill humours in the blood and stomach, they have sufficient reason to judge that it is due to witchcraft.

And secondly, when the disease is incurable, so that the patient can be relieved by no drugs, but rather seems to be aggravated by them.

Thirdly, the evil may come so suddenly upon a man that it can only be ascribed to witchcraft. An example of how this happened to one man has been made known to us. A certain well-born citizen of Spires had a wife who was of such an obstinate disposition that, though he tried to please her in every way, yet she refused in nearly every way to comply with his wishes, and was always plaguing him with abusive taunts. It happened that, on going into his house one day, and his wife railing against him as usual with opprobrious words, he wished to go out of the house to escape from quarrelling. But she quickly ran before him and locked the door by which he wished to go out; and loudly swore that, unless he beat her, there was no honesty or faithfulness in him. At these heavy words he stretched out his hand, not intending to hurt her, and struck her lightly with his open palm on the buttock; whereupon he suddenly fell to the ground and lost all his senses, and lay in bed for many weeks afflicted with a most grievous illness. Now it is obvious that this was not a natural illness, but was caused by some witchcraft of the woman. And very many similar cases have happened, and been made known to many.

There are some who can distinguish such illnesses by means of a certain practice, which is as follows. They hold molten lead over the sick man, and pour it into a bowl of water. And if the lead condenses into some image, they judge that the sickness is due to witchcraft. And when such men are asked whether the image so formed is caused by the work of devils, or is due to some natural cause, they answer that it is due to the power of Saturn over lead, the influence of that planet being in other respects evil, and that the sun has a similar power over gold. But what should be thought of this practice, and whether it is lawful or not, will be discussed in the Second Part of this treatise. For the Canonists say that it is lawful that vanity may be confounded by vanity; but the Theologians hold a directly opposite view, saying that it is not right to do evil that good may come.

In their last argument they advance several objections. First, why do not witches become rich? Secondly, why, having the favour of princes, do they not co-operate for the destruction of all their enemies? Thirdly, why are they unable to injure Preachers and others who persecute them?

For the first, it is to be said that witches are not generally rich for this reason: that the devils like to show their contempt for the Creator by buying witches for the lowest possible price. And also, lest they should be conspicuous by their riches.

Secondly, they do not injure princes because they wish to retain, as far as possible, their friendship. And if it is asked why they do not hurt their enemies, it is answered that a good Angel, working on the other side, prevents such witchcraft. Compare the passage in Daniel: [2] The Prince of the Persians withstood me for twenty-one days. See S. Thomas in the Second Book of Sentences, where he debates whether there is any contest among the good Angels, and of what sort.

Thirdly, it is said that they cannot injure Inquisitors and other officials, because they dispense public justice. Many examples could be adduced to prove this, but time does not permit it.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:00 am




Of those against whom the Power of Witches availeth not at all.

The second main part of this work deals with the method of procedure adopted by witches for the performance of their witchcraft; and these are distinguished under eighteen heads, proceeding from two chief difficulties. The first of these two, dealt with in the beginning, concerns protective remedies, by which a man is rendered immune from witchcraft: the second, dealt with at the end, concerns curative remedies, by which those who are bewitched can be cured. For, as Aristotle says (Physics, IV), prevention and cure are related to one another, and are, accidentally, matters of causation. In this way the whole foundation of this horrible heresy may be made clear.

In the above two divisions, the following points will be principally emphasized. First, the initiation of witches, and their profession of sacrilege. Second, the progress of their method of working, and of their horrible observances. Third, the preventive protections against their witchcrafts. And because we are now dealing with matters relating to morals and behaviour, and there is no need for a variety of arguments and disquisitions, since those matters which now follow under their headings are sufficiently discussed in the foregoing Questions; therefore we pray God that the reader will not look for proofs in every case, since it is enough to adduce examples that have been personally seen or heard, or are accepted at the word of credible witnesses.

In the first of the points mentioned, two matters will be chiefly examined: first, the various methods of enticement adopted by the devil himself; second, the various ways in which witches profess their heresy. And in the second of the main points, six matters will be examined in order, relating to the procedure of witchcraft, and its cure. First, the practices of witches with regard to themselves and their own bodies. Second, their practices with regard to other men. Third, those relating to beasts. Fourth, the mischief they do to the fruits of the earth. Fifth, those kinds of witchcraft which are practised by men only and not by women. Sixth, the question of removing witchcraft, and how those who are bewitched may be cured. The First Question, therefore, is divided into eighteen heads, since in so many ways are their observances varied and multiplied.

It is asked whether a man can be so blessed by the good Angels that he cannot be bewitched by witches in any of the ways that follow. And it seems that he cannot, for it has already been proved that even the blameless and innocent and the just are often afflicted by devils, as was Job; and many innocent children, as well as countless other just men, are seen to be bewitched, although not to the same extent as sinners; for they are not afflicted in the perdition of their souls, but only in their worldly goods and their bodies. But the contrary is indicated by the confessions of witches, namely, that they cannot injure everybody, but only those whom they learn, through the information of devils, to be destitute of Divine help.

Answer. There are three classes of men blessed by God, whom that detestable race cannot injure with their witchcraft. And the first are those who administer public justice against them, or prosecute them in any public official capacity. The second are those who, according to the traditional and holy rites of the Church, make lawful use of the power and virtue which the Church by her exorcisms furnishes in the aspersion of Holy Water, the taking of consecrated salt, the carrying of blessed candles on the Day of the Purification of Our Lady, of palm leaves upon Palm Sunday, and men who thus fortify themselves are acting so that the powers of devils are diminished; and of these we shall speak later. The third class are those who, in various and infinite ways, are blessed by the Holy Angels.

The reason for this in the first class will be given and proved by various examples. For since, as S. Paul says, all power if from God, and a sword for the avenging of the wicked and the retribution of the good, it is no wonder that devils are kept at bay when justice is being done to avenge that horrible crime.

To the same effect the Doctors note that there are five ways in which the devil’s power is hindered, either wholly or in part. First, by a limit fixed by God to his power, as is seen in Job i and ii. Another example is the case of the man we read of in the Formicarius of Nider, who had confessed to a judge that he had invoked the devil in order that he might kill an enemy of his, or do him bodily harm, or strike him dead with lightning. And he said: “When I had invoked the devil that I might commit such a deed with his help, he answered me that he was unable to do any of those things, because the man had good faith and diligently defended himself with the sign of the cross; and that therefore he could not harm him in his body, but the most he could do was to destroy an eleventh part of the fruit of his lands.”

Secondly, it is hindered by the application of some exterior force, as in the case of Balaam’s ass, Numbers xxii. Thirdly, by some externally performed miracle of power. And there are some who are blessed with an unique privilege, as will be shown later in the case of the third class of men who cannot be bewitched. Fourthly, by the good providence of God, Who disposes each thing severally, and causes a good Angel to stand in the devil’s way, as when Asmodeus killed the seven husbands of the virgin Sara, but did not kill Tobias.

Fifthly, it is sometimes due to the caution of the devil himself, for at times he does not wish to do hurt, in order that worse may follow from it. As, for example, when he could molest the excommunicated but does not do so, as in the case of the excommunicated Corinthian (I. Corinthians v), in order that he may weaken the faith of the Church in the power of such banishment. Therefore we may similarly say that, even if the administrators of public justice were not protected by Divine power, yet the devils often of their own accord withdraw their support and guardianship from witches, either because they fear their conversion, or because they desire and hasten their damnation.

This fact is proved also by actual experience. For the aforesaid Doctor affirms that witches have borne witness that it is a fact of their own experience that, merely because they have been taken by officials of public justice, they have immediately lost all their power of witchcraft. For example, a judge named Peter, whom we have mentioned before, wished his officials to arrest a certain witch called Stadlin; [1] but their hands were seized with so great a trembling, and such a nauseous stench came into their nostrils, that they gave up hope of daring to touch the witch. And the judge commanded them, saying: “You may safely arrest the wretch, for when he is touched by the hand of public justice, he will lose all the power of his iniquity.” And so the event proved; for he was taken and burned for many witchcrafts perpetrated by him, which are mentioned here and there in this work in their appropriate places.

And many more such experiences have happened to us Inquisitors in the exercise of our inquisitorial office, which would turn the mind of the reader to wonder if it were expedient to relate them. But since self-praise is sordid and mean, it is better to pass them over in silence than to incur the stigma of boastfulness and conceit. But we must except those which have become so well known that they cannot be concealed.

