Contextualizing the Encounters between Portuguese Missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians

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Contextualizing the Encounters between Portuguese Missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians

 

This is chapter III in Thomas Christian Heritage: Journal ofd the Syro-Malabar Liturgical Centre, Vol.X, No.18, 2017, pp. 61-109

 

Dr. Pius Malekandathil,

Professor

Centre for Historical Studies,

JNU, New Delhi

The central purpose of this paper is to look into the multiple meanings of the encounters between the Portuguese missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by contextualizing their trajectories, vocabularies and formats within the changing socio-cultural and political scenarios. The various Portuguese missionaries, who interacted in multiple ways with the St.Thomas Christians over years, did not operate as one single –layered category, but represented different types of spiritual  and religious traditions of Portugal, and they were selectively sent by the Portuguese crown, the patron of Padroado system,  at different time points as to address certain specific issues and concerns which the Portuguese crown viewed as of considerable importance at varying junctures of time.  Though Portugal had different monastic and religious Orders in the sixteenth century, like the Benedictines, the Cistercians, the Cartusians, the Augustinians, Carmelites etc., the selection and despatch of certain set of Congregations by the Portuguese crown, as the head of the Padroado, at certain specific points of time to work among the St.Thomas Christians in India evidently suggests that they were sent not at random or casually, but with a definite purpose to serve. The contextual reading of the different encounters between the Portuguese missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians would help to unravel the complex, multi-layered and nuanced meanings of such encounters.

The missionaries from Portugal came to Kerala as a part of a unique ecclesiastical arrangement, known as Padroado Real, that the Catholic Church formulated for evangelization work in Asia, Africa and Brazil with the help of political patronage and material resources of the Portuguese crown [1] The beginnings of Padroado Real is traced back to the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifex of 1455, when Pope besides legitimizing the Portuguese discoveries and their claim of domination over the newly discovered territories, handed over the spiritual jurisdiction of these places, including their missionary works, to the patronage of the Portuguese crown.[2] The king of Portugal , as patron of missions, undertook the task of sending missionaries to the newly  ‘discovered ‘ geographies , besides proposing the creation of new bishoprics and nominating bishops for the newly discovered territories.[3]

I.                    The Nature of Initial Encounters

In the initial phase of for about 18 years, the Portuguese missionaries did not play any considerable role at all in matters related to the St.Thomas Christians, as their functional roles were highly limited to the spiritual-caring of the Portuguese sailors and mariners on the sea-going vessels or in the evolving Lusitanian enclaves. The first interaction of a significant nature of the St.Thomas Christians with the Portuguese happened at Cranganore in 1500 when two of their priests  Fr. Joseph and Fr. Mathias met Pedro Alvares Cabral. [4] In fact Pedro Alvares Cabral had reached Cochin and Cranganore for loading pepper after having inflicted severe attacks on Calicut and the Muslim mercantile allies of Zamorin.  Both Fr. Joseph and Fr. Mathias joined Cabral with a desire to go on pilgrimage to Portugal , Rome and finally Jerusalem.[5]   Fr. Mathias died on the way, while Fr. Joseph, who continued his journey towards his goal,  reached Lisbon in 1501 and was received by the Portuguese king Dom Manuel. The information that king Manuel gathered from Fr. Joseph in Portugal during 1501-2 about the St.Thomas Christians played a significant role in shaping the early official policy of the Portuguese towards these native Christians. [6]

