A Bishop's Tale: Mathias Hovius Among His Flock in by Mr. Craig Harline

By Mr. Craig Harline

This soaking up booklet takes us again to the busy, colourful international of a Netherlandish Catholic bishop and his flock from 1596 to 1620. dependent upon the lately stumbled on daybook of Mathius Hovius, the e-book focuses not just on his lifestyles but in addition on key occasions and characters of the interval. Episodes within the lives of priests, nuns, pilgrims, peasants, saints, and others deliver to lifestyles the adventure of faith in the course of the Counterreformation.

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Like most people of his time, the lesson he seemed to learn from having suffered religious persecution himself was empathy not for all sufferers, but for those of his own kind. And so while the archbishop stood by and watched, Albert pushed the Council of Brabant harder. Soon the state’s prosecutor advised Anna that if she did not recant she would be executed. Again she refused. When she refused yet again, at a last meeting on  June , she sealed her fate, for now the state was out of patience.

His father, Andreas Hovius, had belonged to the humble Fuller’s Guild, whose members lived in only a modest quarter of town. Even if the family was better off than some and Andreas respectable among guildsmen (which no one bothered to record one way or the other), this was hardly the easiest path to high office in the church. But the boy Mathias was fortunate three times: his city had a new school for boys (especially poor boys), he showed ability at that school, and academic ability was one of his world’s only levelers—especially when it was put to use within the church.

Surely this referred to soldiers he had outlasted in unpleasant places, but it suggested as well his tenacity in comparison to noble and great candidates who had refused the post of archbishop while he labored steadily in the trenches. In truth patience, along with circumstance and timing, had done much to win him this new position. He was as aware as anyone that his biggest asset was his own steadfastness, along with the reluctance of every other candidate to take on the challenges of a debt-ridden, spiritually impoverished diocese that in theory was the cornerstone of the Netherlandish church, but which in fact was sand.

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