Later Mission Work
24-10-1698 Portuguese government to Governor of São Tomé
Take particular care that in the kingdom of Warri there always be an assistant priest, and that he be provided for in the customary way...
19-7-1701 P.F. Session
[The Prefect of São Tomé had requested an annual subsidy for the mission] especially since it is needed to provide the needs of some religious who are being sent to found a new mission in Warri, Benin or Arda, which he says he himself has visited.
Regarding this, I must say to your Eminences that Capuchin Fathers were assigned many times to these places, especially to Warri and Benin, from 1650 when that king became a Catholic. But then the missionaries were persecuted by the Vicar General of São Tomé under the pretext that they could not stay there without his permission, and he sent the Prefect to prison in Lisbon... [So the subsidy was turned down.]
1-9-1702 David Van Nyandael
As one comes about another half mile from the mouth, then one sees islands which are a half hour's distance from one another. On one of these the Portuguese have built a lodge and a church, at a town called Warri, which is independent and also has a free king who is not under the king of Great Benin, but is his neighbour and ally, although the king of Benin has greater honor than him or anyone else. He is the greatest king in the world, at least in the Guinea world. [??] His territory is known to extend 100 miles outside. When there is nothing outside, then [??] with much to tell. [mits hy sig inbeeld, de grooste koning der wereld te syn, ten minsten van de Guinese wereld, welke ontrent honderd mylen buiten syn land aen hem is bekend; want het geen daer buiten is, daer van fal hy, door onkunde, miet veel na vertellen.]
5-12-1707 P.F.: Summary of report of Francesco da Morro & Francesco da Monte Cassiano Monte Cassiano: Report
Fathers Francesco da Morro and Francesco da Monte Cassiano, Capuchins and formerly missionaries on the island of São Tomé, came to Rome after finishing their term in their mission and presented to Our Lord an account of the state and the needs of that mission. His Holiness has commanded this account to be communicated to Your Eminences and in substance it is the following:
The said mission includes the island of São Tomé, the island of Principe and the kingdoms of Warri, Benin and Arda.--------
The kingdom of Warri, or of St. Augustine, located on the continent three days from the ocean, has a climate not as hot as that of the island of São Tomé, but more humid. It has its own king, who is a Christian, as also are his vassals. The population, free and slaves, comes to around 30,000, and they are all black. this kingdom was entirely cleansed of idolatry and other supersitions by the work of the Cappuchin missionary fathers, but the vice of polygamy reigning there they were unable to uproot. Each man has several wives, and the king up to one hundred. They excuse this vice under the pretext that many wives are needed for domestic interests, while the richness of a house consists in having slaves who work scattered farms, but since these will obey only their own master and his wife, it is necessary to have women who can be distributed here and there to assist in supervising the work of these slaves. Because of this vice the missionaries have always refused to marry sacramentally the king and his chiefs. In spite of that, a black priest from São Tomé exiled by his bishop to that kingdom married him sacramentally and baptized several adults without catechizing them. Therefore the missionaries that the following must be done:
3o. that if Monsignor the Bishop or the Chapter of São Tomé exiles anyone they should prohibit him totally from involving himself in ecclesiastical matters and functions.
The kingdoms of Benin and Arda are very vast and have their own kings. The people are black and gentile, yet docile. But as long as there is the vice of polygamy, missionaries will not make progress, even if they are invited and well esteemed by the people.
The religious mentioned above then go on to describe the problems and abuses that prevail in those territories regarding black slaves, saying that they are sold and bought by Christian Portuguese and French traders without any consideration whether they are really slaves captured in a just war or not, which the Fathers suppose to be against the Papal Bulls. They also say that the same traders, in spite of a prohibition by the King of Portugal to his subjects, sell those people arms and amunition so that they can capture slaves among themselves and sell them.
These slaves then pass into the hands of the Portuguese and not only remain perpetually slaves without any hope of being redeemed, but are also barbarously treated, worse that if they were animals, even if they had become Christian, and their masters do not give a thought to their eternal salvation, not leaving them free so that they can work for themselves to provide for their food and clothing except on Sundays and feast days, so that they cannot observe the precepts of the Church on those days or carry out any devotions. The missionary Fathers, however, have tried to remedy this situation by persuading the masters to let them be free on Saturdays besides.
4o. The Fathers request that the slaves be allowed to enjoy this freedom also in the future, by order of the Holy See.
Although the masters spend many years in having their slaves instructed and baptized, in spite of the fact that the King of Portugal, to stop such an abuse, has declared free those slaves who at the end of so many months have not been found will instructed and baptized. Therefore the Fathers do not believe that this situation can be practically remedied without the presence of a Vicar Apostolic.
And because these Christian slaves, because of their natural incontinence, would live in perpetual concubinage, the missionaries try to have them married. But the masters are opposed to that, because when they are married a man cannot be sold without his wife, who sometimes becomes the slave of a different master.
So the missionaries request:
5o. an order of Our Lord to the Bishop or Vicar General of São Tomé that when they see that a male or female slave is impeded to marry by the master, he or she should be taken from the master by the Bishop or Vicar and set free.
And because even the prefects of that mission are negligent and even reluctant to give wives to the blacks who are given to the hospices of the missionaries because of a vow or as alms, these religious request:
60. that these prefects be ordered, just as superiors of other hospices, to let these blacks marry when they are of age.
The said religious also report that, in spite of the order of the King of Portugal that all the ships that go to the gentiles to buy slaves should carry a chaplain for the spiritual service of the seamen, the ships that come from Brazil every year to Guinea for that purpose do not observe this order. Therefore the poor seamen live and often die without sacraments. So they think it is necessary:
7o. that the Our Lord's Holiness should secretly order the bishops of Brasil to see that the ships destined for this purchase of blacks should be all provided with a chaplain.
The same religious also said orally to His Holiness that they could not celebrate Mass for a long time because they did not have wheat or wine for the Sacrifice. Regarding this, Monsignor the Secretary says that when Father Francesco da Pavia, Capuchin and once Prefect of the missions of Congo, had presented the same need for his missionaries to Your Eminences in the congregation of 2 May last year, they ordered that the missionaries be provided with these things as usual by means of the Lord Cardinal Conti, Nuncio in Portugal. When he was written to about that, he answered that he will make regular provision at the expence of the Apostolic Cabinet, which should then be reimbursed by the Sacred Congregation.
10-6-1709 Bonaventura d'Occimiano to P.F.