Eventually the relationship between the Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians got cemented and strengthened, as the native Christians then living in Cochin, Cranganore, Quilon and other ports of Kerala against the background of frequent attacks from the Muslim merchants found the Portuguese to be potential protectors. [7] On hearing that Vasco da Gama , who came to Kerala for the second time in 1502 , had attacked and bombarded the city of Calicut demanding the expulsion of Muslims from that city , a delegation of the dignified members of the St. Thomas Christians went to Cochin to meet him with  several gifts and offered him the ‘rode of justice’, which in fact was described in sources as “a pointed satff with three silver bells at one end.”[8]  Thome Lopes , who had been with Vasco da Gama in the voyage  says that these representatives of the St.Thomas Christians pledged their fidelity and allegiance to the Portuguese Admiral in the name of their Lord and that they decided henceforth to administer justice and pronounce judgements only in the name of king of
Portugal. [9] The narrative gives the impression that the St. Thomas Chrisistians were eager and overjoyed to meet the Portuguese admiral who battered the forces of Zamorin and the Muslim traders in Calicut and sought his protection thinking that the Portuguese would come to their help against the background of increasing attacks on the mercantile activities of the St.Thomas Christians from the Muslim traders. [10] Soon he was also invited by a delegation of the St.Thomas Christians of Quilon to visit and conduct conduct trade with  the port of Quilon on the request of queen of Desinganadu. [11]  From Quilon the St.Thomas Christians gave the Portuguese two ships of spices;[12] one of the leading merchants among them being Mathias.[13]  In 1503 the native Christian merchant guild known as Koŗŗan[14]  supplied about 4000 bhars of pepper to Francisco de Albuquerque. [15]   These details show that the nature of relationship between the Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians in the initial period was guided by the principle of  “ protection –in –exchange for produce.” [16]

In 1505 Cochin became the seat of power, both political and spiritual, with a resident viceroy , viz., Dom Francisco da Almeida( 1505-1509), to administer the temporality and a vicar general , by name Diogo Pereira( 1505-10), [17] to look after spiritual matters in the East.[18] The vicar general was from the diocese of Lisbon and the ecclesiastical system thus set up was less organized and was an informal arrangement. However by January 2, 1514 a suffragan diocese was set up at Funchal in the islands of Madeira under the Archdiocese of Lisbon by the papal bull Pro excellenti præeminentia of Pope Leo X,[19] for the purpose of spiritually catering to the needs of those new territories discovered and occupied by the Portuguese in the East. At the time of the formation of the Funchal diocese in 1514 there were four priests, besides  vicar general in Goa, three priests in Cannanore, five secular priests and Frei Franciscus in Cochin, one priest in Calicut and 4 priests in Malacca. [20] The Dominican Friar  Domingos de Sousa O.P.( 1513-17),[21] the already appointed new vicar general of India became the official ecclesiastical representative of the diocese of Funchal. However none of them was given any ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the St.Thomas Christians of Kerala.

II.                Individual Initiatives of Pe. Alvares Penteado:  Wrong Directions?

The first move towards usurping jurisdiction over the St.Thomas Christians happened as an individual initiative of Pe.Alvares Penteado. It happened quite accidently not because of any appointment from the crown of Portugal or Rome.  In fact Padre Alvares Penteado was working initially in Goa since his arrival in 1510,[22] but on the death of Afonso Albuquerque the centralized state control over trade realized by him, started crumbling down and the new governor Lopo Soares, who favoured private trade in Cochin, brought Padre Alvares Penteado to Cochin in 1516.[23] In his letter written by the beginning of 1518[24] he says that while he was in Cochin he heard about the St.Thomas Christians of Cranganore, and with the permission of governor Lopo Soares he started saying Mass in the church of the St.Thomas Christians of Cranganore and began to collect information about their life and practices. Since the chief priest of Cranganore had gone on  a pilgrimage to Mylapore, he spent almost three to four months in that city collecting information about the religious traditions of the St.Thomas Christians and celebrating Mass for them. He sent the entire information to the Portuguese king in 1517 detailing the history and ritual practices of this community and also requesting the Portuguese crown to correct and purify this community of its errors and to renovate the tomb of the Apostle Thomas in Mylapore. [25]  Padre Alvares Pentedao in his over-enthusiasm found that the ritual practices and customs of the St.Thomas Christians were different from theirs and wrote to the king of Portugal that they were to be corrected. As the Portuguese historian Luis Filipe Thomaz says the Portuguese priests before the Trent council were ‘quite often ignorant’ and ‘ covetous of benefices, tithes, prestige and jurisdiction’,[26] besides being unfamiliar with the Church traditions and ritual practices outside Europe, and it is against this background of ignorance that the statement of a priest like Alvares Penteado is to be seen. Everybody now knows that a period of three to four months is too short a time span to get familiar with the customs and practices of the St.Thomas Christians and to brand them as ‘aberrations and errors of faith.’  His letter depicted St.Thomas Christians as followers of an overwhelmingly corrupt religion almost on the verge being “ heresy’’ Against the background of outbreak of Protestant Reformation and counter-Reformation in Europe, the ritual and cultural differences of the St.Thomas Christians were viewed with suspicion and utmost concern and the Portuguese diocesan clergy like Fr. Alvaro Penteado , who had only a short contact with the Nazrani Christians in Cranganore wanted that these Christians were to be thoroughly reformed and purified [27]so that such a ‘corrupt version of Christianity’ might not spread among the newly converted Indians.[28]  By the time the letter of Alvares Pentado reached Portugal , the information about the Protestant Reformation and the nailing of 95 theses on the doors of Wittenberg by Martin Luther on 31st October 1517 had already reached Lisbon. The news of Protestant Reformation had reached even Cochin by 1521, where there were some sympathizers of Martin Luther by that point of time, as is evidenced by the letter of Jörge Pock written from Cochin in 1521. [29] It was a time when differences were looked upon with suspicion and homogeneity was considered as the best way to ensure orthodoxy. The crown of Portugal, who got information about the different types of cultural practices and ritual traditions of the St.Thomas Christians from Penteado started viewing them against the background of the shocking news of heresy and Protestant Reformation of Europe and hence began to look at the St.Thomas Christains with suspicion and caution.