Not long ago in the town of Ratisbon the magistrates had condemned a witch to be burned, and were asked why it was that we Inquisitors were not afflicted like other men with witchcraft. They answered that witches had often tried to injure them, but could not. And, being asked the reason for this, they answered that they did not know, unless it was because the devils had warned them against doing so. For, they said, it would be impossible to tell how many times they have pestered us by day and by night, now in the form of apes, not of dogs or goats, disturbing us with their cries and insults; fetching us from our beds at their blasphemous prayers, so that we have stood outside the window of their prison, which was so high that no one could reach it without the longest of ladders; and then they have seemed to stick the pins with which their head-cloth was fastened violently into their heads. But praise be to Almighty God, Who in His pity, and for no merit of our own, has preserved us as unworthy public servants of the justice of the Faith.

The reason in the case of the second class of men is self-evident. For the exorcisms of the Church are for this very purpose, and are entirely efficacious remedies for preserving oneself from the injuries of witches.

But if it is asked in what manner a man ought to use such protections, we must speak first of those that are used without the uttering of sacred words, and then of the actual sacred invocations. For in the first place it is lawful in any decent habitation of men or beasts to sprinkle Holy Water for the safety and securing of men and beasts, with the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity and a Paternoster. For it is said in the Office of Exorcism, that wherever it is sprinkled, all uncleanness is purified, all harm is repelled, and no pestilent spirit can abide there, etc. For the Lord saves both man and beast, according to the Prophet, each in his degree.

Secondly, just as the first must necessarily be sprinkled, so in the case of a Blessed Candle, although it is more appropriate to light it, the wax of it may with advantage be sprinkled about dwelling-houses. And thirdly, it is expedient to place or to burn consecrated herbs in those rooms where they can best be consumed in some convenient place.

Now it happened in the city of Spires, in the same year that this book was begun, that a certain devout woman held conversation with a suspected witch, and, after the manner of women, they used abusive words to each other. But in the night she wished to put her little suckling child in its cradle, and remembered her encounter that day with the suspected witch. So, fearing some danger to the child, she placed consecrated herbs under it, sprinkled it with Holy Water, put a little Blessed Salt to its lips, signed it with the Sign of the Cross, and diligently secured the cradle. About the middle of the night she heard the child crying, and, as women do, wished to embrace the child, and life the cradle on to her bed. She lifted the candle, indeed, but could not embrace the child, because he was not there. The poor woman, in terror, and bitterly weeping for the loss of her child, lit a light, and found the child in a corner under a chair, crying but unhurt.

In this it may be seen what virtue there is in the exorcisms of the Church against the snares of the devil. It is manifest that Almighty God, in His mercy and wisdom which extend from end to end, watches over the deeds of those wicked men; and that he gently directs the witchcraft of devils, so that when they try to diminish and weaken the Faith, they on the contrary strengthen it and make it more firmly rooted in the hearts of many. For the faithful may derive much profit from these evils; when, by reason of devils’ works, the faith is made strong, God’s mercy is seen, and His power manifested, and men are led into His keeping and to the reverence of Christ’s Passion, and are enlightened by the ceremonies of the Church.

There lived in a town of Wiesenthal a certain Mayor who was bewitched with the most terrible pains and bodily contortions; and he discovered, not by means of other witches, but from his own experience, how that witchcraft had been practised on him. For he said he was in the habit of fortifying himself every Sunday with Blessed Salt and Holy Water, but that he had neglected to do so on one occasion owing to the celebration of somebody’s marriage; and on that same day he was bewitched.

In Ratisbon a man was being tempted by the devil in the form of a woman to copulate, and became greatly disturbed when the devil would not desist. But it came into the poor man’s mind that he ought to defend himself by taking Blessed Salt, as he had heard in a sermon. So, he took some Blessed Salt on entering the bath-room; and the woman looked fiercely at him, and, cursing whatever devil had taught him to do this, suddenly disappeared. For the devil can, with God’s permission, present himself either in the form of a witch, or by possessing the body of an actual witch.

There were also three companions walking along a road, and two of them were struck by lightning. The third was terrified, when he heard voices speaking in the air, “Let us strike him too.” But another voice answered, “We cannot, for to-day he has heard the words ‘The Word was made Flesh.’” And he understood that he had been saved because he had that day heard Mass, and, at the end of the Mass, the Gospel of S. John: In the beginning was the Word, etc.

Also sacred words bound to the body are marvellously protective, if seven conditions for their use are observed. But these will be mentioned in the last Question of this Second Part, where we speak of curative, as here we speak of preventive measures. And those sacred words help not only to protect, but also to cure those who are bewitched.

But the surest protection for places, men, or animals are the words of the triumphal title of our Saviour, if they be written in four places in the form of a cross: IESUS † NAZARENUS † REX † IUDAEORUM †. There may also be added the name of MARY and of the Evangelists, or the words of S. John: The Word was made Flesh.

But the third class of men which cannot be hurt by witches is the most remarkable; for they are protected by a special Angelic guardianship, both within and without. Within, by the inpouring of grace; without, by the virtue of the stars, that is, by the protection of the Powers which move the stars. And this class is divided into two sections of the Elect: for some are protected against all sorts of witchcrafts, so that they can be hurt in no way; and others are particularly rendered chaste by the good Angels with regard to the generative functions, just as evil spirits by their witchcrafts inflame the lusts of certain wicked men towards one woman, while they make them cold towards another.

And their interior and exterior protection, by grace and by the influence of the stars, is explained as follows. For though it is God Himself Who pours grace into our souls, and no other creature has so great power as to do this (as it is said: The Lord will give grace and glory); yet, when God wished to bestow some especial grace, He does so in a dispositive way through the agency of a good Angel, as S. Thomas teaches us in a certain place in the Third Book of Sentences.

And this is the doctrine put forward by Dionysius in the fourth chapter de Diuinus Nominibus: This is the fixed and unalterable law of Divinity, that the High proceeds to the Low through a Medium; so that whenever of good emanates to us from the fountain of all goodness, comes through the ministry of the good Angels. And this is proved both by examples and by argument. For although only the Divine power was the cause of the Conception of the Word of God in the Most Blessed Virgin, through whom God was made man; yet the mind of the Virgin was by the ministry of an Angel much stimulated by the Salutation, and by the strengthening and information of her understanding, and was thus predisposed to goodness. This truth can also be reasoned as follows: It is the opinion of the above-mentioned Doctor that there are three properties of man, the will, the understanding, and the inner and outer powers belonging to the bodily members and organs. The first God alone can influence: For the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord. A good Angel can influence the understanding towards a clearer knowledge of the true and the good, so that in the second of his properties both God and a good Angel can enlighten a man. Similarly in the third, a good Angel can endow a man with good qualities, and a bad Angel can, with God’s permission, afflict him with evil temptations. However, it is in the power of the human will either to accept such evil influences or to reject them; and this a man can always do by invoking the grace of God.

As to the exterior protection which comes from God through the Movers of the stars, the tradition is widespread, and conforms equally with the Sacred Writings and with natural philosophy. For all the heavenly bodies are moved by angelic powers which are called by Christ the Movers of the stars, and by the Church the Powers of the heavens; and consequently all the corporeal substances of this world are governed by the celestial influences, as witness Aristotle, Metaphysics I. Therefore we can say that the providence of God overlooks each on of His elect, but He subjects some of them to the ills of this life for their correction, while He so protects others that they can in no way be injured. And this gift they receive either from the good Angels deputed by God for their protection, or from the influence of the heavenly bodies or the Powers which move them.

It is further to be noted that some are protected against all witchcrafts, and some against only a part of them. For some are particularly purified by the good Angels in their genital functions, so that witches can in no way bewitch them in respect of those functions. But it is in one sense superfluous to write of these, although in another sense it is needful for this reason: for those who are bewitched in their generative functions are so deprived of the guardianship of Angels that they are either in mortal sin always, or practise those impurities with too lustful a zest. In this connexion it has been shown in the First Part of this work that God permits greater powers of witchcraft against that function, not so much because of its nastiness, as because it was this act that caused the corruption of our first parents and, by its contagion, brought the inheritance of original sin upon the whole human race.

But let us give a few examples of how a good Angel sometimes blesses just and holy men, especially in the matter of the genital instincts. For the following was the experience of the Abbot S. Serenus, as it is told by Cassian [2] in his Collations of the Fathers, in the first conference of the Abbot Serenus. This man, he says, laboured to achieve an inward chastity of heart and soul, by prayers both by night and day, by fasting and by vigils, till he at last perceived that, by Divine grace, he had extinguished all the surgings of carnal concupiscence. Finally, stirred by an even greater zeal for chastity, he used all the above holy practices to pray the Almighty and All-Good God to grant him that, by God’s gift, the chastity which he felt in his heart should be visibly conferred upon his body. Then an Angel of the Lord came to him in a vision in the night, and seemed to open his belly and take from his entrails a burning tumour of flesh, and then to replace all his intestines as they had been; and said: Lo! the provocation of your flesh is cut out, and know that this day you have obtained perpetual purity of your body, according to the prayer which you prayed, so that you will never again be pricked with that natural desire which is aroused even in babes and sucklings.

