TO CAGLIOSTRO with love.
Two hundred and twenty years ago to this day, Count Alessandro di Cagliostro departed this world, freed at last from the torment of his prison in San Leo, Tuscany.
In the early hours of 26 August 1795, in squalor and isolation, Cagliostro suffered a stroke. Still alive but seriously ill, he was offered the Last Rites in an attempt to “save his soul”. It is recorded that he refused all administrations and he died an “impenitent man”. Later that day, after four years, four months and five days of torturous confinement, the Divine Cagliostro was dead. He was buried without ceremony at 11pm in the evening.
The Vatican released a statement of his demise two days later on 28 August. Even then they could not allow themselves a simple death certificate. They had to once again drag his name and reputation through the mud one last time - “a heretic famous for his wicked ways”. He was mocked for his death by apoplexy (stroke), as punishment for “having a hard and impenitent heart”. He was they stressed, “born in distress, lived more distressingly and died very miserably”. The Holy Church received a public supplication for the rehabilitation of his soul and that an ecclesiastical burial be performed but they wrote without pity that they had denied this to him. Maybe one day they will reconsider.
I AM NOT OF ANY TIME or of any place; beyond time and space my spiritual being lives an eternal existence. I turn my thoughts back over the ages and I project my spirit towards an existence far beyond which you perceive, I become what I choose to be. Participating consciously in the Absolute Being, I arrange my actions according to what is at hand. My name defines my actions because I am free. My country is wherever my feet stand at the moment. Put yesterday behind you if you dare, like the forgotten ancestors who came before you, give no thought to the morrow and the illusionary hope of greatness will never be yours, I will be what I am.
- ALESSANDRO CAGLIOSTRO
Image: The prison cell of Cagliostro, fortress of La Rocca, in San Leo, Italy.
Photo: Larry Yuma - Wikimedia Commons License
© Philippa Faulks 2017