|Maria Clara Ribeira
Friendship letter from Maria Clara Ribeira to Luísa Maria
The author writes her friend telling her that she confessed to have seen a woman doing a prayer. She advises her friend to go to the Holy Office to report the incident, since she was also present that day. The author tells her friend to be patient and not to fear the Holy Office because it is merciful.
Luísa Maria reported Isabel Pereira to the Holy Office, following the advice of her friend, Maria Clara Ribeira. According to Luísa Maria’s testimony this was what happened: she was at Filipe Barroso’s house, in Mouraria, in the company of Isabel Pereira, single, and Maria Clara, the house owner’s maid. In the house was also Madam Isabel, who complaint she didn’t have a marital life with her husband and was in Santa Clara’s convent. Hearing Dona Isabel’s sorrows, Isabel Pereira revealed she had a solution to reestablish her marital life and that, in 15 days, her husband would be back. However, in order to be successful, she could not pray nor ask Jesus. Luísa Maria stated that this was all she knew.
«My friend Luísa Maria,
I found an insolent confessor and I confessed him that woman’s teachings, through which she succeeded in bringing the friend back home by not reciting the rosary or saying ‘Jesus Mary’ for fifteen days and other things she heard and said. He told me to tell everything to the Holy Office. I have done it already. And, since you were there, they asked me who else knew about the case and I told them you had heard it too. However, none of us did such thing, on the contrary, we abjured such mischief. Therefore, it is required that you go, with no further delay, to the Holy Office to report it too. If you don’t go, they will call you, for sure they will. Don’t be neglectful and have patience, because I am obliged to do what the confessor says. In these matters of Our Holy Faith, there is no aid between friends. Don’t be afraid, for everything is done with mercy there. May God keep you for many years.
15th of January of 1721, Your friend, Maria Clara Ribeira»