Similarly S. Gregory, in the first book of his Dialogues, tells of the Blessed Abbot Equitius. This man, he says, was in his youth greatly troubled by the provocation of the flesh; but the very distress of his temptation made him all the more zealous in his application to prayer. And when he continuously prayed Almighty God for a remedy against this affliction, an Angel appeared to him one night and seemed to make him an eunuch, and it seemed to him in his vision that all feeling was taken away from his genital organs; and from that time he was such a stranger to temptation as if he had no sex in his body. Behold what benefit there was in that purification; for he was so filled with virtue that, with the help of Almighty God, just as he was before pre-eminent among, so he afterwards became pre-eminent over women.

Again, in the Lives of the Fathers collected by that very holy man S. Heraclides, [3] in the book which he calls Paradise, he tells of a certain holy Father, a monk named Helias. This man was moved by pity to collect thirty women in a monastery, and began to rule over them. But after two years, when he was thirty years old, he fled from the temptation of the flesh into a hermitage, and fasting there for two days, prayed to God, saying: “O Lord God, either slay me, or deliver me from this temptation.” And in the evening a dream came to him, and he saw three Angels approach him; and they asked him why he had fled from that monastery of virgins. But when he did not dare to answer, for shame, the Angels said: If you are set free from temptation, will you return to your cure of those women? And he answered that he would willingly. They then extracted an oath to that effect from him, and made him an eunuch. For one seemed to hold his hands, another his feet, and the third to cut out his testicles with a knife; though this was not really so, but only seemed to be. And when they asked if he felt himself remedied, he answered that he was entirely delivered. So, on the fifth day, he returned to the sorrowing women, and ruled over them for the forty years that he continued to live, and never again felt a spark of that first temptation.

No less a benefit do we read to have been conferred upon the Blessed Thomas, [4] a Doctor of our Order, whom his brothers imprisoned for entering that Order; and, wishing to tempt him, they sent in to him a seductive and sumptuously adorned harlot. But when the Doctor had looked at her, he ran to the material fire, and snatching up a lighted torch, drove the engine of the fire of lust out of his person; and, prostrating himself in a prayer for the gift of chastity, went to sleep. Two Angels then appeared to him, saying: Behold, at the bidding of God we gird you with a girdle of chastity, which cannot be loosed by any other such temptation; neither can it be acquired by the merits of human virtue, but is given as a gift by God alone. And he felt himself girded, and was aware of the touch of the girdle, and cried out and awaked. And thereafter he felt himself endowed with so great a gift of chastity, that from that time he abhorred all the delights of the flesh, so that he could not even speak to a woman except under compulsion, but was strong in his perfect chastity. This we take from the Formicarius of Nider.

With the exception, therefore, of these three classes of men, no one is secure from witches. For all others are liable to be bewitched, or to be tempted and incited by some witchery, in the eighteen ways that are now to be considered. For we must first describe these methods in their order, that we may afterwards discuss more clearly the remedies by which those who are bewitched can be relieved. And that the eighteen methods may be more clearly shown, they are set forth under as many chapters as follows. First, we show the various methods of initiation of witches, and how they entice innocent girls to swell the numbers of their perfidious company. Second, how witches profess their sacrilege, and the oath of allegiance to the devil which they take. Third, how they are transported from place to place, either bodily or in the spirit. Fourth, how they subject themselves to Incubi, who are devils. Fifth, their general method of practising witchcraft through the Sacraments of the Church, and in particular how, with the permission of God, they can afflict all creatures except the Celestial Bodies. Sixth, their method of obstructing the generative function. Seventh, how they can take off the virile member by some art of illusion. Eighth, how they change men into the shapes of beasts. Ninth, how devils can enter the mind without hurting it, when they work some glamour or illusion. Tenth, how devils, through the operation of witches, sometimes substantially inhabit men. Eleventh, how they cause every sort of infirmity, and this in general. Twelfth, of certain infirmities in particular. Thirteenth, how witch midwives cause the greatest damage, either killing children or sacrilegiously offering them to devils. Fourteenth, how they cause various plagues to afflict animals. Fifteenth, how they raise hailstorms and tempests, and thunder and lightning, to fall upon men and animals. Sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth, the three ways in which men only, and not women, are addicted to witchcraft. After these will follow the question of the methods by which these sorts of witchcraft may be removed.

But let no one think that, because we have enumerated the various methods by which various forms of witchcraft are inflicted, he will arrive at a complete knowledge of these practices; for such knowledge would be of little use, and might even be harmful. Not even the forbidden books of Necromancy contain such knowledge; for witchcraft is not taught in books, nor is it practised by the learned, but by the altogether uneducated; having only one foundation, without the acknowledgement or practice of which it is impossible for anyone to work witchcraft as a witch.

Moreover, the methods are enumerated here at the beginning, that their deeds may not seem incredible, as they have often been though hitherto, to the great damage of the Faith, and the increase of witches themselves. But if anyone maintains that, since (as has been proved above) some men are protected by the influence of the stars so that they can be hurt by no witchcraft, it should also be attributed to the stars when anyone is bewitched, as if it were a matter of predestination whether a man can be immune from or subject to witchcraft, such a man does not rightly understand the meaning of the Doctors; and this in various respects.

And first, because there are three human qualities which may be said to be ruled by three celestial causes, namely, the act of volition, the act of understanding, and bodily acts. And the first, as has been said, is governed directly and only by God; the second by an Angel; and the third is governed, but not compelled, by a celestial body.

Secondly, it is clear from what has been said that choice and volition are governed directly by God, as S. Paul says: It is God Who causeth us to will and to perform, according to His good pleasure: and the understanding of the human intellect is ordered by God through the mediation of the Angels. Accordingly also all things corporeal, whether they be interior as are the powers and knowledge acquired through the inner bodily functions, or exterior as are sickness and health, are dispensed by the celestial bodies, through the mediation of Angels. And when Dionysius, in the fourth chapter de Diuinis Nominibus, says that the celestial bodies are the cause of that which happens in this world, this is to be understood as to natural health and sickness. But the sicknesses we are considering are supernatural, since they are inflicted by the power of the devil, with God’s permission. Therefore we cannot say that it is due to the influence of the stars that a man is bewitched; although it can truly be said that it is due to the influence of the stars that some men cannot be bewitched.

But if it is objected that these two opposite effects must spring from the same cause, and that the pendulum must swing both ways, it is answered that, when a man is preserved by the influence of the stars from these supernatural ills, this is not due directly to the influence of the stars, but to an angelic power, which can strengthen that influence so that the enemy with his malice cannot prevail against it; and that angelic power can be passed on through the virtue of the stars. For a man may be at the point of death, having reached the natural term of life, and God in His power, which in such matters always works indirectly, may alter this be sending some power of preservation instead of the natural defect in the man and in his dominating influence. Accordingly we may say of a man who is subject to witchcraft, that he can in just the same way be preserved from witchcraft, or that this preservation comes of an Angel deputed to guard him; and this is the chief of all means of protection.

And when it is said in Jeremias xxii: Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: this is to be understood with regard to the choices of the will, in which one man prospers and another does not; and this also can be ascribed to the influence of the stars. For example: one man may be influenced by his stars to make a useful choice, such as to enter some religious Order. And when his understanding is enlightened to consider such a step, and by Divine operation his will is inclined to put it into execution, such a man is said to prosper well. Or similarly when a man is inclined to some trade, or anything that is useful. On the other hand, he will be called unfortunate when his choice is inclined by the higher Powers to unprofitable things.

S. Thomas, in his third book of the Summa against the Gentiles, and in several places, speaks of these and many other opinions, when he discusses in what lies the difference that one man should be well born and another unfortunately born, that a man should be lucky or unlucky, or well or badly governed and guarded. For according to the disposition of his stars a man is said to be well or badly born, and so fortunate or unfortunate; and according as he is enlightened by an Angel, and follows such enlightenment, he is said to be well or badly guarded. And according as he is directed by God towards good, and follows it, he is said to be well governed. But these choices have no place here, since we are not concerned with them but with the preservation from witchcraft; and we have said enough for the present on this subject. We proceed to the rites practised by witches, and first to a consideration of how they lure the innocent into becoming partakers of their perfidies.



1. “Stadlin.” Stadelein, who is described as “grandis maleficus,” “a most notorious warlock,” lived at Boltingen, a town in the duchy and diocese of Lausanne. John Nider sat as assessor as his trial. See the “Formicarius,” c. III.

