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L^ETARE JERUSALEM


fasting and mortifying himself. The worldly images which had hovered before his imagination gave way to religious visualizations of great strength and clarity. A vision of the Blessed Virgin and her Child cleansed him of all the muck of accustomed sensuality, so that even at the end of his days he could say that since this time he had not in the slightest way assented to lust. Henceforth Maty was his ideal woman and heroic service to the Church became the content of his life.

During the spring of 1522, he left the castles of his ancestors behind, and followed a vocation to saintliness. Like many of the elect before him, he was without a plan and suffered mere chance to show him the way he was to go. He trusted to his mule to know what the next objective of the journey would be. The poor beast slowly bore him up Montserrat, the holy mountain of Catalonia. While the rocky peaks towered round about him, he spent three days in confessing to the priest, thus passing judgment upon himself. On the evening of the 24th of March he exchanged his knightly attire for a pilgrim's coat, hung his sword and dagger on the altar of Mary, consecrated himself to his new knighthood as a spiritual Amadis by keeping an armed guard, spent the long night half kneeling, half standing, leaned over his staff by reason of weariness, and prayed before the miraculous Image. On die next morning he started off toward Barcelona and made his first halt in Manresa.

Here, on the heights above this meagre village, from which one could look out at the peaks of Montserrat, there took place that strenu- ous struggle of his personality with itself, the peaceful outcome of which has been of lasting historical importance and has made the word Manresa abide for all time as synonymous with the religious peace to which the human heart can attain.

A pest had broken out, so that nothing stirred in the harbour of Barcelona. Travel to the Italian maritime cities, and therewith also the journey to the Orient which had been Inigo's next plan, was cut off. Now the zest for action which stirred in this spiritual knight turned itself inward, to the Holy Land of the Soul. As he went about in his curious penitential garment, he seemed to the public one of the personas spirituales those persons who hungry for God, here and elsewhere went from theology to religion, now that the mills of


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