The New International Encyclopædia/Molinos, Miguel de

MOLINOS, mō̇-lē′nō̇s, Miguel de (1640-96). A Spanish mystic, and leading representative of the doctrines of Quietism. He was born at Patacina in Aragon of noble parents, and pursued a course of theological studies at Pampelona and Coimbra, from which university he received the degree of doctor of divinity. Having been ordained priest, he acquired a high reputation as a director of conscience and a master of the spiritual life. He went in 1669 to Rome, where he made the same impression and won the friendship of many distinguished people. He declined all preferment, and devoted himself entirely to the direction of souls. In 1675 he published an ascetieal treatise in Spanish, under the name of The Spiritual Guide, which had a wide popularity and was translated into many languages (into English ten years later; reprinted at Glasgow, 1885). His leading principle was that of habitual abstraction of the mind from sensible objects, with a view to gain, by passive contemplation, not only a profound realization of God's presence, but so perfect a communion with Him as to end in absorption into His essence. The dangers of his doctrine (for an examination of which and its subsequent history, see Quietism) were pointed out by not a few, among them the distinguished Jesuit Segneri; but so great was the popularity of Molinos that no decisive steps were taken until, in 1685, he was cited before the Holy Office and submitted to close imprisonment and examination. The Inquisition finally condemned eighty-six propositions extracted from his writings, and in a decree, which was confirmed a few months later by a bull of Pope Innocent XI., required him publicly to abjure them, and sentenced him to imprisonment for life. He underwent public penance and was admitted to absolution, but was detained until his death in 1696. Consult: Bigelow, Molinos the Quietist (New York, 1882); Shorthouse, Golden Thoughts from the Spiritual Guide of Molinos (London, 1883).