Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/160
THE LIFE OF MICHAEL ANGELO
a passionate but weak soul: she felt a need to believe; she was incapable of resisting the authority of the Church. "She tortured herself by fasts and hair-shirts until she was nothing more than flesh and bone." Her friend Cardinal Pole restored her peace of mind by forcing her to submit, to humiliate the pride of her intelligence, to forget herself in God. She did so in a wild moment of sacrifice. … Ah! if she had only sacrificed herself! But she sacrificed her friends with her: she disowned Ochino, whose writings she delivered over to the Inquisition of Rome. Like Michael Angelo, her great soul was shattered by fear. She drowned her remorse in despairing mysticism.
"You have witnessed the chaos of ignorance in which I was," she wrote; "the labyrinth of errors in which I wandered, my body perpetually in movement to find repose and my soul ever agitated in its search for peace. God has willed that I should be told Fiat lux! and that I should be shown that I am nothing—that everything is in Christ!"
- Deposition of Carnesecchi before the Inquisition in 1566.
- Reginald Pole, of the House of York, had had to flee from England, where he had entered into conflict with Henry VIII. He went to Florence in 1532, became the enthusiastic friend of Contarini, was made a Cardinal by Paul III., and legate of the patrimony of St. Peter. Possessed of great personal charm and a conciliatory spirit, he undertook the work of counter-reform and lead back to obedience many of the free minds of the Contarini group, who were about to join the ranks of the Protestants. Vittoria Colonna placed herself entirely under his direction at Viterbo from 1541 to 1544. In 1554 Pole returned to England as Papal legate and became Archbishop of Canterbury. He died in 1558.
- Letter from Vittoria Colonna to Cardinal Morone (December 22, 1543). For details regarding Vittoria Colonna see the work