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Maarten Janssen, 2014-

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[1617-1620]. Carta não autógrafa de Antónia Leal, mulher de um sapateiro, para um membro da Inquisição de Coimbra.

Autor(es) Antónia Leal      
Destinatário(s) Anónimo115      
In English

Accusation letter from Antónia Leal, wife of a shoemaker, to a member of the Inquisition in Coimbra.

The author lists the reasons that lead her to believe her brother-in-law is a Jew.

This accusation letter was written between 1617 and 1620. It seems to have been handwritten by a priest, to whom Antónia Leal has denounced her brother-in-law.The Inquisition archives contain, apart from the around 40 thousand individual proceedings ("processos"), a collection of scattered charges, for which the Inquisition "Promotor" had to decide whether or not to prosecute. Complaints, confessions, letters by the commissioners or about different stages of each proceedings are some of the document types that can be found in these books. This letter has been kept among such documentation.

«To the inquisitors. I'm a woman, here in Semide, married to a shoemaker whose name is André Marques, and for the past two or three months we have had at home a sister of mine with her husband, whose origins we ignore, as well as if he is a Jew or a Turk, because people say the Turks claim that Our Lady didn't give birth without a male. And it is the renegate who says such things; he must know her well. This man, whom people call the renegate from Fundão, place where he was married to another New Christian woman, praises that he did there some deeds that didn't burn him out, stole the justice and he is here as an excommunicate. And of these facts he praises himself. He is a man that renegates the bones from the saints in the altars, he swears by God's guts, he swears by the Devil's wounds and he commends his soul to them, that his deeds might be worth it. He says that, if God starves him to death, what bad piece will God eat from him and He will stop renegating; he says the water is damned and the damned will ask God of Heaven for it. He says that, when he's supposed to say "await me", in reality he is telling to wait for him until Christ's return. This proves him to be a Jew, for he doesn't believe that Christ came to the world. He says God can't forgive sins; he says God can't fix problems; he says a sinner can't be saved, not even God can save her; he says that great sins should not be confessed, people should kneel at the confessor's feet and look at the sky instead, this way they would immediately be forgiven; he says there's nothing for him to do or see in a church; he says he wishes harm to clergymen and to all religious things; he scorns: ‒ Blessed be the short dick of Christ; when his wife says: ‒ Help us God!- he answers: ‒ fuck us God; he says he wishes to dishonour a clergyman's daughter just for the hate he feels for him and, if this isn't possible, he will try to host the clergyman himself and he shall sleep with him and dishonour him by "a Pater" and to humilliate him. He is a man who pissed on his mule's privates saying that it was the mule's wish that he did so and that he knew the mule; he says he's not baptized, nor a Christian, because, in order to be it, he would have to be baptized again; he tells his wife to kiss him his privates and to carry out with it in her mouth and from behind; he says he sleeps with his wife in order not to sleep with a she-ass; he says that the saints are spectres and then he repeats that this is what the Turks say, because we fear the New Christians who ask for a blessing; he says that marriage was not created for a good purpose, nor to multiply mankind, but only to be lascivious without being blessed with a child. And if God sends him one, he shall kill her. He says he knows someone who slept and dishonoured a three year old girl; he says that, in some matters, the Devil is more powerful than God. He doesn't want his wife to go to the church or pray. He says he doesn't want to see beads in her hands. He promised his wife he would kill her if she confessed a deadly sin. Being a good Christian and the daughter of a good male son, and being of good conscience, she would only disobey him through confession [...]. And I, Antónia Leal, am waiting to give birth, my flanks are large and therefore I can't go to the Holy Inquisition to make an accusation. I am a woman who can't go on foot, even because my belly won't let me, so I looked for this priest in order to relief my conscience and soul until I am able to go to that Holy House. And, if I die, I'll have alleviated myself over this confessor's conscience.»

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