- This article is about the ritual. You may be looking for the memory.
An auto-da-fé (English: act of faith) was a ritual of public penance of condemned heretics.
The auto-da-fé was originally a ritual used by the Spanish Inquisition, in which the accused would prove their good faith. However, the proceedings often ended with the accused being condemned to death, in some cases by burning at the stake. The term therefore came to refer to the burning itself.
During the French Revolution, auto-da-fé took on the meaning of a revolutionary act of faith directed against Christian clerics.