On 14 June 1620 the Vice-Prefect and an Assistant of the Archconfraternity of the Passion of Our Lord – commonly known as the Confraternity of the Holy Cross – expressed their gratitude to Archduke Albert for having accepted the office of Prefect.1 The Confraternity had been founded in 1612 and was based at the Capuchin church of Cologne. Its aim was to ‘cleanse the Church of heresy and chase this pest from the Empire by converting the heretics to the true faith’.2 To this purpose, it maintained an academy where it instructed about 100 sons of Protestant families in the doctrines of Catholicism. It claimed to have ‘had restored two entire parishes and a college of noble canonesses that had been infected by heresy’ to the old faith during the seven years of its existence.3 The first Prefect of the Confraternity had been the Provost of the Cathedral Chapter, the zealous Count and future Cardinal Eitel Frederick von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, who doubled as the Grand Chamberlain and favourite minister of Elector Ferdinand of Bavaria. His master had taken over as Prefect during last year and now it was Albert’s turn.4