... And there persists the abuse, which prevails in all those territories, of selling and buying men in the market as beasts. So that many of those poor blacks, seeing themselves made slaves and despairing, kill themselves, mostly by drowning themselves, which they thing is necessary.
20-1-1710 Francesco da Collevechio
First in this letter we bow deeply in reverence to your Eminences; then we give you a sketch account of our missions so that, by satisfying our consciences with regard to your Eminences, we can find the help that we need. You must know that, when the current Prefect wanted to visit the missions at the beginning of his office, he went to the island of Principe, where the people are all Christians. From there he took the friars, that is, myself and Father Polinaria da Brescia, to the continent where he expected to find among those gentiles an avenue to sow our holy Faith. But when we arrived there we found just the contrary. After some days in the kingdom of Benin the king did not even give an audience to the Prefect. So, seeing the impossibility of doing any good there, he left with the same ship on which he had come, together with the friars.
They went to Warri, where there were two other of our missionaries. He brought here the same friars he had taken from the island of Principe, with the intention (since he could not penetrate Benin with a mission) of at least leaving them in Warri. But there he not only found all the laity obstinate idolaters and given to witchcraft and every sort of abominable divination, but besides, our two friars, who were there for some years without having any ship on which to return, not only only made no progress in the propagation of the Faith, but besides, after selling all their devotional articles to live and buy food, since that land had plenty of clay pots, they bought these at a cheap price and then carried them on their own shoulders, [going with] our two black [slaves] they had with them, to sell the pots in more distant countries at a better price, so that they could buy their daily food from that avarous [king].
When our Father Prefect not only found that all the people there were idolaters but had verified in practice that they did not want to leave their indignities and come to the Faith, and that the missionaries were obliged to trade like galley slaves, something not only unworthy, but entirely contrary to our state, he did not leave any further workers there, and even took away those who were there, until these two kingdoms are conquered by Portugal and the Protuguese have fortresses and governors to maintain the authority of the missionaries.
To the kingdom of Arda some years ago the Prefect previous to this one wanted to send two friars, but these returned right away, because that kingdom is a conquest of Holland and the Dutch have their fortresses there. And these, being heretics, did not want to receive our missionaries and to permit them to work there for the Faith.
Then, on this island of São Tomé there are not only the Chapter, the canons and priests who are sufficient to administer all the sacraments to the city and parishes, where there are not more than two or three thousand souls in the city, who are all Christians, but there is also a hospice of the Descalced Augustinian Fathers, who hear confessions, preach and conduct the rosary on Sundays. Besides, ten months ago, as we suppose that your Eminences have heard, the Capitular Vicar of this Chapter forbade with an excommunication thundered by [cadolore ??] and broadcast by a runner in front of our church and to our brothers, should they in any way in the future dare to preach to the people or hear their confessions. He likewise forbade under excommunication lay people from coming to our church to hear sermons or go to confession. This is because he expected the missionaries to show their credentials to the local ordinary, the Bishop or the Vicar, and that they should undergo an examination both for preaching and for confessions, and this is because the Chapter pretends and holds that both here and on the island of Principe, which is likewise a church governed by them, our mission need not be continued, that there is no more need to preach the faith there, since it is already established. And since our Prefect opposed all that, we are suspended by them, so that even when things calmed down we have nothing to do in this hospice, since the Chapter and the Augustinian Fathers are sufficient for confessions, and preaching is restricted to feast days, Lent and Advent, and rarely to some panegyrics of saints.
Since your Eminences can observe from all this how missionaries come here, as we are actually here, with the intention of doing much, as is done in other missions, and then can do nothing. So we do nothing other than say Mass and say Our Fathers for ourselves. For the future, may your Eminences not only send no more missionaries, but besides, in reply to this letter, order us what we should be engaged in, so as not to lead an idle life as at present. If our Father Prefect has not yet informed your Eminences of all this, you should know that this is because he does not want it to be said in the Order that during the time of his rule the mission was disolved. Yet, owing so much to you, we therefore again bow before to your eminences and, praying the Lord to grant you an increase in his holy grace, we remain kissing the hem of your sacred purple robes.
São Tomé, 20 January 1710
12-5-1711 P.F. reaction to reports
[We heard before:]
That the kingdom of Warri and St. Augustine on the continent, three days away by sea, has its own king, whom the same Fathers say is Christian, along with all his vassals, who all together, including slaves and free, number 30,000, who are all black.
That this kingdom was totally cleansed of idolatry and other superstitions by the work of Capuchin missionaries, but polygamy reigns there and cannot be uprooted, under the pretext that many wives are necessary also for domestic interests, so that they may be posted here and there to supervise the work of the slaves.
This, however, does not agree with what the missionary Fathers say who write to us now, who say that they cannot stay there and that it is full of idolaters who are most obstinate in their superstitions. They say that the kingdoms of Benin and Arda are very large and have their own kings; their people are black gentiles, yet docile. However the vice of polygamy that we mentioned prevents the missionaries from making any progress, even though they are invited and well looked upon by those peoples. What Father Francesco da Collevecchio and his companions tell us is confirmed in a report presented to His Holiness by Father Bonaventura d'Occimiano, a Capuchin returned from the mission of São Tomé and referred to in this Sacred Congregation on 10 June 1709, which says that the missionaries on that island only preach and catechize, since the secular parish priests administer the sacraments; he also says that these and all the other ecclesiastics have very relaxed moral habits, to the great scandal of the people, and therefore he suggested giving a Vicar Apostolic charge of the place, since the bishops who go there hardly ever live there.
2-11-1710 Oba of Benin to Procurator General of Capuchins
Reverend Father: A long time ago, especially when my father was governing, we decided to embrace the law of Christ. Yet we could not put this into practice because of the various wars which afflicted this very wide kingdom which borders on kingdoms of various gentile and idolatrous peoples. Now, however, that by the grace of God we enjoy full peace, the right time to complete this work is not to be lost, especially in view of the interest of the Father Prefect, Friar Cipriano da Napoli, who after his return to the island of São Tomé sent two religious missionaries to my kingdom, who were welcomed by all with the affection with which they were awaited. I had them assigned a site and a dwelling, so that they would be free from any other duty but looking after the worship of God and the progress of souls. I will help them further so that all may embrace the Christian Faith, as I explain further in the enclosed letters which your Reverend Paternity shall transmit to the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. May your Reverend Paternity not neglect the momentum of this affair, so that its intended good may not be frustrated. I will not be lacking on my part to my obligation of satisfying the Fathers in everything that is possible and necessary for the growth of this mission.
