According to adherents, the source of the “light” was viewed as being directly communicated from a higher source or due to a clarified and exalted condition of the human intelligence. To the former class belong the Alumbrados (Spanish: “enlightened”) of Spain. Spanish historian Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo first finds the name about 1492 (in the form aluminados, 1498) but traces them back to a gnostic origin and thinks their views were promoted in Spain through influences from Italy. One of their earliest leaders—indeed, some scholars style her as a “pre-Alumbrado”—was María de Santo Domingo, who came to be known as La Beata de Piedrahita. She was a labourer’s daughter, born in Aldeanueva, south of Salamanca, around 1485. She joined the Dominican order as a teenager and soon achieved renown as a prophet and mystic who could converse directly with Jesus Christ and the Virgin. Ferdinand of Aragon invited her to his court, and he became convinced of the sincerity of her visions. The Dominicans appealed to Pope Julius II for guidance, and a series of trials were convened under the auspices of the Inquisition. Her patrons, which by then included not only Ferdinand but also Francisco Cardenal Jiménez de Cisneros and the duke of Alba, ensured that no decision was taken against her, and she was cleared in 1510.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, while studying at Salamanca (1527), was brought before an ecclesiastical commission on a charge of sympathy with the Alumbrados, but he escaped with an admonition. Others were not so fortunate. In 1529 a congregation of unlettered adherents at Toledo was visited with scourging and imprisonment. Greater rigours followed, and for about a century the Alumbrados afforded many victims to the Inquisition, especially at Córdoba.
"Alumbrados" = 33 (Chaldean)
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