||Rosa Maria de Jesus
||Bernardo da Silva do Amaral
News letter from Rosa Maria de Jesus, a religious woman, to Bernardo da Silva do Amaral, a priest.
The author tells the addressee how well went a journey of hers.
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.
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Muito Rdo Snr Pe Bernardo da Sa
O Snr Menino JESUS se queira dignar asis
tir na alma de v Ra, repartindo aqueles dons e graças, com
que costuma encher, e redundar as almas, daquelez, q mais o
amão, e reverenciam; para que asim forte, e armado possa
v Ra trabalhar na vinha do Snr, e quebrantar de todo, as for
sas do inimigo
Eu aqui a este lugar cheguei a salvamento,
seja o Snr louvado, executando liberalmente sempre, os
preceitos de vossa Reverencia.
O particular, que comuni-
quei a vossa Reverencia, ja cá o axei feito, o que sinti mto
por ter gosto particular de o fazer,
porem seja o Snr lou-
vado, e se faça em tudo a sua santa vontade
peço, e rogo a vossa Reverencia, que se não esqueça de
pedir ao Snr por mim, a cuja suma bondade eu não
cesso de pedir, e rogar p vossa Reverencia,
elle o queira
guardar pa maior ampliação da sua vinha, e a vm en todo
seo servisso; e se digne remunerar a ancia, que tem vossa
Reverencia nela; com aquelaz emchentes de graça, que cos
tuma repartir com os seos servos
De vossa Ra
obediente serva, e filha espiritual
Rosa Maria de Jezuz