From the kingdom of Benin, 2 November 1710. Your devoted Son, the Oba, King of Benin.
2-11-1710 Oba of Benin to P.F.
Most Eminent Lord Cardinals: A long time ago, when the Capuchin missionary fathers came to this kingdom, we all welcomed them with particular attention because of their reputation in working for the worship of God. We demonstrated our affection for them for their good European customs as well as because we wanted to embrace the Catholic Faith which they profess. Up to now, however, because of the wars which took our attention, we could not put this into practice. So the Prefect, Father Cipriano da Napoli, returned to the island of São Tomé after a year here, hoping that at another time he could extend his work in our favour, as did happen. For this year he sent two Fathers to this kingdom, whom I, my chiefs and the whole people received and warmly welcomed. They are staying in this city of ours, since I gave them some buildings on a free site which is exempt and independent for the free comfort of themselves and other fathers who may come to this kingdom. They have already accepted the gift, and it remains subject to the Supreme Pontiff and to your Eminences, whose subjects these Fathers are. But that the teaching of Christ may be spread in this vast kingdom of ours, more Fathers are necessary. So let them turn to me to help in accomplishing such a pious work and in extending divine worship; I and my chiefs will not neglect to give them every possible help. We remain devoted to Your Eminences, from whihc I ask a blessing, and may God protect you.
From the kingdom of Benin, 2 November 1710. Your humble and faithful Son, the Oba, King of Benin.
2-11-1710 Oba of Benin to the Pope
Most Blessed Father: Today, by the grace of God, I call myself the most humble Son of Your Holiness, whom I venerate as the Vicar of Christ and from whom I reverently beg your holy blessing, since in my and in all my subjects our long-standing desire desire to embrace the Faith of Christ is still alive, just as it was in the time of my Father who was of the same mind, in view of the edifying example that the Italian Capuchins showed many years ago when they came through this kingdom on their way to the kingdom of Warri. Our plan was not then put into effect not for lack of care or of preaching on the part of those Fathers, but because of the wars that engulfed my whole kingdom. For after the Father Prefect, Friar Cipriano da Napoli, who spent a year tirelessly laboring among us for this purpose, noticed the difficulties arising from that war, he returned to the island of São Tomé, but with a firm hope in God that neither his work nor our desire would be frustrated. Now the Divine Mercy has been pleased to console us, since the same Father Prefect sent two Fathers to us, whom we kindly received, and both myself and my chiefs welcomed and followed their counsel. I also commanded them to be given a site and a suitable house them to live in as well as other Fathers whom they would call in the future. This was given to them by a public gift, so that they could freely use it, live there and work for the worship of God. In view, however, of the vastness of my kingdom, a greater number of evangelical workers is needed. So, with the greatest submissiveness I can muster, I request of Your Holiness to appoint more religious for the carrying out of such a holy work. Be assured that, for my part, I will exactly carry out my duty of [providing] them with everything that is necessary for the worship of God and their personal needs. At the same time, I subject myself to the obedience of Holy Mother the Church and I recognize Your Holiness as its head and Lord of my kingdom. May God prosper Your Holiness, whose sacred feet I kiss with the greatest humility I can muster. From the kingdom of Benin, 2 November 1710. Your unworthy and most humble Son etc. The Oba, King of Benin.
14-12-1711 P.F. report of Nuncio to Portugal
Monsignor the Nuncio in Portugal informs you Excellencies about the request of the missionary Capuchin Fathers on the island of S. Tomé to be assigned elsewhere, since they seem to be useless and superfluous there, given the opposition of the secular clergy, who do not permit them to exercize their office. He says that the petitioners' case has foundation, and they are truly judged useless on that mission, not only because on that island there is an abundance of secular and even religious priests, but also because they are denied access to the nearby kingdom of Warri, which has completely turned back to paganism. Yet he concludes that, with the agreement of the Italian Capuchin Fathers in Lisbon, it would be better for this Congregation or the King of Portugal, in the absence of the Capuchin missionaries, to ask the pro tempore bishop of S. Thomé to send the Augustinian Fathers, who continuously live at S. Thomé, to the kingdom of Warri and also to the region of Cabinda, where the people also live like pagans, even though they have received baptism.
19-4-1712 The King to the Governor of São Tomé
For the Governor of the island of São Tomé:
Governor of the island of Sao Tomé: Reverend Father Cipriano da Napoli, Prefect of the Capuchin missionaries of this island, in a letter of 28 April of last year, informed me of his having sent two religious of his mission to the kingdom of Benin, where they were received by the king and his nobles, and that he then had them given houses and a site to build a church. Since the same king assures me in a letter that he wrote me and shows himself inclined to follow the Catholic Faith, and since in his letter he indicates that he received the said religious in the name of the Sacred Congregation, I have decided to order you to gather all the necessary information on the form in which the said fathers accepted and adjusted the gift to them of such a site, and inform me of what you find. Written in Lisbon on the 19th of April 1712 The King
1712 Conselho Ultramarino to Cipriano da Napoli
For the Prefect of the Capuchins of São Tomé:
Father Friar Cipriano da Napoli etc.: I saw a your recommendation of 28 April of last year, in which you report having sent two religious to on mision to the kingdom of Benin, where they were also received by the king and his nobles, and that he then commanded them to be given houses and a site to build a church. As the same king assures me in a letter which he wrote to me and he shows himself inclined to follow the Catholic Faith, and because in his letter he indicates that he received the said religious in the name of the Sacred Congregation, I have deemed fit to order you that in the case that there is some parcel of land that the king of Benin has given, it should be taken... [next page missing]
1713 P.F. summarizing report of Filippo Calvello
In 1713 Father Filippo di Calvello, returning from São Tomé, reported that the Capuchins were fruitful there... that in the kingdom of Warri there prevailed many disorders with no hope of removing any of them. The People are indocile and given to idolatry and superstition. In Benin, for th same reason, there is little good to be accomplished, but its king had courteously received two missionaries and given them their own place and house to live in...
12-6-1714 P.F. on Benin developments
It was right for me to remind your Eminences that Monsignor the Nuncio to Portugal sent two copies of letters, one from the king of Benin to the king of Portugal in which he asked for other Capuchin missionaries, and another from the king of Portugal to the Father Prefect of São Tomé, in which he commands him to accept in the name of His Majesty, and not in the name of this Sacred Congregation, the house and church given by the same king of benin to the Capuchin Fathers.
