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The Politics of Childhood Sanctity in Early Modern Spain

Sat, March 24, 11:00am to 12:30pm, Hilton Riverside, 1st Level - Grand Salon Breakout 24


Despite being an intrinsically contested phenomenon, the devotion to child saints was greatly intensified after the Council of Trent. In Spain, this tendency was inaugurated with the translation of the relics of the two young brothers and early Christian martyrs Justo and Pastor to Alcalá in 1568, an event that came together with a significant cultural production both in Spain and beyond. This paper explores the renewed attention to the cult of Saints Justo and Pastor against the background of the increasing prominence in Spanish affairs gained by Don Juan de Austria, the young and conflictive half-brother of Philip II. By looking into the different ways in which images and printed texts dealing with the two child saints represented maturity, piety and sibling affection, this paper will shed new light on the role of sanctity in political mediation.


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