A man never cries except in confessing his sins

June 21, 2012

At three o’clock in the morning of the 2nd of October, 1556, a horseman arrived at Villagarcia by road from Valladolid, and knocked furiously on the door of the castle. The night watchman hastened at the noise from the top of the wall, and asked who went there.

“Praised be God,” said the person below.

“And the Virgin, Our Lady,” replied he on the wall.

Cap in hand, the horseman then added pompously, “A letter from Her Highness the very Serene Princess Governess.”

   This naturally made a stir throughout the castle. Luis Quijada himself came out to meet the messenger, half dressed with his spectacles in his hand. He read the Princess’s letter and then handed it to Doña Magdalena gloomily, for he was one of those people who are all self-sacrifice and abnegation in their acts, but grumbling and cross in their words….

Doña Magdalena returned the letter, after reading it, to Quijada, saying sadly that he would be obliged to set out that afternoon or the next day at the latest, to which Quijada answered irritably that he saw no need to wait until the afternoon when on the Emperor’s service, and that he would start at once. And he gave his order so quickly, and so expeditious was everyone in executing them, that two hours later, at five in the morning, Quijada and his people were all ready to set out. Jeromín [Don John of Austria] came to kiss his hand with eyes full of tears; but shaking him roughly by the shoulders Quijada told him “to keep those tears for when he confessed his sins, that only at the feet of a confessor it became men to cry.”

Don Juan of Austria Painted by Alonso Sanchez Coello, located at the Art Institute of Chicago

Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912),  pp. 37-38.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 188

Nobility.org Editorial comment: —

Don Luis Quijada set out at once, for it was the Emperor’s business.
This is a beautiful example he gave D. John of Austria and all of us on how one should be quick to obey the commands of authority. It is representative of the spirit of chivalry. This is how one would imagine St. Michael and the angels of Heaven obeying a divine command, or one from Mary their Queen. Instant and streamlined fulfillment.
This is so contrary to the socialist mindset, where decisions are lazily made, and move even slower through the mountains of redundant bureaucracy until being executed listlessly by unmotivated clock-punchers.



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