9-1-1719 P.F. summarizing report of Celestino d'Aspra
Father Celestino d'Aspra, Capuchin and once missionary in São Tomé and other nearby places, having returned from those missions after completing his term, to fulfil the order given to him by His Holiness, has presented a brief account of the state and disorders that he has observed in those missions...
Regarding the kingdom of Benin, included in the district of that mission prefecture, he says that, having managed to enter it with a companion by means of presents and stayed there three years, he saw no possibility of accomplishing anything, since those people are most obstinante in their errors. Even though they admit that there is a God, Creator of everything, they say that the true God is that of the white Christians, while theirs is the Devil, whom they adore because he is evil and wicked, but he tells them what they want to know and also so that he may harm them less. Some people there would like to follow the Holy Faith, but the king will not give permission and freedom to profess it.
Regarding what Monsignor the Secretary says, that Fathers Francisco da Colle Vecchio and Filippo da Calvello, Capuchins and one missionaries in São Tomé, reported in 1711 and 1713 that in the kingdom of Benin little could be accomplished because it was full of idolaters obstinate in their superstitions. Besides, in 1712 there were letters from that king in which he professed to have converted to the holy Catholic Faith, and in 1714 there was a report that he had received the Capuchin Fathers into his kingdom and given them a house and a site to build a church.
1722 Bernardo Maria da Salerno to P.F.: made Prefect — SR, v. 4, f. 204
My most Eminent Lord Cardinals of Propaganda Fide
The High Providence of the Most High Lord God permitted me to receive from our Most Reverend Father Procurator General a letter in which hte told me that your Eminences have disposed of my poor person to be prefect of the missions of S. Thomé, having been in the territory for the space of seven years. Although the decree has not yet reached my hands, nevertheless, since our Father Procurator has indicated in his letter to me that it has already been sent, and that by virtue of his letter of obedience I should proceed to these missions of yours. Since I happen to be already located in Bahia, I feel obligated by my office to inform your Eminences of what is happening, so as to put the right remedy to the situation....
18-7-1722 Alessandro Maurizio da Uercelli
S. Thomé li 18 Luglio 1722.
Most Illustrious and Reverend Lord
Already in an other letter, moved by zeal not to see this mission lost, since it is most necessary in this place for the gain and growth of our most Holy Faith, I was moved to place myself at the feet of your Very Great and Reverend Holiness to give you an account of the miserable state in which this mission finds itself, because it was not helped in time with missionaries. Therefore, be so kind as to bring this to the attention of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, since I have not found any help in this matter through the many requests I made to the Fr. Procurator General of the Order. I ardently repeat the same thing, so that I will not be blaimed at the tribunal of God for so many omissions that led to the spiritual damage of the souls of these people and of the pagans of the coast because I did not give advice.
When I arrived here I did not find a single missionary in the whole mission. I, with eight others, incuding two lay brothers, re-opened the mission in the kingdom of Warri, where I went personally for this purpose. I succeeded in this and will give attention to it ??[questa ho obtenuto ue arrichero] but, since three missionaries have died and the few others who remain have finished their term, it is no longer possible to detain them in this pestiferous climate; so they must leave for Europe. In the seven years and more that I have been here I have had no help of missionaries, except for Fr. Luigi da Genova who arrived recently. So I was forced to abandon again the mission of the kingdom of Warri with very notable spiritual damage to those poor people. If some help does not arrive soon, I will be forced to close other hospices. I present this before the incomparable zeal of your Most Illustrious and Reverend [self], so that this damage can be remedied as soon as possible. Most humbly kneeling before you, I conclude by kissing the sacred hems.
Di V.M.ma e Reuerend.ma humil.mo et Esseq.mo seruo
Fra Alessandro Maoritio da Vercelli Cap.no Prefetto.
3-7-1724 Andrea da Mornico to P.F.
Father Andrea da Mornico, Capuchin and recently returned from the mission of São Tomé where he finished his seven years, gives this report to Your Eminences:
The kingdoms of Warri and Benin
On the coast of Elmina there are the two kingdoms of Warri and Benin which have large populations with many Christians, particularly the first, which is the only one among so many kingdoms in that region whose king, court and black chiefs are all Catholic and most devoted to our Holy Faith.
For this reason these kingdoms are particularly respected and loved by the king of Portugal. He thinks that there are Capuchin missionaries there now, but the truth is that two went there some time ago, but later, because of the scarcity of religious, no more have gone. Therefore, he says, it is necessary to send two priests and one lay brother to each of these kingdoms and to provide adequately for them, so that they are not lacking in wine and wheat for Mass, since those kingdoms lack these things entirely.
Regarding this I have the honour of telling Your Eminences that in 1711 there was news of some Capuchins sent to São Tomé, and that these sacred workers could not stay in Benin and Warri or accomplish any good, because these places were full of idolaters most obstinate in their superstitions. Father Filippo di Calvello also reports that in 1713 in Warri he found very many disorders, without hope of removing any of them, that the people were indocile and dedicated exclusively to idolatry and superstition. Regarding the kingdom of Benin, he says that he found little chance of doing any good there for the same reasons and superstitions, although he heard that that king had courteously received some missionaries. He added that not even four of these would be sufficient there. In fact, in 1714 he heard that this king had received two fathers and gave them a site and a house to live in. Yet in 1719 Father Celestino d'Aspra, returning from the missions of São Tomé, said that he and a companion penetrated into the divided kingdom and stayed there for three years; he said that he could not accomplish anything there, since the people were most stubborn in their errors and they adore the devil. There are some there who would follow the Holy Faith, but the king did not want to grant permission and freedom to profess it...
c. 1724 Andrea da Mornico to P.F.
... Then on the coast of Elmina there are the two kingdoms of Warri and Benin, which are heavily populated and have many Christians, particularly Warri which, among so many kingdoms, is the only one whose king, court and black chiefs are all Catholic and most devoted to our most holy religion. His Majesty, the king of Portugal, respects and loves those kingdoms and is a zealous promotor?? of their eternal salvation. He thinks that some of our missionaries are presently working there, but the truth is that two were there one time, but no more were sent again, because of the fewness of religious that can be sent there from here; it is absolutely impossible with so few men?? and such a vast mission territory. In each of these two kingdoms there should be at least two good missionaries with a lay brother. There should also be some provision so that they do not lack wheat or wine for the celebration of the sacred mysteries, since it is pitiful how such things are totally lacking in those kingdoms...