2. “Cassian.” John Cassian, monk and ascetic writer of Southern Gaul, and the first to introduce the rules of Eastern monasticism into the West, was born probably in Provence about 360; and died near Marseilles about 435. The two principal works of Cassian are the “Institutes; De institutis coenobiorum et de octo principalium uitiorum remediis libri XII”; and the “Collations” or “Conferences,” “Collationes XXIV.” The author has himself remarked upon the relation between the two works: “These books (‘the Institutes’) . . . are mainly taken up with what belongs to the outer man and the customs of the coenobis; the others (the ‘Conferences’) deal rather with the training of the inner man and the perfection of the heart.” The best edition of the works of Cassian is that by Petschenig, Vienna, 1885-88.

Although never formally canonized, from very early days Cassian was regarded as a saint. At Marseilles his feast (with an octave) is celebrated 23 July, and his name is found in the Greek Calendar.

3. “S. Heraclides.” Episcopus Tamasi in Cypro, cuius Festum agitur die xvii Septembris. See “Analecta Bollandiana,” XXVI, 238-9; and Fr. Nau, “Revue de l’Orient chrétien,” XII (197), 125-38.

4. “Blessed Thomas.” At the instance of his mother Theodora, Countess of Teano, S. Thomas, who had received the Dominican habit some time between 1240 and August 1243, was whilst on his way to Rome from Naples captured near Aquapendente by his two brothers, Landolfo and Rinaldo, officers in the army of the Emperor Frederick. They confined him for nearly two years in the fortress of San Giovanni at Rocca Secca. He revealed this vision of Holy Angels who endows him with the white girdle of chastity to his faithful friend, Reginald of Piperno. One of the particular devotions of the Dominican Order consists in wearing, as a devout memorial of this event, a white girdle for which a special form of blessing is presribed: “Benedictio Cinguli S. Thomae Aquinatis Ad Seruandam Castitatem.”
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:00 am


Of the several Methods by which Devils through Witches Entice and Allure the Innocent to the Increase of that Horrid Craft and Company.

There are three methods above all by which devils, through the agency of witches, subvert the innocent, and by which that perfidy is continually being increased. And the first is through weariness, through inflicting grievous losses in their temporal possessions. For, as S. Gregory says: The devil often tempts us to give way from very weariness. And it is to be understood that it is within the power of a man to resist such temptation; but that God permits it as a warning to us not to give way to sloth. And in this sense is Judges ii to be understood, where it says that God did not destroy those nations, that through them He might prove the people of Israel; and it speaks of the neighbouring nations of the Canaanites, Jebusites, and others. And in our time the Hussites and other Heretics are permitted, so that they cannot be destroyed. Devils, therefore, by means of witches, so afflict their innocent neighbours with temporal losses, that they are to beg the suffrages of witches, and at length to submit themselves to their counsels; as many experiences have taught us.

We know a stranger in the diocese of Augsburg, who before he was forty-four years old lost all his horses in succession through witchcraft. His wife, being afflicted with weariness by reason of this, consulted with witches, and after following their counsels, unwholesome as they were, all the horses which he bought after that (for he was a carrier) were preserved from witchcraft.

And how many women have complained to us in our capacity of Inquisitors, that when their cows have been injured by being deprived of their milk, or in any other way, they have consulted with suspected witches, and even been given remedies by them, on condition that they would promise something to some spirit; and when they asked what they would have to promise, the witches answered that it was only a small thing, that they should agree to execute the instructions of that master with regard to certain observances during the Holy Offices of the Church, or to observe some silent reservations in their confessions to priests.

Here it is to be noted that, as has already been hinted, this iniquity has small and scant beginnings, as that of the time of the elevation of the Body of Christ they spit on the ground, or shut their eyes, or mutter some vain words. We know a woman who yet lives, protected by the secular law, who, when the priest at the celebration of the Mass blesses the people, saying, Dominus uobiscum, always adds to herself these words in the vulgar tongue “Kehr mir die Zung im Arss umb.” Or they even say some such thing at confession after they have received absolution, or do not confess everything, especially mortal sins, and so by slow degrees are led to a total abnegation of the Faith, and to the abominable profession of sacrilege.

This, or something like it, is the method which witches use towards honest matrons who are little given to carnal vices but concerned for worldly profit. But towards young girls, more given to bodily lusts and pleasures, they observe a different method, working through their carnal desires and the pleasures of the flesh.

Here it is to be noted that the devil is more eager and keen to tempt the good than the wicked, although in actual practice he tempts the wicked more than the good, because more aptitude for being tempted is found in the wicked than in the good. Therefore the devil tries all the harder to seduce all the more saintly virgins and girls; and there is reason in this, besides many examples of it.

For since he already possesses the wicked, but not the good, he tries the harder to seduce into his power the good whom he does not, than the wicked whom he does, possess. Similarly any earthly prince takes up arms against those who do not acknowledge his rule rather than those who do not oppose him.

And here is an example. Two witches were burned in Ratisbon, as we shall tell later where we treat of their methods of raising tempests. And one of them, who was a bath-woman, had confessed among other things the following: that she had suffered much injury from the devil for this reason. There was a certain devout virgin, the daughter of a very rich man whom there is no need to name, since the girl is now dead in the disposition of Divine mercy, and we would not that his thought should be perverted by evil; and the witch was ordered to seduce her by inviting her to her house on some Feast Day, in order that the devil himself, in the form of a young man, might speak with her. And although she had tried very often to accomplish this, yet whenever she had spoken to the young girl, she had protected herself with the sign of the Holy Cross. And no one can doubt that she did this at the instigation of a holy Angel, to repel the works of the devil.

Another virgin living in the diocese of Strasburg confessed to one of us that she was alone on a certain Sunday in her father’s house, when an old woman of that town came to visit here and, among other scurrilous words, made the following proposition; that, if she liked, she would take her to a place where there were some young men unknown to all the townsmen. And when, said the virgin, I consented, and followed her to her house, the old woman said, “See, we go upstairs to an upper room where the young men are; but take care not to make the sign of the Cross.” I gave her my promise not to do so, and as she was going up before me and I was going up the stairs, I secretly crossed myself. At the top of the stairs, when we were both standing outside the room, the hag turned angrily upon me with a horrible countenance, and looking at me said, “Curse you! Why did you cross yourself? Go away from here. Depart in the name of the devil.” And so I returned unharmed to my home.

It can be seen from this how craftily that old enemy labours in the seduction of souls. For it was in this way that the bath-woman whom we have mentioned, and who was burned, confessed that she had been seduced by some old women. A different method, however, was used in the case of her companion witch, who had met the devil in human form on the road while she herself was going to visit her lover for the purpose of fornication. And when the Incubus devil had seen her, and has asked her whether she recognized him, and she had said that she did not, he had answered” “I am the devil; and if you wish, I will always be ready at your pleasure, and will not fail you in any necessity.” And when she had consented, she continued for eighteen years, up to the end of her life, to practise diabolical filthiness with him, together with a total abnegation of the Faith as a necessary condition.

There is also a third method of temptation through the way of sadness and poverty. For when girls have been corrupted, and have been scorned by their lovers after they have immodestly copulated with them in the hope and promise of marriage with them, and have found themselves disappointed in all their hopes and everywhere despised, they turn to the help and protection of devils; either for the sake of vengeance by bewitching those lovers or the wives they have married, or for the sake of giving themselves up to every sort of lechery. Alas! experience tells us that there is no number to such girls, and consequently the witches that spring from this class are innumerable. Let us give a few out of many examples.

There is a place in the diocese of Brixen where a young man deposed the following facts concerning the bewitchment of his wife.

“In the time of my youth I loved a girl who importuned me to marry her; but I refused her and married another girl from another country. But wishing for friendship’s sake to please her, I invited her to the wedding. She came, and while the other honest women were wishing us luck and offering gifts, she raised her hand and, in the hearing of the other women who were standing round, said, You will have few days of health after to-day. My bride was frightened, since she did not know her (for, as I have said, I had married her from another country), and asked the bystanders who she was who had threatened her in that way; and they said that she was a loose and vagrom woman. None the less, it happened just as she had said. For after a few days my wife was so bewitched that she lost the use of all her limbs, and even now, after ten years, the effects of witchcraft can be seen on her body.”

If we were to collect all the similar instances which have occurred in one town of that diocese, it would take a whole book; but they are written and preserved at the house of the Bishop of Brixen, who still lives to testify to their truth, astounding and unheard-of though they are.