 

Meanwhile, the chief priest of Cranganore on his return from Mylapore saw the work of Padre Alvares Pentedao to be that of an usurper, as this Portuguese priest had worked without proper permission from him, who was the legitimate guardian of the church. Hence he forbade Alvares Penteado from celebrating Holy Mass in the principal church of the St.Thomas Christian community of Cranganore. [30]  Later Pe. Alvares Pentedao claimed that the king of Portugal had given him the mission to subordinate the Syrian bishops to “our obedience and sacraments,”[31] though historians could not trace so far this letter of king Manuel that he had been referring to.  Later for a short while he went to Mylapore claiming his mission to restore the house of St.Thomas. It was then slowly emerging as a significant centre of Portuguese private traders; but there he was abused by Portuguese private traders of Mylapore because of his hot-temperedness and was compelled to return to Kerala. In his later letter he claimed that king Manuel had entrusted him with the care of St. Thomas Christians in 1524. [32] Using this claim Padre Alvares Pentedao usurped authority over the St. Thomas Christians and began to work rather independently of Fr. Sebastian Pires, who was the vicar general of Funchal diocese and working then in Cochin.

Meanwhile, on the basis of the plans of Padre Alvares Penteado, the Portuguese authorities imprisoned  and deported Mar Denha, the ‘younger bishop’, from Malabar first to the Franciscan monastery of Goa in 1534 and then made arrangements to send him to Ormuz on the allegation of simony and collection of fee for baptism. However later he was released on the promise that he would not take fee for baptism.[33] Inspite of it, Padre Alvares Pentedao laboured hard to show that the age-old traditions as well as the ritual practices of the St.Thomas Christians constituted ‘heresy’. In the public displays and public sacramental demonstrations, only the Portuguese way of administering baptism and other sacraments was projected as right ritual and the practice among the indigenous Christians was depicted as lacking in basic ritual components. [34] However, the inability of Padre Alvares Penteado to relate properly with the existing hierarchy of the St. Thomas Christians , particularly their bishops Mar Jacob Abuna and the ‘’younger bishop ‘’( Mar Denha) and the public ridiculing of the way how  the St. Thomas Christians performed their rituals and Sacramental celebrations, particularly baptism,all the  more complicated the issues and fetched a very bad name for this Portuguese priest among the St.Thomas Christians. [35]