17-4-1725 Nuncio in Lisbon — SR, v. 4, f. 356
Most Excellent and Reverend Lord, my Prefect Col.mo??
In order that the kingdom of Benin, the islands of Principe and Annobon, as well as Whydah may be provided with missionaries, this Prefect Superior of the Capuchins writes to the Prefect [??Pre.] Procurator asking him urgently to send as many religious as are thought necessary for the missions. Since I consider it my obligation and for the good o those souls, I again beg your Illustrious Holiness to organize an urgent expedition of subjects to go to those parts. To avoid the difficulties that could arise in carrying out this plan, it is necessary to assign to S. Tomé all the missionaries that you send, with the understanding that the Fr. Prefect there will disperse them to the various stations as he sees best. So that in their letters of assignment the precise mission to which they will go should not be mentioned. The precaution is very necessary to avoid getting into useless transactions. Expressing to your Most Illustrious Holiness my inalterable homage, I humbly kiss your hands.
Lisbon, 17 April 1725My Reverend and Illustrious Holiness, ??[M.S.Ill.ma Rma]
most faithful and observant?? [Fid.mo et Oss. ser.uero]
Fr. Antonio di Nicea
[bottom of first page:] Mons. Ruspoli, Seg.rio di Propaganda Fide, Roma.
18-6-1729 Prefect to P.F. — SR, v. 4, f.?
Since I was ordered to give the Most Sacred Congregation of Propaganda a distinct and faithful report of the state in which I found the mission of S. Thomé, what I did to put it in order and how I presently find it provided with missionaries, I declare that, having shown complete indifference to an assignment to the missions, I was told to report to Genoa on the [-] of August 1713, and then in the month of November I received the order to move to Rome and there receive the necessary documents for the government of that mission which was totally lost because of a quarrel that raged between the missionaries and the canons of S. Tomé and because of French invasions. I am prudently to try to take possession of the houses and put and end to every quarrel. I am to be cautious not to bring on any problem between your Congregation and the Court of Portugal. The following Fathers were assigned to me as missionaries: Bernardo Maria da Saleme, priest; Fr. Andrea da Mornico, preacher; Fr. Benedetto da Morano, preacher; Fr. Cuargelita da Torino, preacher; Fr. Daniele da Rogiano, preacher; Fr. Domenico da Cesena, preast; Fr. Patritio da Venezia, priest; Fr. Domenico da Cimira, preacher; Fra Francesco Maria da Monte Altodo, lay brother; Fra Michel Angelo d'Aquaviva and Fra Domenico d'Agliano, lay brothers; which totals as 9 priests and 3 lay brothers. Of these, the preacher Fr. da Cimira and Fran Angelo d'Aquaviva turned back at Genoa, and in Lisbon Fr. Patritio da Venezia. I was promised three others, but I have never seen them.
I arrived at S. Tomé on 24 June 1715. In the whole district of the mission I did not find any other missionary except Fr. Giovanni Giacomo Romano on the islan of Principe. All the hospices were abandoned and in the hands of lay people. Desiring to find accommodation with the Chapter, I saw that the Bishop, whom I found in Lisbon, wrote a letter to those Canons and exhorted them to give me friendly treatment. And that is what happened, because the day after my arrival they all came to see me, and with a few words we were in agreement, and never again was there talk of quarrel, and they all lived in peace.
After the usual sicknesses were past, I devoted myself to repairing the hospices. I sent to the island of Principe Fr. Andrea da Mornico, with Fr. Bernardo Maria da Saleme and, since Fr. Giovanni Giacomo Romano had left for Europe, I also sent to the island of Principe Fr. Domenico da Cesena.
In 1717, when there was a ship going to Warri, I decided to go ther personally and reestablish that mission which, for lack of missionaries, had been without assistance for ten years. I took with me Fr.Daniele da Rogiano, and when I went to the island of Principe I took Fr. Bernardo Maria da Saleme and Fra Francesco Maria da Monte Albodo, leaving in S. Thomé Fr. Cuangelita da Torino as Vice-Prefect and Fr. Benedetto da Morano, who had arrived a few days before from Brasil, and Fr. Tomerato d'Agliaso. In Warri I was received with joy by the King and his people, who had lived abandoned for so many years. I entrusted this mission to Fr. Bernardo Maria da Saleme and Fr. Daniele da Rogiano. They rebuilt the whole hospice. I desired to go on to Benin, but could not because of sickness and the wars that were going on among those pagan kings.
The next year, 1718, in the month of June I returned to the island of Principe with Fra Francesco Maria da Monte Albodo, whom I left there to serve that mission, since a new hospice was under construction after the old one had been burned down by the French when they sacked the island. At this hospice there remains now to make and move in the necessary furnishings both for the church and for the house.
On 14 August o the same year I returned to the islad of Principe from S. Tomé, where I expected to fine new missionaries, but at the hospice I found Fr. Benedetto da Morano dead, and Fr. Cuangalitá da Torino in a dying state. He in fact did die later in Brasil, where I sent him to be treated. Here at S. Thomé I am alone with Fra Domenico d'Agliano for some time, with the only hope that missionaries will join me, in reply to my many letters...
13-1-1731 Consulta: regarding letter of Capitão Mor of Princepe
A report was given about what the Captain Major of the island of Principe says in a letter with respect to the kingdom of Warri, that the King wrote of the necessity they have of Fathers to administer the sacraments to his vassals, and of images for their veneration, and the letter goes on with information which the petitioner [?] acknowledges.
The Captain Major of the island of Principe, Joaõ Reiz Lima, in a letter of 20 November of last year reported to your Majesty that you ordered him to inform him of the condition of the kingdom of Warri, he put diligent effort into this. As a result, the king of that kingdom wrote to your Majesty the enclosed letter of 16 August of that year, in which he presents the great necessity of having fathers to administer the sacraments to his vassals, and that they likewise lack images of Christ, the Immaculate Conception, St. Lawrence and St. Anthony, since those that were sent to that kingdom by the excellent predecessors of your Majesty have been found badly damaged.
Ordering the superior of the Italian missionaries who assist on this coast to inform him about what is contained in the letter of the said king of Warri, with his information he made sure that the sovereign presence of your Majesty knew about it.
