A Palermo Legend


During the Spanish Inquisition that took place in Sicily between 1478 and the 1700s, Friar Diego la Mattina was an Augustinian monk who was jailed periodically for a number of counts against him. Legend says, that in 1658, he was falsely accused by the Spanish of heresy, and he was sentenced to death. 

Before his execution, which was to take place in Palermo’s Piazza Marina, outside of Lo Steri prison (Part of the complex is pictured here), the Spanish Inquisitor General Juan López de Cisneros asked Friar Diego la Mattina if he had a final wish. The priest said yes, he wanted a private conversation with him, the Inquisitor General. Known to be a strong person, during the meeting, apparently the friar broke his shackles and murdered the Inquisitor General (Either by smashing his head with his handcuffs or with an iron tool, scholars are still debating the facts!). The tale that the friar overcame the inquisitor made him a hero among the populous.

One Comment Add yours

  1. What a great story! Always love when the Good Guys win. But a lowly friar killing such a highly placed officer – that makes him a SuperHero, I believe! <3

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