Just a typical deal with God and robot monks

In 1562, King Phillip II of Spain was desperate. His son, Don Carlos, had hit his head and was dying despite everything his physicians could do.

Phillip offered God a deal: If God would heal his son, the king would give God a miracle in return.

Don Carlos, who had been on the point of death, recovered. When he was better, he told a story about being approached by a cross-wielding monk who had healed him.

It turned out that there was an industrial-strength holy relic there in Madrid, the corpse of Diego de Alcalá, a local saintly type who now has a certain large town in Southern California named after him. In desperation – the accounts vary greatly – someone had the mummified cleric put into bed with the dying prince.

This left Phillip II with a serious problem. He had cut a deal with God. God had held up his end. He owed the Deity one miracle.

He hit on the solution of having a local clockmaker fashion a mechanical monk that moves around and prays.

This story is courtesy of NPR. There is video of the monk.

http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2011/jun/14/clockwork-miracle/

 

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