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1490 December 17, LA GUARDIA BLOOD LIBEL (Spain)

Six conversos and two Jews were accused of killing a child for ritual purposes. Although no child was ever declared missing, they were tortured for over a year by a special inquisition. They were declared guilty on November 14, 1491 of Host Desecration and the taking of the child's heart to use in sorcery. All eight were burned at the stake in the town of Avila and their property confiscated, and used to build the Church and monastery of Santo Tomas of Avila. According to a papal brief (1496) monks descended from Jews were not to be admitted into the church. The child became a saint known as the "Child of La Guardia". Books and plays were written and embellished about him as recently as 1943. The trial was developed and used by the inquisition to demonstrate that the very presence of Jews in the country was a danger to Christianity and was used by the king as a pretext for the soon to be proclaimed edict of expulsion.




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