When all this was shown to the Procurator of the treasury, he answered that he wanted to have the enclosed letter presented to your Majesty so that your Majesty would be pleased to grant the very just petition made in the letter, and that the accompanying information is verified.
The Council thinks that it would be very fitting both for the service of God and for the good of all that Christianity that your Majesty should be pleased to have sent to the king of Warri what the superior of the Italian missionaries lists, as well as the images that the said king asks for in his letter. Western Portugal, the 13th of January 1731. Costa S. Thomé, Souza Galvaõ.
1-6-1733 P.F. on the S. Tomé missions
XII. Coming now to the missions of the Prefecture o S. Tomé, the Fr. Procurator General, in a letter on page 119 reminds your Excellencies that the Congregation of 12 September 1729 considered the fact that, for the lack of missionaries, some of them dead and some returned to Bahia because of ill health, the missions were almost totally abandoned, with nearly all the hospices closed. It then decreed to send another expedition of eight missioaries, besides those who had been sent in 1728, and that every year two should be sent, with the idea that, since the climate there is so hot and intemperate, few can resist it, and few even arrive there, as happened in 1726 that of eight religious only two arrived, and one of these died after a year.
Yet, so that such an old and fruitful mission may not be lost, he begs that you order that an annual expedition be carried out. Even though it was stabilized in the year 1728, it has never yet been strengthened, for lack of the necessary money, since 40 scudi are needed [to send] each religious. Only the expedition of the eight religious was carried out, part in 1739 and part in 1731, with the hope that another would be added when news of their arrival reached Bahia.
XIII. Dipending on the Prefecture of S. Tomé are the nearby island of Anobon, inhabited by people who know they are descendants of Christians, but for lack of priests remain deprived of education and sacraments, and so have fallen into many vices and superstitions. In 1726 Fr. Bernardo da Salemi, then Prefect, moved there and worked much good in those souls, who for 22 years had been deprived of evangelical ministers. He baptized there 335 persons, joined many of them in matrimony, removing over a hundred from a long life in evil. But he stayed there only about a year, leaving because his age of over 70 did not pemit him to stay there a long time. He left there a small hospice founded by himself, and likewise six or seven chapels in different localities, so that the people could gather there and do their devotions. Yet those miserable island people remain from that time up to now in the same desolation as in the past because the scarcity of religious in the mission of S. Tomé has not allowed any way of helping them.
XIV. In the same Vicariate are the missions of Whydah, Aiuda, Ardra, Sogno, Warri and Bein, so that the Christian religion is moving towards total extinction, with hospices closed not only because of a lack of a sufficient number of missionaries, but also because of the difficulty of communicating with S. Tomé, which is necessary for their needs that arise. So it is difficult to get missionaries to go there unless they are first assured that at least once a year some ship will come from S. Tomé.
The Father Procurator General nevertheless suggests that to carry that out it would be necessary to get the King of Portugal to give the proper orders to the Governor of S. Tomé, and to provide a religious subsidy to those missionaries who must exercise apostolic ministry in those places. He added taht in the year 1731 letters came to Lisbon from the King of Warri asking the King of Portugal to send him missionaries, since he and his people had been deprived of them for about 18 years, and consequently were without sacraments and the word of God.
In this proposal, however, attention should be given to a letter to this Sacred Congregation from Fr. Girolamo a Scilla, a missionary in S. Tomé who was thrown out of Congo. On 10 February 1732 he wrote (ref. M) that, except for the island of Anobon where there is much promise of progres, in the other kingdoms of Benin, Warri, Whydah etc. the missionaries are useless, since the peoples of those countries are all scattered and some of those kings, like that of Benin, does not permit his subjects to receive baptism. He concludes that, rather than losing so many religious and the Congregation uselessly spending so much money for their transport, for the whole Prefecture of S. Tomé six religious would be enough, that is, 2 in the city of S. Tomé, 2 on the island of Anobon, and 2 on the island of Principe. He says that both in S. Tomé and in Principe the people have no need of Capuchins, since these only say Mass and preach in Lent, and those Christians can satisfy their devotion without the help of the Capuchins.
XV. Since the Prefect of the missions of S. Tomé has passed to the other life, the Procurtor Geeral proposes for that office Fr. Pier Maria, who arrived there a few months ago. He is regarded as very suitable from every point of view, the more so since he was left as Vice-Prefect by the deceased, as is stated in the memorandum of the Fr. Procurtor (ref. N).
19-11-1733 Gov. of S. Tomé to King of Portugal
The Procurator General of the royal treasury in the city of Bahia sent me four statues, one of Christ, the other of the Immaculate Conception which arrived with one arm broken and the other damaged, and one of St. Anthony and of St. Lawrence, three cases of liquor which are missing three bottles which all came full except one that was broken, three capes covered with red satin, three spring-cloth rolls measuring 20 yards each, three large rolls of tobacco, a letter of your Majesty for Dom Augostinho, king of Warri, and a copy of the order that he received with these things and I am to have carried out. Since Father Friar Archangelo da Parma has not arrived, neither in the city of Bahia nor in this island from where he was to leave because of sickness for Rio de Janeiro, nor Father Friar Joâo Pedro, his companion, who also had come assigned for the mission of Warri, I had, at the expense of your Majesty's treasury, the statue of the Immaculate Conception repaired and the bottles replaced which were missing in the cases, since I did not think it right to send them as they were;... the other went in the form that it arrived.
But I think that it would be better, since the said Dom Augostinho has died and a brother of his is ruling, that the statues should not be sent and the excuse given that there was no room for them in the ship that was to go, and they should only be sent in the company of a missionary after it is seen that there is a place to put the said statues or they construct churches for them, since the one that is there, which is called St. Anthony, is presently serving as a cow corral, and if the statues are not going to be treated with the veneration that they deserve it is better that they stay and are given some of the churches of this island that lack such, to prevent the same thing from happening as did to the statue of Christ given by a Joam Fernandes Lima, who lived on the island of Principe, which because of drought they hacked to pieces.
The Christianity of this people is such that in the very house where the king lives there are also his idols, kept more decently than the divine images. I have no doubt that this mission will bear some fruit, but that will be among the innocent who are not of the age of the use of reason. For the majority I think it will be useless work, especially when there is not the assitance of missionaries. To get and preserve these it will be necessary for the Italian Capuchins to be given transport to bring these missionaries and to provide them with what is necessary for their passage. The land will only support the indigenous who live there, and not religious born in Europe. If they do not have this they cannot survive, because closer to this island is the island of Anno Bon, and since I have been in this governorship I have not had any news of it, and besides all its people are Christian. An Italian religious visited it, coming by chance from Brazilo. I have no news of him, and it would not be easy to get news; the only thing that is sure is that a ship left the island.