Meanwhile, the attempts of Padre Alvares Penteado to take over the administration of the St. Thomas Christians to himself without relating it to the administrative frames of Funchal diocese and its vicar general in India were resented also by the very vicar general himself. This is evident in the letter of the vicar general Fr. Sebastian Pires , who in his letter of 1527 to king John III, explicitly refers to the severe damages that the hard-headed and hot tempered Padre Alvares Penteado was doing to the St. Thomas  Christians. [36] This evidently suggests the slow evolution of two factions within the European missionaries: On the one side stood Alvares Penteado, while a considerable number of Portuguese missionaries under the vicar general of Funchal opposed the attitude of Alvares Penteado. Fr. Sebastian Pires was the vicar general of Funchal in India for the period from 1521 to 1532,[37]which happened to be the time period when conflict between the St.Thomas Christians and Padre Alvares Penteado reached its boiling point. In the second category one can include besides the the vicar general of Funchal, another priest of the Funchal diocese but working as a member of Dominican Order, Fr.João Caro, who was a constant supporter of  the St.Thomas Christians. Tensions created by Padre Alvares Penteado were cooled down by the Dominican priest João Caro. And it was under the influence of João Caro that Mar Jacob persuaded the St. Thomas Christrians to sell pepper to the Portuguese.[38] Mar Jacob Abuna even promised to give 25, 000 soldiers from the St. Thomas Christian community to fight for the Portuguese.[39] In fact bishop Mar Jacob was moving more towards compromises with the Portuguese , even to the extent of accomodating more elements of Latin rite, because of the fact that the settlements of the St. Thomas Christians in Cranganore and Quilon were repeatedly attacked by Muslims and Mosul, the very seat of the Chaldean Patriarchate had become isolated with Turkish occupation.[40] Against these developments, Mar Jacob Abuna followed a much more flexible and compromising attitude with the Portuguese for pragmatic reasons and even took youths for priestly training at St.Antony’s College of Cochin run by the Franciscans. He even reluctantly started taking Padre Alvares Penteado along with him while visiting the settlements of the St.Thomas Christians.  However, the association with Padre Alvares Penteado tarnished the image of bishop Mar Jacob, though it was done out of pragmatism and exigencies. He even refers to the evolution of a faction wthin St.Thomas Christians by 1530s, with one group headed by the conservative ‘younger bishop’ Mar Denha and the other group much more liberal and accommodative led by Mar Jacob. Majority of the people supported the ‘younger bishop,’ who even started opposing the accommodative and appeasing policies of Mar Jacob. Mar Jacob finally  had the support of only a few priests who did priestly studies in Portugal. Being cut off from the faithful Mar Jacob ultimately sought the help of the Franciscans of Cochin in his ministry. In the changed situation he even started administering Sacraments in Latin rite on certain occasions. [41]

III.             Franciscan Missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians

Till 1540s , Franciscans were the only Religious Congregation that was allowed to work in India as a group, though occasionally one or two Dominicans also worked on an individual basis. In 1517 the Franciscans were sent from Portugal to Goa and Cochin for establishing their houses over there. [42] Portugal had different monastic and religious Orders in the beginning of the sixteenth century, like the Benedictines, the Cistercians, the Cartusians, the Augustinians, Carmelites and ever so many others, [43] but the selection and despatch of the Franciscans in 1517  to work in India evidently suggests that they were sent not at random or casually, but with a definite purpose to serve. In fact the mendicant Order of the Franciscans and the predicant Order of the Dominicans evolved as religious Orders of the towns, in the 13th century catering to the spiritual, social and psychological issues and needs predominantly of the urban dwellers, which the rural based Religious Orders like the Benedictines, Cistercians and Cartusians failed to properly address.[44] The Religious Orders of the Benedictines,Cartusians,Cistercians evolved against the background of increasing ruralisation and agrarian expansion in Europe and such Religious Orders were probably found unfit for meeting the demands of the evolving Portuguese towns in India.Unlike the rural communities which were stable with various organizational devices, the evolving towns represented anarchic space, with wide gap between the wealthy merchants and poor settlers,with problems of over-employment and underemployment,consequent to which the destitute merchants and artisans increasingly resorted to these new religious movements to find a meaning against the background of accumulation of inordinate wealth in the hands of a few.[45] The Portuguese merchants and artisans, who went from town to town were to be tamed and disciplined against the background of temptations emerging from the profit accumulating tendencies of private trade. While referring to the role that the Franciscans played during this period, Luis Filipe Thomaz says that the  Franciscans of Manueline Portugal, who adopted the ideology of Joachim of Fiori , are said to have identified themselves as the “holy monks’’ who would rule during the era of Holy Spirit as foreseen by Joachim. These “holy monks” who were perceived to dominate the era of the Holy Spirit were being preferred by king Manuel to ‘’bring about the triumph of Christianity and the universal empire.’’ [46] The spiritual programmes of these Franciscan “holy monks ” who were believed to bring about triumph of Christianity also went well with the urban and politico-commercial programmes of the crown chalked out for the emerging Portuguese enclaves in India like Goa and Cochin. What was needed in Goa and also in Cochin, was not an agrarian -based Religious Order that had the training and expertise to address the rural issues, but an urban-centric Religious Order like the Franciscans with the skills and human resources to handle urban complexities and to address  the nuanced problems and challenges stemming from vast exposure to foreign culture and living conditions in the ‘new world’,  where  a considerable number of Portuguese citizens resorted to private trade by moving from town to town and from port to port conducting their business and bagging inordinate wealth. [47]  They were to be tamed and disciplined against the background of temptations emerging from the excessive profit accumulating tendencies of private trade [48] and were to be made to operate within the frames and conditions favouring crown-trade.[49] The Franciscans of Cochin to whom Mar Jacob took the youngsters of the St.Thomas Christians for priestly training at St.Antony College( Cochin)  and with whom Mar Jacob spent his last days were from the Province of the Observants of Portugal (Order of Friars Minor).[50]

