|Author(s)||Maria Catarina da Conceição|
|Addressee(s)||Ana Maria de Jesus|
Note from Maria Catarina da Conceição, a nun, to her sister Ana Maria de Jesus, also a nun.
The author tells her sister that she is sending her a book and two horses.
Father Bernardo da Silva Amaral was a priest who lived in Pernambuco (Brazil), although he was born in Lisbon. He was arrested in Recife in 1772, when he was 46 years old, under the suspicion of having made heretic propositions and of abusing women ("solicitação"). Several women testified against him. They said he used to teach that neither kisses, hugs or caresses were sins, they were rather a way of serving God, so he kissed, hugged and caressed them. He was accused of going to bed with several of them, sometimes mother and daughter at the same time, and was also seen bathing with them. Most of the private letters used as exhibits against him were exchanged between this priest and the mother and daughter pair. The letters exchanged with the mother are partly in cipher, but the court could not force the defendant to explain how to decode them.
Deciphering for the Post Scriptum edition: Teresa Rebelo da Silva.
Code: o=a; 9=c; 8=d; +=e; R=f; ==g; /=h; -=i; 6=l; .=m; ..=n; ⁞=o; ::=p; …=q; x=r; 1=s; 2=t; 3=u; ǯ=v; 5=z
«My sister and madam,
I send you the book of Saint Rose for you to send it to Madam Madalena. And send her my greetings too and to Madam Tomásia as well. You will also give my greetings to our priest. The two horses are sent by Inácia. The white one is for you and the sorrel horse is for Madam Clara to go visit you. Take care of you horse and don’t send it on a journey in rainy days and keep Clara’s horse away from the road on sunny days, since it can melt with too much hot. Please, give my greetings to Madam Clara and Madam Joana. Don’t forget to ask God to keep you for many years.
From your beloved sister, Maria Catarina da Conceição»
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