The island of Principe often goes eight months or a year without our getting any news of it. This is what I have experienced of Principe more than any other place, and all are of the same opinion. So I make it my obligation to report to your Majesty so that you can command what pleases you.
May God guard the royal person of your Majesty. From São Tomé, 19 November 1733.
Seen by the Procurator of the treasury, Western Portugal, 18 August 1735.
I think it would be in accord with the royal greatness and piety of your Majesty to strengthen and favour this mission, not only with the littel that the Italian Capuchin Fathers request, but with all that is necessary to carry out this service which is so pleasing to God.
10-7-1734 Gov. of S. Tomé to Olu of Warri
Copy of a letter written to the king of Warri:
Regarding a letter of your Majesty to the head of a compound of this island called Melchior de Souza Ramos, in this letter is a notice that your Majesty has been acclaimed king of the kingdom of Warri. I congratulate you for that, and I would like you to be preserved in your rule, with all the prosperity that you desire.
Rev. Father Francisco, a Capuchin missionary, will give your Majesty a letter of the King, my Lord, together with three large rolls of tobacco, three cases of liquor, three rolls of silk, each twenty yards long, and three capes embroidered in gold, and covered with red satin. In addition there are four statues which could not go because there was not enough space on the ship, one of Christ, another of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, another of St. Anthony, and another of St. Lawrence, which will be sent to your kingdom at the nearest opportunity. Meanwhile your Majesty has time to have a church built to house these statues with the decency that is fitting, as you assist the missionary fathers, after the example of your Majesty, to bring these souls into the Roman Catholic Church, since this is the aim for which the King my Lord sent them there, and they will let him know if it is otherwise. May God guard the person of your Maesty for many years. São Tomé, 10 July 1734.
13-4-1735 Gov. of S. Tomé to King of Portugal
I have already reported to your Majesty in a letter of 20 November 1733 how the Procurator of Bahia sent four statues, three large rolls of tobacco, three fine capes embroidered with gold and decorated with red silk, three pieces of silk, each 20 yards long, three cases of liquor, and a letter of your Majesty for Dom Augostinho, king of Warri, which have all been handed over by the Father Superior of the Italian Capuchins, and that he held back the four statues with the excuse that there was not enough room on the ship, until a church was built to accommodate the statues decently. When Father Francisco Maria left for Warri the carried these things along with a letter of your Majesty and one of my own for king Dom Augostinho, a copy of which I enclose for your Majesty. The said Fatheer wrote to me of the little fruit produced there, and that he made up his mind to leave at the first opportunity. For this reason I think the decision was justified not to sent the said statues, which are kept in the hospice of the said Fathers until your Majesty determines what is to be done with them.
May God preserve the royal person of your Majesty for many years. São Tomé, 13 April 1735.
Copy of the letter written to the king of Warri.
19-8-1735 Consulta do Conselho Ultramarino
Regarding what the Governor of São Tomé reports to your Majesty and what the Superior of the Italian Capuchins replies, the Council thinks that it would serve God and your Majesty that your Majesty should be pleased to order a ship to be built to transport these and other missionaries to their missions. This will also serve to maintain communication with the islands subject to that governorship so that the orders of your Majesty may be promply carried out.
Regarding what the same Governor states concerning the beautiful statues which arrived in that governorship to be sent to the kingdom of Warri, the Council thinks that your Majesty should be pleased to refer this matter to theologians to examine whether or not it is fitting to send these statues to those neophytes.
Western Lisbon, 19 August 1735.
no date, c. 1735 Consulta do Conselho Ultramarino
The Father Superior and Procurator of the Italian Capuchin missionaries said that a religious missionary has now arrived to open a mission on the island of São Tomé. Recognizing how very useful it would be for the service God our Lord and of your Majesty to maintain communication between the king of Warri and the Portuguese nation, and since these religious confirm that the said king wants to admit only the Portuguese into his kingdom, having expelled all the other nations, for this reason the said Father is appealing to your Majesty, since this Council thinks it important to preserve this good friendship, that a gift should be sent with the said missionaries along with a letter from your Majesty so that this king may more easily be disposed to favour us Portuguese for the growth of the Catholic religion already introduced into that kingdom. The said Father Superior thinks the said gift should include a little liquor, a little tobacco, a cape with red borders, some pieces of silk for his other clothing etc.
Considering the reasons cited, we recommend that your Majesty do the favour of sending to the king of Warry a gift of the things mentioned above so as to maintain his good friendship with the Portuguese nation as well as the missions in his kingdom.
Since it is of great service of God and to your Majesty and the extension of the Catholic Religion that the king mentioned by this religious should be won to our side, so that through his friendship the whole State of Brazil can import slaves obtainable in his lands, the Council recommends that your Majesty should grant the things he listed to the amount of 400,000 reals, so that this means may not only attract him to trade and have good relations with us, but also the other kings of that coast.
18-5-1749 Illuminato di Poggetello to P.F., from Pernambuco
Your Eminence: To obey the hints and not just the commands of your Eminence in giving you an account of all that is important in the mission of São Tomé, I tell with pure reverence and respect how, after a few months in the office of Prefect, I had the chance to go to the kingdom of Benin. That was because I heard, and it was the truth, that that king had [??] to say. When I arrived in that kingdom I was constrained to go back, because the king let me know by his messengers that if I wanted to go there I could freely go, but I would have to pay the cost of the trip. Then, impeded by the pains of scabies (God spare your Eminence!) and robbery [...??] I turned to the mission of Warri. When I arrived there I was received with mediocre enthusiams of that kig and his black chiefs. But, Your Eminence, I accomplished little there, singularly unproductive [??] in the three months and more that I stayed there, because they do not want to abandon their ancient customs of dancing day and night and their diabolical superstitions. When the missionary comes he finds things in order[??], as they hide everything, but when the Father goes away, they turn back to what they were, as far as I have seen and experienced in person. Those people also show externally that they believe everything that the missionary says, saying that it is right [??] and true; they believe in God, in Jesus Christ and in the saints, to whom they light lamps, but in practice, like real atheists, they deny everything. And if they light those lamps, as they love doing, to St. Anthony, they do so only to ask God and the saint for vengeance against those from whom they received any offence. The king, the Captain Major and another chief of the palace [??] shout and exclaim to the people, but all for harm [??] and for this purpose. Although they show themselves still zealous and desirous to be instructed, they do not profess obedience nor do they esteem their good exhortations [??]. It is enough to say, Most Eminent Lord, that they do not believe in the miracles that took place long ago or after my departure, as I was told. Such, then, is the state of that ancient mission. The Lord King of Portugal sent them some very beautiful statues, but I found them put away in a cave [??]; when I arrived they brought them out and put them under a straw shelter, have ruined as they were found. Your Eminence could reply that the continuous assistance of at least one missionary Father is necessary. And I respect the oracle with humor, if I am permitted to say and explain the difficulties that are met there.
