The story of Simon of Trent belongs to the reign of Prince-Bishop Johannes IV Hinderbach, an Austrian noble, under the jurisdiction of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. Shortly before Simon went missing, Bernardine of Feltre, an itinerant Franciscan preacher, had delivered a series of sermons in Trent in which he vilified the local Jewish community. When Simon went missing around Easter, 1475, his father decided that he must have been kidnapped and murdered in Palazzo Salvadori in the Trent by Jews. According to his story, the Jews had drained Simon of his blood for use in baking their Passover matzo and for occult rituals that they practiced in private.
According to historian Ronnie Po-chia Hsia:
“On Easter Sunday 1475, the dead body of a 2-year-old Christian boy named Simon was found in the cellar of a Jewish family’s house in Trent, Italy. Town magistrates arrested eighteen Jewish men and…
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