But we must not pass over in silence one unheard-of and astonishing instance. A certain high-born Count in the ward of Westerich, in the diocese of Strasburg, married a noble girl of equal birth; but after he had celebrated the wedding, he was for three years unable to know her carnally, on account, as the event proved, of a certain charm which prevented him. In great anxiety, and not knowing what to do, he called loudly on the Saints of God. It happened that he went to the State of Metz to negotiate some business; and while he was talking about the streets and squares of the city, attended by his servants and domiciles, he met a certain women who had formerly been his mistress. Seeing her, and not at all thinking of the spell that was on him, he spontaneously addressed her kindly for the sake of their old friendship, asking her how she did, and whether she was well. And she, seeing the Count’s gentleness, in her turn asked very particularly after his health and affairs; and when he answered that he was well, and that everything prospered with him, she was astonished and was silent for a time. The Count, seeing her thus astonished, again spoke kindly to her, inviting her to converse with him. So she inquired after his wife, and received a similar reply, that she was in all respects well. Then she asked if he had any children; and the Count said he had three sons, one born in each year. At that she was more astonished, and was again silent for a while. And the Count asked her, Why, my dear, do you make such careful inquiries? I am sure that you congratulate my on my happiness. Then she answered, Certainly I congratulate you; but curse that old woman who said she would bewitch your body so that you could not have connexion with your wife! And in proof of this, there is a pot in the well in the middle of your yard containing certain objects evilly bewitched, and this was placed there in order that, as long as its contents were preserved intact, for so long you would be unable to cohabit. But see! it is all in vain, and I am glad, etc. On his return home the Count did not delay to have the well drained; and, finding the pot, burned its contents and all, whereupon he immediately recovered the virility which he had lost. Wherefore the Countess again invited all the nobility to a fresh wedding celebration, saying that she was now the Lady of that castle and estate, after having for so long remained a virgin. For the sake of the Count’s reputation it is not expedient to name that castle and estate; but we have related this story in order that the truth of the matter may be known, to bring so great a crime into open detestation.

From this it is clear that witches use various methods to increase their numbers. For the above-mentioned woman, because she had been supplanted by the Count’s wife, case that spell upon the Count with the help of another witches; and this is how one witchcraft brings innumerable others in its train.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:00 am


Of the Way whereby a Formal Pact with Evil is made.

The method by which they profess their sacrilege through an open pact of fidelity to devils varies according to the several practices to which different witches are addicted. And to understand this it first must be noted that there are, as was shown in the First Part of this treatise, three kinds of witches; namely, those who injure but cannot cure; those who cure but, through some strange pact with the devil, cannot injure; and those who both injure and cure. And among those who injure, one class in particular stands out, which can perform every sort of witchcraft and spell, comprehending all that all the others individually can do. Wherefore, if we describe the method of profession in their case, it will suffice also for all the other kinds. And this class is made up of those who, against every instinct of human or animal nature, are in the habit of eating and devouring the children of their own species.

And this is the most powerful class of witches, who practise innumerable other harms also. For they raise hailstorms and hurtful tempests and lightnings; cause sterility in men and animals; offer to devils, or otherwise kill, the children whom they do not devour. But these are only the children who have not been re-born by baptism at the font, for they cannot devour those who have been baptized, nor any without God’s permission. They can also, before the eyes of their parents, and when no one is in sight, throw into the water children walking by the water side; they make horses go mad under their riders; they can transport themselves from place to place through the air, either in body or in imagination; they can affect Judges and Magistrates so that they cannot hurt them; they can cause themselves and other to keep silence under torture; they can bring about a great trembling in the hands and horror in the minds of those who would arrest them; they can show to others occult things and certain future events, by the information of devils, though this may sometimes have a natural cause (see the question: Whether devils can foretell the future, in the Second Book of Sentences); they can see absent things as if they were present; they can turn the minds of men to inordinate love or hatred; they can at times strike whom they will with lightning, and even kill some men and animals; they can make of no effect the generative desires, and even the power of copulation, cause abortion, kill infants in the mother’s womb by a mere exterior touch; they can at time bewitch men and animals with a mere look, without touching them, and cause death; they dedicate their own children to devils; and in short, as has been said, they can cause all the plagues which other witches can only cause in part, that is, when the Justice of God permits such things to be. All these things this most powerful of all classes of witches can do, but they cannot undo them.

But it is common to all of them to practise carnal copulation with devils; therefore, if we show the method used by this chief class in their profession of their sacrilege, anyone may easily understand the method of the other classes.

There were such witches lately, thirty years ago, in the district of Savoy, towards the State of Berne, as Nider tells in his Formicarius. And there are now some in the country of Lombardy, in the domains of the Duke of Austria, where the Inquisitor of Como, as we told in the former Part, caused forty-one witches to be burned in one year; and he was fifty-five years old, and still continues to labour in the Inquisition.

Now the method of profession is twofold. One is a solemn ceremony, like a solemn vow. The other is private, and can be made to the devil at any hour alone. The first method is when witches meet together in the conclave on a set day, and the devil appears to them in the assumed body of a man, and urges them to keep faith with him, promising them worldly prosperity and length of life; and they recommend a novice to his acceptance. And the devil asks whether she will abjure the Faith, and forsake the holy Christian religion and the worship of the Anomalous Woman (for so they call the Most Blessed Virgin MARY), and never venerate the Sacraments; and if he finds the novice or disciple willing, then the devil stretches out his hand, and so does the novice, and she swears with upraised hand to keep that covenant. And when this is done, the devil at once adds that this is not enough; and when the disciple asks what more must be done, the devil demands the following oath of homage to himself: that she give herself to him, body and soul, for ever, and do her utmost to bring others of both sexes into his power. He adds, finally, that she is to make certain unguents from the bones and limbs of children, especially those who have been baptized; by all which means she will be able to fulfil all her wishes with his help.

We Inquisitors had credible experience of this method in the town of Breisach in the diocese of Basel, receiving full information from a young girl witch who had been converted, whose aunt also had been burned in the diocese of Strasburg. And she added that she had become a witch by the method in which her aunt had first tried to seduce her.

For one day her aunt ordered her to go upstairs with her, and at her command to go into a room where she found fifteen young men clothed in green garments after the manner of German knights. And her aunt said to her: Choose whom you wish from these young men, and he will take you for his wife. And when she said she did not wish or any of them, she was sorely beaten and at last consented, and was initiated according to the aforesaid ceremony. She said also that she was often transported by night with her aunt over vast distances, even from Strasburg to Cologne.

This is she who occasioned our inquiry in the First Part into the question whether witches are truly and bodily transported by devils from place to place: and this was on account of the words of the Canon (6, q. 5, Episcopi), which seem to imply that they are only so carried in imagination; whereas they are at times actually and bodily transported.

For when she was asked whether it was only in imagination and phantastically that they so rode, through an illusion of devils, she answered that they did so in both ways; according to the truth which we shall declare later of the manner in which they are transferred from place to place. She said also that the greatest injuries were inflicted by midwives, because they were under an obligation to kill or offer to devils as many children as possible; and that she had been severely beaten by her aunt because she had opened a secret pot and found the heads of a great many children. And much more she told us, having first, as was proper, taken an oath to speak the truth.

And he account of the method of professing the devil’s faith undoubtedly agrees with what has been written by that most eminent Doctor, John Nider, who even in our times has written very illuminatingly; and it may be especially remarked that he tells of the following which he had from an Inquisitor of the diocese of Edua, who held many inquisitions on witches in that diocese, and caused many to be burned.

For he says that this Inquisitor told him that in the Duchy of Lausanne certain witches had cooked and eaten their own children, and that the following was the method in which they became initiated into such practices. The witches met together and, by their art, summoned a devil in the form of a man, to whom the novice was compelled to swear to deny the Christian religion, never to adore the Eucharist, and to tread the Cross underfoot whenever she could do so secretly.

Here is another example from the same source. There was lately a general report, brought to the notice of Peter the Judge in Boltingen, that thirteen infants had been devoured in the State of Berne; and the public justice exacted full vengeance on the murderers. And when Peter asked one of the captive witches in what manner they ate children, she replied: “This is the manner of it. We set our snares chiefly for unbaptized children, and even for those that have been baptized, especially when they have not been protected by the sign of the Cross and prayers” (Reader, notice that, at the devil’s command, they take the unbaptized chiefly, in order that they may not be baptized), “and with our spells we kill them in their cradles or even when they are sleeping by their parents’ side, in such a way that they afterwards are thought to have been overlain or to have died some other natural death. Then we secretly take them from their graves, and cook them in a cauldron, until the whole flesh comes away from the bones to make a soup which may easily be drunk. Of the more solid matter we make an unguent which is of virtue to help us in our arts and pleasures and our transportations; and with the liquid we fill a flask or skin, whoever drinks from which, with the addition of a few other ceremonies, immediately acquires much knowledge and becomes a leader in our sect.”