In the first place, your Eminence should know that one cannot enter and leave that irregular port and river, full of robbers who live among those horrible and watery marshes without a boat made for this purpose, and that we do not have, because in São Tomé there is a wooden vessel of the Lord King of Portugal destined for the Lord Bishop and the missionary Fathers, but it is not suitable, according to experts, for that dangerous port.
In the second place, it is necessary for the missionary father to go there well provided with food for the whole time he wants to stay there, sine he can find ther only some roots, fruits and melons that cost a lot, consisting of some fruits of the sea at a very high price. This food cannot be supplied to him entirely by the hospice and the mission of São Tomé, which is supported by way of some Masses that are celebrated.
The third difficulty, if the first two can be resolved, is that we do not have enough missionaries to provide for the mission of Warri. Most Eminent Lord, I am speaking always with devote respect: When I left Benin in 1742, there was sent through São Tomé from the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith a group of thirteen missionaries. Of these four passed to a better life; three others repented and went back, one to Bahia with my permission, because he was gravely ill with a mortal and contageous disease. The rest who stayed are six, of the nine of us. We have two fathers who have worked for seven years. Some others[??] are shaking and would like to depart, either for America or for Bahia. So Your Eminence can see the constraints I am in, especially since I am not presently in Sao Tomé but in Pernambuco. I have been here for some time because of a painful internal disease and pains of leprosy, which I contracted in Warri. In fact [I came] here by necessity, since many advised me come here, although I hope in the Lord to return to the mission assigned to me as soon as possible, seeing myself as a missionary by the will of God.
Nevertheless I would like that Your Eminence, because I request of you, would please take action [??] to solve these problems, ordering what you judge expedient in the Lord and you consider good to strengthen and encourage such missionaries, that is, those assigned by [...ca??] to these territories, such as those destined for São Tomé and [....la??], all or nearly all of whom lose their health, if not their life, especially [??] coming here from Brasil, who passed to a better life.
9-3-1754 Anselmo d'Osimo — SR, v. 5, f. 240
Most Eminetn and Reverend Lords
I, Fr. Anselmo d'Osimo, a Capuchin Preacher of the Province of Rome who humbly address your Eminences, am led to make a distinct and brief report to your Eminences, since I have been an unworthy missionary in S. Tomé for five years and ten months. Knowing that various missionaries or the Prefect, for purposes not altogether true but secondary ??[non del tutti ueui, ma secondarui] have written in Rome to the Very Reverend Father Procurator some things that are hardly true, asking strongly for missionaries and giving the impression that new missions could be opened in kingdoms near this island of S. Tomé, but they cannot go there, since the Roman Catholic religion is short of workers.
To discharge my conscience, I say to your Excellencies that it is all false, because if they are talking about the kingdom Warri, this Reverend Father Prefect confesses that there is no progress being made with those people, nor can a missionary stay long there for various reasons, such as lack of support, putrid water, unhealthy climate, barbarous people, and a language that is difficult to learn.
As for the island of Principe, I have been there five years. I have not seen or met ??[ne tampoco mi costa] any reform of Catholic life. Out of approximately 10,000 souls, I do not think there are 100 who really know how to go to Confession, nor do they want to learn.
On this island of S. Tomé the missionary Fathers are perpetually idle, because they preach little and the results are so small. I could say that over a period of over 80 years since these missions have been opened there has been no progress. The mission of Anobon consist of one missionary; it also is doing poorly...
9 March, the island of S. Tomé, 1754
3-11-1770 Governor of São Tomé to King of Portugal
In observance of chapter 4 of your instruction in which you order me not to allow the Capuchin Friar Felix leave this island, when I arrived here I found out that he had left for the kingdom of Benin to open a mission led by a Pedro Botica of Italian nationality and resident of the island of Principe, who went from there to this island only to look for the said Father, in whose company he would be better assisted in his ship's commerce. And people assure me that if the said Pedro Botica had not persuaded him, the said Father would not have made such a trip, especially since only two months ago the Reverend Chapter of this island had appointed to the same mission the Canon Joaõ Aluarez. Whenever the said Father Friar Felix returns, I will carry out chapter 4 of your instruction.
28-2-1771 Governor of S. Thomé to King of Portugal
The number of priests that there are in these islands and their ignorance and their evil conduct are one of the reasons why the Catholic religion has become so decadent. The ministers of the Church neither know it nor practice it. The sheep follow the words and the example of the pastor, and all live in disorder.
This serious evil requires a prompt remedy, by not admitting to the priesthood in the future any person from these islands without a serious exam on religious instruction, Latin and moral, because otherwise we have ignorant barefooted blacks rise to become high priests, deceiving their tolerant prelates that they will fulfil their promises, and the hope that, since they know the language of the country, they can be of great benefit to souls.
After the priestly character has been conferred on them in these islands, they make their houses into brothels and, surrounded with children and concubines, they exercise the ministry of parish priests, giving the most scandalous example in this country, just like common practitioners of usury and traders.
Also the great ease at ordaining priests has made religion less venerable among this people. And in the missions which they go to do in the kingdom of Warri they greatly obscure the credit of Catholic law, because they look for this holy mission to serve their avarice and their appetites, so much so that I am convinced as a person of truth that these so-called blacks are not ministers of Jesus Christ.
In the light of the above, I remind your Excellency that if the Fathers who were parish priests of Anobon had some trouble with their parishes, their bad behavior leads one to believe that the misbehaving person is not a minister of God. I suppose that the Capuchins, who are exemplary in chastity in this region will become more numerous.
May God give your Excellency many years. The island of Principe, 28 February 1771.
Governor Caetano Bernardo Pime Castro Mosquite.