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Letter #2807

Marco de la TORRE to Ioannes DANTISCUS
Cracow, 1545-03-23

English register:

Marco de la Torre wishes to receive regular information about Dantiscus’ health — good news on the matter is a relief to him in his own struggles with illness. He prays that Dantiscus live as long as possible for the good of the Catholic faith and religion, of which he is an anchor.

Heresy has spread far and wide in the [Grand] Duchy of Lithuania, but God has provided a defence in the person of Marcin Kurek (Gallinius) of Proszowice. Marco de la Torre outlines his complicated story to Dantiscus.

Ten years ago, after four years in the service of Marco de la Torre as a notary, Kurek committed theft and spent a month in a convent dungeon in Cracow. After serving his punishment he asked to be accepted into the monastic order and sent to Bohemia, but de la Torre sent him back to his parents, to confer with them about his future. Since the young man firmly stood by his requests, de la Torre sent him to study in Padua. Kurek assumed the habit there and in the course of five years made enormous progress in philosophy and theology.

Upon completing his studies, having deceived the general of the order that Marco de la Torre had recalled him to his country, he received his doctoral degree without a fee and went to Rome. There, he used deception to obtain an assignment taking him to the Bishop of Cracow [Piotr Gamrat], and with this assignment (in layman’s clothing) he came to Cracow. After finding out about this, and in accordance with regulations, Marco de la Torre ordered his arrest, but Kurek got wind of the danger and fled, wandering across the Kingdom for four years until one day, by accident, the Bishop of Płock [Samuel Maciejowski] heard him deliver a sermon and took him away to Brześć. There, he preached before the King [Sigismund I], winning great respect. He was also introduced to the King jr. [Sigismund II Augustus] and aroused in him an extraordinary eagerness to fight against dissenters from the faith and morals in Lithuania. The Bishop of Płock contacted Marco de la Torre, from whom Kurek then obtained proper absolution and a blessing for his further, now legal, pastoral activity.

Marco de la Torre thanks Dantiscus for the muscat, which he uses to treat his old body.

He promises to carry out his task when the queen [Bona] visits him in his chamber on the eve of the Annunciation [24 March].

Sigmund von Herberstein has brought news that the two monarchs [Emperor Charles V and King Francis I of France] fortunately have reached an agreement, the council in Trent has begun, the Pope has gone to Bologna, and the Venetians are peaceful.

He considers it unnecessary to renew his invitation for Dantiscus to avail himself of the convent’s hospitality. He asks him to use the monastic order’s things as if they were his own.

            received Heilsberg (Lidzbark Warmiński), 1545-04-06

Manuscript sources:
1fair copy in Latin, AAWO, AB, D. 6, f. 68-69
2copy in Latin, 20th-century, B. PAU-PAN, 8244 (TK 6), a.1545, f. 6r-9v
3register with excerpt in Latin, English, 20th-century, CBKUL, R.III, 31, No. 359

Auxiliary sources:
1register in German, 20th-century, B. PAU-PAN, 8250 (TK 12), f. 219
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