Here is another very clear and distinct example. A young man and his wife, both witches, were imprisoned in Berne; and the man, shut up by himself apart from her in a separate tower, said: “If I could obtain pardon for my sins, I would willingly declare all that I know about witchcraft; for I see that I ought to die.” And when he was told by the learned clerks who were there that he could obtain complete pardon if he truly repented, he joyfully resigned himself to death, and laid bare the method by which he had first been infected with his heresy. “The following,” he said, “is the manner in which I was seduced. It is first necessary that, on a Sunday before the consecration of Holy Water, the novice should enter the church with the masters, and there in their presence deny Christ, his Faith, baptism, and the whole Church. And then he must pay homage to the Little Master, for so and not otherwise do they call the devil.” Here it is to be noted that this method agrees with those that have been recounted; for it is immaterial whether the devil is himself present or not, when homage is offered to him. For this he does in his cunning, perceiving the temperament of the novice, who might be frightened by his actual presence into retracting his vows, whereas he would be more easily persuaded to consent by those who are known to him. And therefore they call him the Little Master when he is absent, that through seeming disparagement of his Master the novice may feel less fear. “And then he drinks from the skin, which has been mentioned, and immediately feels within himself a knowledge of all our arts and an understanding of our rites and ceremonies. And in this manner was I seduced. But I believe my wife to be so obstinate that she would rather go straight to the fire than confess the smallest part of the truth; but, alas! we are both guilty.” And as the young man said, so it happened in every respect. For the young man confessed and was seen to die in the greatest contrition; but the wife, though convicted by witnesses, would not confess any of the truth, either under torture or in death itself; but when the fire had been prepared by the gaoler, cursed him in the most terrible words, and so was burned. And from these examples their method of initiation in solemn conclave is made clear.

The other private method is variously performed. For sometimes when men or women have been involved in some bodily or temporal affliction, the devil comes to them speaking to them in person, and at times speaking to them through the mouth of someone else; and he promises that, if they will agree to his counsels, he will do for them whatever they wish. But he starts from small things, as was said in the first chapter, and leads gradually to the bigger things. We could mention many examples which have come to our knowledge in the Inquisition, but, since this matter presents no difficulty, it can briefly be included with the previous matter.

A Few Points are to be Noticed in the Explanation of their Oath of Homage.

Now there are certain points to be noted concerning the homage which the devil exacts, as, namely, for what reason and in what different ways he does this. It is obvious that his principal motive is to offer the greater offence to the Divine Majesty by usurping to himself a creature dedicated to God, and thus more certainly to ensure his disciple’s future damnation, which is his chief object. Nevertheless, it is often found by us that he has received such homage for a fixed term of years at the time of the profession of perfidy; and sometimes he exacts the profession only, postponing the homage to a later day.

And let us declare that the profession consists in a total or partial abnegation of the Faith: total, as has been said before, when the Faith is entirely abjured; partial, when the original pact makes it incumbent on the witch to observe certain ceremonies in opposition to the decrees of the Church, such as fasting on Sundays, eating meat on Fridays, concealing certain crimes at confession, or some such profane thing. But let us declare that homage consists in the surrender of body and soul.

And we can assign four reasons why the devil requires the practice of such things. For we showed in the First Part of this treatise, when we examined whether devils could turn the minds of men to love or hatred, that they cannot enter the inner thoughts of the heart, since this belongs to God alone. But the devil can arrive at a knowledge of men’s thoughts by conjecture, as will be shown later. Therefore, if that cunning enemy sees that a novice will be hard to persuade, he approaches her gently, exacting only small things that he may gradually lead her to greater things.

Secondly, it must be believed that there is some diversity among those who deny the Faith, since some do so with their lips but not in their heart, and some both with their lips and in their heart. Therefore the devil, wishing to know whether their profession comes from the heart as well as from the lips, sets them a certain period, so that he may understand their minds from their works and behaviour.

Thirdly, if after the lapse of a set time he find that she is less willing to perform certain practices, and is bound to him only by word but not in her heart, he presumes that the Divine Mercy has given her the guardianship of a good Angel, which he knows to be of great power. Then he casts her off, and tries to expose her to temporal afflictions, so that he gain some profit from her despair.

The truth of this is clear. For if it is asked why some witches will not confess the truth under even the greatest tortures, while other readily confess their crimes when they are questioned (and some of them, after they have confessed, try to kill themselves by hanging), the reason is as follows. It may truly be said that, when it is not due to a Divine impulse conveyed through a holy Angel that a witch is made to confess the truth and abandon the spell of silence, then it is due to the devil whether she preserves silence of confesses her crimes. The former is the case with those whom he knows to have denied the Faith both with their lips and in their hearts, and also to have given him their homage; for he is sure of their constancy. But in the latter case he withdraws his protection, since he knows that they are of no profit to him.

We have often learned from the confessions of those whom we have caused to be burned, that they have not been willing agents of witchcraft. And they have not said this in the hope of escaping damnation, for its truth is witnessed by the blows and stripes which they have received from devils when they have been unwilling to perform their orders, and we have often seen their swollen and livid faces. Similarly, after they have confessed their crimes under torture they always try to hang themselves; and this we know for a fact; for after the confession of their crimes, guards are deputed to watch them all the time, and even then, when the guards have been negligent, they have been found hanged with their shoe-laces or garments. For, as we have said, they devil causes this, lest they should obtain pardon through contrition or sacramental confession; and those whose hearts he cannot seduce from finding grace with God, he tries to lead into despair through worldly loss and a horrible death. However, through the great grace of God, as it is pious to believe, they can obtain forgiveness by true contrition and pure confession, when they have not been willing participators in those foul and filthy practices.

This is exemplified by certain events which took place hardly three years ago in the dioceses of Strasburg and Constance, and in the towns of Hagenau and Ratisbon. For in the first town one hanged herself with a trifling and flimsy garment. Another, named Walpurgis, was notorious for her power of preserving silence, and used to teach other women how to achieve a like quality of silence by cooking their first-born sons in an oven. Many such examples are to our hand, as they are also in the case of others burned in the second town, some of which will be related.

And there is a forth reason why the devil exacts a varying degree of homage, making it relatively small in some cases because he is more skilful than Astronomers in knowing the length if human life, and so can easily fix a term which he knows will be preceded by death, or can, in the manner already told, forestall natural death with some accident.

All this, in short, can be shown by the actions and behaviour of witches. But first we can deduce the astuteness of the devil in such things. For according to S. Augustine in the de Natura Daemonis [1] seven reasons are assigned why devils can conjecture probable future events, though they cannot know them certainly. The first is that they have a natural subtlety in their understanding, by which they arrive at their knowledge without the process of reasoning which is necessary for us. Secondly, by their long experience and by revelation of supernal spirits, they know more than we do. For S. Isidore says that the Doctors have often affirmed that devils derive their marvellous cunning from three sources, their natural subtlety, their long experience, and the revelation of supernal spirits. The third reason is their rapidity of motion, by which they can with miraculous speed anticipate in the West things which are happening in the East. Fourthly, just as they are able, with God’s permission, to cause disease and famines, so also they can predict them. Fifthly, they can more cunningly read the signs of death than a physician can by looking at the urine or feeling the pulse. For just as a physician sees signs in a sick man which a layman would not notice, so the devil sees what no man can naturally see. Sixthly, they can by signs which proceed from a man’s mind conjecture more astutely than the wisest men what is or will be in that man’s mind. For they know what impulses, and therefore what actions, will probably follow. Seventhly, they understand better than men the acts and writings of the Prophets, and, since on these much of the future depends, they can foretell from them much that will happen. Therefore it is not wonderful that they can know the natural term of a man’s life; though it is different in the case of the accidental term when a witch is burned; for this the devil ultimately causes when, as has been said, he finds a witch reluctant, and fears for her conversion; whereas he protects even up to their natural death others whom he knows to be his willing agents.

Let us give examples of both these cases, which are known to us. There was in the diocese of Basel, in a town called Oberweiler situated on the Rhine, an honest parish priest, who fondly held the opinion, or rather error, that there was no witchcraft in the world, but that it only existed in the imagination of men who attributed such things to witches. And God wished so to purge him of this error that he might even be made aware of the practice of devils in setting a term to the lives of witches. For as he was hastening to cross a bridge, on some business that he had to do, he met a certain old woman in his hurry, and would not give way to her, but pressed on so that he thrust the old woman into the mud. She indignantly broke into a flood of abuse, and said to him, “Father, you will not cross with impunity.” And though he took small notice of those words, in the night, when he wished to get out of his bed, he felt himself bewitched below the waist, so that he always had to be supported by the arms of other men when he wished to go to the church; and so he remained for three years, under the care of his own mother. After that time the old woman fell sick, the hag whom he had always suspected as being the cause of his witchcraft, owing to the abusive words with which she had threatened him; and it happened that she sent to him to hear her confession. And though the priest angrily said, “Let her confess to the devil her master,” yet, at the instance of his mother, he went to the house supported by two servants, and sat at the head of the bed where the witch lay. And the two servants listened outside the window, so eager were they to know whether she would confess that she had bewitched the priest. Now it happened that, though she made no mention in her confession of having been the cause of his malady, after the confession was finished, she said, “Father, do you know who bewitched you?” And when he gently answered that he did not, she added, “You suspect me, and with reason; for know that I brought it upon you for this reason,” explaining as we have already told. And when he begged to be liberated, she said, “Lo! the set time has come, and I must die; but I will so cause it that in a few days, after my death, you will be healed.” And so it happened. For she died at the time fixed by the devil, and within thirty days the priest found himself completely healed in one night. The name of that priest is Father Hässlin, and he lives yet in the diocese of Strasburg.

