Auto-da-fé  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An auto-da-fé (also auto da fé and auto de fe) was the ritual of public penance of condemned heretics and apostates that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their punishment, followed by the execution by the civil authorities of the sentences imposed. Both 'auto de fe' in medieval Spanish and 'auto da fé' in Portuguese mean "act of faith".

As the burning at the stake for heresy was perhaps the most profound and moving aspect of many auto-da-fe's, this particular aspect of it, that is, the act of burning at the stake eventually became the primary meaning of the phrase in popular usage, despite the fact that such was not the original meaning of the phrase.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Auto-da-fé" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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