A Murderer's Scruples

"Two priests of the little town of Cabo Corrubedo, province of Galicia, in Spain, long entertained a mortal hatred of each other. Eight nights ago, the younger of the two went out with his domestic, and waited at the corner of a street until the other priest appeared. They then stabbed him with a poignard until he fell dead. The two criminals were immediately arrested, it was not difficult to discover them, as the priest had by mistake left his own umbrella by the side of the corpse and had taken that of the victim. The domestic, when arrested, had his hands bloody, and the poignard with which the crime was committed was found in his pocket. On the tonsure of the murdered man the letters M. J. were cut. They are the initials of "Mary and Jesus," and it is a common belief in the province that if a priest be suddenly killed the cutting of these letters on his tonsure will save him from damnation. It is believed that they were cut by the priest from a feeling of charity."

From The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality (15/10/1853)