Similarly in the diocese of Basel, in the village called Buchel, near the town of Gewyll, this happened. A certain woman was taken, and finally burned, who for six years had had an Incubus devil, even when she was lying in bed by the side of her husband. And this she did three times a week, on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and on some of the other more holy nights. [2] But the homage she had given to the devil was of such a sort that she was bound to dedicate herself body and soul to him for ever, after seven years. But God provided mercifully: for she was taken in the sixth year and condemned to the fire, and having truly and completely confessed, is believed to have obtained pardon from God. For she went most willingly to her death, saying that she would gladly suffer an even more terrible death, if only she could be set free from and escape the power of the devil.



1. “De Natura Daemonis.” “De Diuinatione Daemonum,” written 406-11. Migne, “Patres Latini,” XL, pp. 581-92.

2. “Holy Nights.” Saturday, however, was always particularly avoided as being the day sacred to the Immaculate Mother of God. See my “History of Witchcraft,” c. IV, pp. 115-16.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:01 am


How they are Transported from Place to Place.

And now we must consider their ceremonies and in what manner they proceed in their operations, first in respect of their actions towards themselves and in their own persons. And among their chief operations are being bodily transported from place to place, and to practise carnal connexion with Incubus devils, which we shall treat of separately, beginning with their bodily vectification. But here it must be noted that this transvection offers a difficulty, which has often been mentioned, arising from one single authority, where it is said: It cannot be admitted as true that certain wicked women, perverted by Satan and seduced by the illusions and phantasms of devils, do actually, as they believe and profess, ride in the night-time on certain beasts with Diana, a goddess of the Pagans, or with Herodias and an innumerable multitude of women, and in the untimely silence of night pass over immense tracts of land, and have to obey her in all things as their Mistress, etc. Wherefore the priest of God ought to preach to the people that this is altogether false, and that such phantasms are sent not by God, but by an evil Spirit to confuse the minds of the faithful. For Satan himself transforms himself into various shapes and forms; and by deluding in dreams the mind which he holds captive, leads it through devious ways, etc.

And there are those who, taking their example from S. Germain and a certain other man who kept watch over his daughter to determine this matter, sometimes preach that this is an altogether impossible thing; and that it is indiscreet to ascribe to witches and their operations such levitations, as well as the injuries which happen to men, animals, and the fruits of the earth; since just as they are the victims of phantasy in their transvections, so also are they deluded in the matter of the harm they wreak on living creatures.

But this opinion was refuted as heretical in the First Question; for it leaves out of account the Divine permission with regard to the devil’s power, which extends to even greater things than this: and it is contrary to the meaning of Sacred Scripture, and has caused intolerable damage to Holy Church, since now for many years, thanks to this pestiferous doctrine, witches have remained unpunished, because the secular courts have lost their power to punish them. Therefore the diligent reader will consider what was there set down for the stamping out of that opinion, and will for the present note how they are transported, and in what ways this is possible, of which some examples will be adduced.

It is shown in various ways that they can be bodily transported; and first, from the operations of other Magicians. For if they could not be transported, it would either be because God does not permit it, or because the devil cannot do this since it is contrary to nature. It cannot be for the first reason, for both greater and less things can be done by the permission of God; and greater things are often done both to children and men, even to just men confirmed in grace.

For when it is asked whether substitutions of children can be affected by the work of devils, and whether the devil can carry a man from place to place even against his will; to the first question the answer is, Yes. For William of Paris says in the last part of his De Uniuerso: Substitutions of children are, with God’s permission, possible, so that the devil can affect a change of the child or even a transformation. For such children are always miserable and crying; and although four or five mothers could hardly support enough milk for them, they never grow fat, yet are heavy beyond the ordinary. But this should neither be affirmed nor denied to women, on account of the great fear which it may cause them, but they should be instructed to ask the opinion of learned men. For God permits this on account of the sins of the parents, in that sometimes men curse their pregnant wives, saying, May you be carrying a devil! or some such thing. In the same way impatient women often say something of the sort. And many examples have been given by other men, some of them pious men.

For Vincent of Beauvais (Spec. Hist., XXVI, 43) related a story told by S. Peter Damian [1] of a five-year-old son of a nobleman, who was for the time living in a monastery; and one night he was carried out of the monastery into a locked mill, where he was found in the morning. And when he was questioned, he said that he had been carried by some men to a great feast and bidden to eat; and afterwards he was put into the mill through the roof.

And what of those Magicians whom we generally call Necromancers, who are often carried through the air by devils for long distances? And sometimes they even persuade others to go with them on a horse, which is not really a horse but a devil in that form, and, as they say, thus warn their companions not to make the sign of the Cross.

And though we are two who write this book, one of us has very often seen and known such men. For there is a man who was once a scholar, and is now believed to be a priest in the diocese of Freising, who used to say that at one time he had been bodily carried through the air by a devil, and taken to the most remote parts.

There lives another priest in Oberdorf, a town near Landshut, who was at that time a friend of that one of us, who saw with his own eyes such a transportation, and tells how the man was borne on high with arms stretched out, shouting but not whimpering. And the cause, as he tells it, was as follows. A number of scholars had met together to drink beer, and they all agreed that the one who fetched the beer should not have to pay anything. And so one of them was going to fetch the beer, and on opening the door saw a thick cloud before the grunsel, and returning in terror told his companions why he would not go for the drink. Then that one of them who was carried away said angrily: “Even if the devil were there, I shall fetch the drink.” And, going out, he was carried through the air in the sight of all the others.

And indeed it must be confessed that such things can happen not only to those who are awake, but also to men who are asleep; namely, they can be bodily transported through the air while they are fast asleep.

This is clear in the case of certain men who walk in their sleep on the roofs of houses and over the highest buildings, and no one can oppose their progress either on high or below. And if they are called by their own names by the other bystanders, they immediately fall crashing to the ground.

Many think, and not without reason, that this is devils’ work. For devils are of many different kinds, and some, who fell from the lower choir of Angels, are tortured as if for smaller sins with lighter punishments as well as the punishment of damnation which they must suffer eternally. And these cannot hurt anybody, at least not seriously, but for the most part carry out only practical jokes. And others are Incubi or Succubi, who punish men in the night, defiling them in the sin of lechery. It is not wonderful if they are given also to horse-play such as this.

The truth can be deduced from the words of Cassian, Collationes I, where he says that there is no doubt that there are as many different unclean spirits as there are different desires in men. For it is manifest that some of them, which the common people call Fauns, and we call Trolls, which abound in Norway, are such buffoons and jokers that they haunt certain places and roads and, without being able to do any hurt to those who pass by, are content with mocking and deluding them, and try to weary them rather than hurt them. And some of them only visit men with harmless nightmares. But others are so furious and truculent that they are not content to afflict with an atrocious dilation the bodies of those whom they inflate, but even come rushing from on high and hasten to strike them with the most savage blows. Our author means that they do not only possess men, but torture them horribly, as did those which are described in S. Matthew viii.

From this we can conclude, first that it must not be said that witches cannot be locally transported because God does not permit it. For if He permits it in the case of the just and innocent, and of other Magicians, how should He not in the case of those who are totally dedicated to the devil? And we say with all reverence: Did not the devil take up Our Saviour, and carry Him up to a high place, as the Gospel testifies?

Neither can the second argument of our opponents be conceded, that the devil cannot do this thing. For it has already been shown that he has so great natural power, exceeding all corporeal power, that there is no earthly power that can be compared with him; as it is said: “There is no power on earth that can be compared with him,” etc. Indeed the natural power or virtue which is in Lucifer is so great that there is none greater among the good Angels in Heaven. For just as he excelled all the Angels in his nature, and not his nature, but only his grace, was diminished by his Fall, so that nature still remains in him, although it is darkened and bound. Wherefore the gloss on that “There is no power on earth” says: Although he excels all things, yet he is subject to the merits of the Saints.

Two objections which someone may bring forward are not valid. First, that man’s soul could resist him, and that the text seems to speak of one devil in particular, since it speaks in the singular, namely Lucifer. And because it was he who tempted Christ in the wilderness, and seduced the first man, he is now bound in chains. And the other Angels are not so powerful, since he excels them all. Therefore the other spirits cannot transport wicked men through the air from place to place.

