‘Auto da fe’ and torture methods of Goa Inquisition
Charles Dellon has described that the palace of Inquisition was a dreaded, imposing building, that contained about 200 prison cells, many of which were dark and windowless. According to Dellon, the 2 inquisitors had their living quarters as well as their chapel in the palace. All inquisitors were nominated by the King and confirmed by the Pope and received more respect than the Archbishop or even the Viceroy. Philippe Rene Vyke in his book published in 1903, says that the terrible acts of the inquisition has caused terror to be so deeply rooted in the memories of the people that nobody dared to name the Palace as the ‘house of the inquisition’, but gave it the mysterious name of Hodle Ghar.
Charles Dellon has given the description of auto da fe, the grisly ceremony where people convicted of heresy were burnt alive. The victims to be tried were given yellow robes with the cross of St. Andrew painted in red in front and behind. These robes were called Samvenitos. Those victims who were convicted wore robes called the samara which had their portrait, the portraits of the prisoners were painted on the robe and on both sides they had ascending flames and devils pushing those unfortunate people into the flame saying that these people are basically going to go to hell. When they were about to be burnt alive the victims were asked one question. Do you want to die as a Christian or not? If they said they want to die as a Christian, they would be strangled first as an act of mercy and then burnt, and the people who would not confess would be burnt alive.
And mind you, the jurisdiction of the inquisition was on the living as well as the dead. So of somebody said that a person who is dead, and this happened typically with rich people. If some witness said that somebody who has died 3 years ago, but he was a practicing Hindu or he was a practicing Jew, the inquisition had the powers to dig up the bones of the person, try the bones and then cremate the bones. I mean burn the bones, and of course the minute they did that, the property of the dead person would go to the church. So this happened with a lot of rich people. Suddenly, mysteriously they found out that they were practicing Jews or practicing Hindus.
Featured Image – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-da-f%C3%A9