The Pope and the devil

Папа и дьявол

The Pope and the devil

In the Museum of the Dutch city of Utrecht kept the old Board size 31x24x5 cm with the portrait of the Pope (the left photo in the title). It seems that there is nothing special, but if the Board is upside down (right photo in the title), the profile of the main Catholic turns into the devil’s head.

In the XVI century, it is a double image even minted coins with an accompanying inscription in Latin: “Mali corvi malum ovum” (“Filthy crow rotten egg“).

Папа и дьявол

Coin the middle of the XVI century. Western Europe. Headdress of the Pope, the tiara really is shaped like an egg.To understand the meaning and validity of reconciling the Pope and the devil, you must know a little about the time of the portrait: time of struggle, or the war between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches for the souls of the believers. The Protestants accused the Roman Church in violation of the Christian precepts, of greed and forgiveness of sins for a fee. The embodiment of evil became the Pope, because people have always believed (and believes) that “fish goes out from the head.”

Absolution for a fee was the main source of income of the Roman Church. Her messengers were transported to Europe special paper – the papal indulgences. By purchasing them, we could be free from any sin, seek forgiveness not yet committed crimes, to help the deceased family member to move from purgatory to heaven, to shorten the time from the moment of his own death before the entry into Paradise on the paper in the specified number of years. Thousands of monks in monasteries was involved in the writing of indulgences, and yet they are not enough. The problem was solved Johann Gutenberg (1394-1468) from the German city of Mainz. We know him as the inventor of printing. In fact, he invented a tool for the propagation of indulgences, they were the first products of his press. Books began to produce later.As for the author of the picture “Daddy and the devil”, his name has not been preserved. Of course, he is from Protestant, and possibly paid with his life for his art, as well as took lives of hundreds of thousands of his co-religionists. Protestants, too, have shed much Catholic blood. In 1527 German troops Kie together with the Spaniards captured and sacked Rome. When seven years later, the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti arrived in the Eternal city, he saw a disfigured fresco of Raphael, on which was scratched the name of the spiritual leader of the Protestant Luther.

According to the magazine “Science and life”, author: Alexander Kalinin

A. Kalinin

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