These arguments have no force. For, to consider the Angels first, even the least Angel is incomparably superior to all human power, as can be proved in many ways. First, a spiritual is stronger than a corporeal power, and so is the power of an Angel, or even of the soul, greater than that of the body. Secondly, as to the soul; every bodily shape owes its individuality to matter, and, in the case of human beings, to the fact that a soul informs it; but immaterial forms are absolute intelligences, and therefore have an absolute and more universal power. For this reason, the soul when joined to the body cannot in this way suddenly transfer its body locally or raise it up in the air; although it could easily do so, with God’s permission, if it were separate from its body. Much more, then, is this possible to an entirely immaterial spirit, such as a good or bad Angel. For a good Angel transported Habacuc [1] in a moment from Judaea to Chaldaea. And for this reason it is concluded that those who by night are carried in their sleep over high buildings are not carried by their own souls, nor by the influence of the stars, but by some mightier power, as was shown above.

Thirdly, it is the nature of the body to be moved, as to place, directly by a spiritual nature; and, as Aristotle says, Physics, VIII, local motion is the first of bodily motions; and he proves this by saying that local motion is not intrinsically in the power of any body as such, but is due to some exterior force.

Wherefore it is concluded, not so much from the holy Doctors as from the Philosophers, that the highest bodies, that is, the stars, are moved by spiritual essences, and by separate Intelligences which are good both by nature and in intention. For we see that the soul is the prime and chief cause of local motion in the body.

It must be said, therefore, that neither in its physical capacity nor in that of its soul can the human body resist being suddenly transported from place to place, with God’s permission, by a spiritual essence good both in intention and by nature, when the good, who are confirmed in grace, are transported; or by an essence good by nature, but not good in intention, when the wicked are transported. Any who wish may refer to S. Thomas in three articles in Part I, question 90, and again in his question concerning Sin, and also in the Second Book of Sentences, dist. 7, on the power of devils over bodily effects.

Now the following is their method of being transported. They take the unguent [3] which, as we have said, they make at the devil’s instruction from the limbs of children, particularly of those whom they have killed before baptism, and anoint with it a chair or a broomstick; whereupon they are immediately carried up into the air, either by day or by night, and either visibly or, if they wish, invisibly; for the devil can conceal a body by the interposition of some other substance, as was shown in the First Part of the treatise where we spoke of the glamours and illusions caused by the devil. And although the devil for the most part performs this by means of this unguent, to the end that children should be deprived of the grace of baptism and of salvation, yet he often seems to affect the same transvection without its use. For at times he transports the witches on animals, which are not true animals but devils in that form; and sometimes even without any exterior help they are visibly carried solely by the operation of the devil’s power.

Here is an instance of a visible transportation in the day-time. In the town of Waldshut on the Rhine, in the diocese of Constance, there was a certain witch who was so detested by the townsfolk that she was not invited to the celebration of a wedding which, however, nearly all the other townsfolk were present. Being indignant because of this, and wishing to be revenged, she summoned a devil and, telling him the cause of her vexation, asked him to raise a hailstorm and drive all the wedding guests from their dancing; and the devil agreed, and raising her up, carried her through the air to a hill near the town, in the sight of some shepherds. And since, as she afterwards confessed, she had no water to pour into the trench (for this, as we shall show, is the method they use to raise hailstorms), she made a small trench and filled it with her urine instead of water, and stirred it with her finger, after their custom, with the devil standing by. Then the devil suddenly raised that liquid up and sent a violent storm of hailstones which fell only on the dancers and townsfolk. And when they had dispersed and were discussing among themselves the cause of that storm, the witch shortly afterwards entered the town; and this greatly aroused their suspicions. But when the shepherds had told what they had seen, their suspicions became almost a certainty. So she was arrested, and confessed that she had done this thing because she had not been invited to the wedding: and for this, and for many other witchcrafts which she had perpetrated, she was burned.

And since the public report of this sort of transvection is continually being spread even among the common people, it is unnecessary to add further proof of it here. But we hope that this will suffice to refute those who either deny altogether that there are such transvections, or try to maintain that they are only imaginary or phantastical. And, indeed, it would be a matter of small importance if such men were left in their error, were it not that this error tends to the damage of the Faith. For notice that, not content with that error, they do not fear to maintain and publish others also, to the increase of witches and the detriment of the Faith. For they assert that all the witchcraft which is truly and actually ascribed to witches as instruments of the devil is only so ascribed in imagination and illusion, as if they were really harmless, just as their transvection is only phantastic. And for this reason many witches remain unpunished, to the great dispraise of the Creator, and to their own most heavy increase.

The arguments on which they base their fallacy cannot be conceded. For first they advance the chapter of the Canon (Episcopi, 26, q. 5), where it is said that witches are only transported in imagination; but who is so foolish as to conclude from this that they cannot also be bodily transported? Similarly at the end of that chapter it is set down that whoever believes that a man can be changed for the better or the worse, or can be transformed into another shape, is to be thought worse than an infidel or a pagan; but who could conclude from this that men cannot be transformed into beasts by a glamour, or that they cannot be changed from health to sickness and from better to worse? They who so scratch at the surface of the words of the Canon hold an opinion which is contrary to that of all the holy Doctors, and, indeed, against the teaching of the Holy Scripture.

For the contrary opinion is abundantly proved by what has been written in various places in the First Part of this treatise; and it is necessary to study the inner meaning of the words of the Canon. And this was examined in the First Question of the First Part of the treatise, in refuting the second of three errors which are there condemned, and where it is said that four things are to be preached to the people. For they are transported both bodily and phantastically, as is proved by their own confessions, not only of those who have been burned, but also of others who have returned to penitence and the Faith.

Among such there was the woman in the town of Breisach whom we asked whether they could be transported only in imagination, or actually in the body; and she answered that it was possible in both ways. For if they do not wish to be bodily transferred, but want to know all that is being done in a meeting of their companions, then they observe the following procedure. In the name of all the devils they lie down to sleep on their left side, and then a sort of bluish vapour comes from their mouth, through which they can clearly see what is happening. But if they wish to be bodily transported, they must observe the method which has been told.

Besides, even if that Canon be understood in its bare meaning without any explanation, who is so dense as to maintain on that account that all their witchcraft and injuries are phantastic and imaginary, when the contrary is evident to the senses of everybody? Especially since there are many species of superstition, namely, fourteen; among which the species of witches holds the highest degree in spells and injuries, and the species of Pythoness, to which they can be reduced, which is only able to be transported in imagination, holds the lowest degree.

And we do not concede that their error can be substantiated by the Legends of S. Germain [4] and certain others. For it was possible for the devils to lie down themselves by the side of the sleeping husbands, during the time when a watch was being kept on the wives, just as if they were sleeping with their husbands. And we do not say that this was done for any reverence felt for the Saint; but the case is put that the opposite of what is set down in the Legend may not be believed to be impossible.

In the same way all other objections can be answered: that it is found that some witches are transported only in imagination, but that it is also found in the writings of the Doctors that many have been bodily transported. Whoever wishes may refer to Thomas of Brabant in his book about Bees, and he will find many wonderful things concerning both the imaginary and the bodily transvection of men.



1. “S. Peter Damian.” Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, born at Ravenna 1007; died at Faenza, 21 February, 1072. His works, which have been more than once collected, may be conveniently found in Migne, “Patres Latini,” CXLIV-CXLV.

2. “Habacuc.” “Daniel” xiv, 32-38:

32. Now there was in Judea a prophet called Habacuc, and he had boiled pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl: and was going into the field, to carry it to the reapers.
33. And the angel of the Lord said to Habacuc: Carry the dinne which thou hast into Babylon to Daniel, who is the lions' den.
34. And Habacuc said: Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den.
35. And the angel of the Lord took him by the top of his head, and carried him by the hair on his head, and set him in Babylon over the den in the force of his spirit.
36. And Habacuc cried, saying: O Daniel, thou servant of God, take the dinner that God hath sent thee.
37. And Daniel said: Thous hast remembered me, O God, and thou hast not forsaken them that love thee.
38. And Daniel arose and ate. And the angel of the Lord presently set Habacuc again in his own place.

3. Henry Boguet “Discours des Sorciers,” Lyons, 1590, XVI, 4, points out that this flying ointment is of itself useless. The actual formulae for its confection have been preserved and the employment thereof is to be considered, say most demonologists, as a piece of vain and empty ceremony of Satan, yet more to delude his votaries.

4. “S. Germain.” Bishop of Auxerre, born circa 380; died at Ravenna, 31 July, 448. His body was brought back to Auxerre, and later there arose the celebrated Benedictine Abbey known as St. Germain’s.
Site Admin
Posts: 29785
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Sadism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest