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Extremely rare book from 17th century, banned by Pope Innocent XI, resurfaces

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'Varia Opuscula Theologica' by Spanish Jesuit Francisco Suarez was banned and all copies were ordered burned.

One of the most rare books, according to the website Abe Books, has surfaced in a pile of book donations from a donor to a British bookstore.

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span style="line-height: 15.8599996566772px;">MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The book "Varia Opuscula Theologica" (Various Theological Brochures) was written by one of the most distinguished scholars on theology of his time, Spanish Jesuit Francisco Suarez , and was first published in 1599.

In the 17th century, the Latin text was forbidden by Pope Innocent XI; the people were ordered to destroy and burn all copies of the book.

This rare old copy of the book is now in the hands of the manager of the Oxfam Bookshop, Tom Cotton.


"All of his [Suarez's] books were burned and this is a pre-burning copy. It is in Latin and is very obscure. It looks like it came from one of the famous Catholic colleges in Rome," said Cotton in the report of the Shropshire Star in UK. He noted that the 366-year-old donated copy has a stamp on its front cover, indicating its history as a part of a Roman library collection.

Francisco Suarez was a Spanish Jesuit priest and considered one of the most prominent figures in the movement "School of Salamanca." His books are among the prohibited case-based reasoning writings in 1679 by Pope Innocent XI.
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According to The Blaze, the book was priced at about $700 in the Abe Books site. Cotton has already called a former volunteer, who is useful at looking up and dealing with antiquarian books to confirm the value.

Coincidentally, it is not the first time the manager got hold of a rare and valuable book. He said that he had a first-edition copy of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," which he considers the most valuable book he's ever received, with a worth of about $800.

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