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Miguel De Molinos

1640-1697. Spanish Quietist. Born at Muniesa of noble parents, he was educated at Coimbra and settled at Rome in 1663 where he became a noted priest and confessor and won the friendship of prominent ecclesiastics, including the future Pope Innocent XI. In 1675 he produced his famous Guida Spirituale. This work, deeply influenced by Neoplatonism and medieval mysticism, traces a path to perfection, the annihilation of the will, and oneness with God, to which all external observances, even the overcoming of temptation, are an obstacle. At once the word was attacked by the Jesuits as Jansenist and Quietist in character, but was approved by the Inquisition. In the early 1680s, however, its fame spread over the Christian world and its teachings were applied, with devastating results, in some religious houses. In 1685, at the instigation of Louis XIV, Innocent XI-who felt himself threatened because of his friendship with Molinos-was urged to arrest the authors, who in 1687 was tried and condemned and, although forced to recant, was immured for the rest of his life on a charge of immorality. Molinos's fate aroused deep sympathy in the Protestant world and intense anti-Jesuit feeling among Catholics.