However it was by 1538 that the Franciscans started working directly among the St.Thomas Christians. It was only with the advent of the  Franciscan Friar Vicente de Lagos, who came from the Reformed Franciscan Province of Piedade in Portugal(Conventuals), that Franciscan work was extended among the St.Thomas Christians. In 1540 Friar Vicente de Lagos established a college for the priestly training of the St. Thomas Christians, which he eventually developed as a mechanism to dialogue with the different segments of the St.Thomas Christians and to get healed their wounds caused by the hot-tempered behaviour Padre Alvares Penteado. [51] As Friar Vicente de Lagos  came from the Reformed Franciscan Province of Piedade in Portugal,[52] the other Franciscans then working in Cochin and Goa, who were basically from the Province of the Observants of Portugal and operating under the Custodia of S.Tome, did not cooperate much with him and hence he had to set up and sustain the seminary almost single-handedly in Cranganore. [53] The priests trained in Latin ecclesiastical traditions in this seminary were effectively employed to wean the dissenting St. Thomas Christians away from the hold of the Chaldean bishops and conservative group of the community and to get them integrated with the ecclesiastical system of Padroado. The priests and the seminarians from the college used to visit the various churches of the St. Thomas Christians, through whom Latin ecclesiastical practices and traditions were made to disseminate among those Syrian Christians living in the hinterland part of Kerala.[54] However, many of the St. Thomas Christians refused to accept the Latinized clergy from their community in their churches and hence were made to go to Portuguese churches for pastoral work.[55] But the vicar general Miguel Vaz(1533-1547)[56] did not want to change the leadership of Cranganore college and refused to transfer Fr. Vicente de Lagos to Goa, though initially he had planned to put the latter in charge of Goa college, [57] probably because he saw that the training of the seminarians of the St.Thomas Christians in Cranganore seminary under Friar Vicente helped a lot to dilute the tensions between the Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians giving them opportunities to come together and engage in dialogues between two ecclesiastical traditions. By 1548 there were about 67 seminarians from the St.Thomas Christians in Cranganore seminary including ten deacons.[58] These historical processes helped to end the wrong practice of assigning pastoral care of the St.Thomas Christians as a matter of private enterprise to a few ambitious individuals like Fr. Alvares Penteado and it eventually facilitated to get things institutionalized and structured through proper training programmes of the Seminary. Through this there was some move to integrate the St.Thomas Christians at least partially to the evolving ecclesiastical traditions of the counter-Reformation period through the frames of Funchal Archiepiscopal administration [59]

IV.Religious Triumphalism and the Jesuits

The notion of religious triumphalism started entering India in a big way from 1540s onwards  against the background of the arrival in India of religious personnel and institutions connected with Counter Reformation. The most important one among them was the Society of Jesus that evolved as a religious society connected with Counter-reformation ,[60] whose initial members worked with the intense zeal, dedication and commitment of military personnel in consonance with its initial conceptualization as companhia.[61] With the increasing ability of Catholics of southern Europe, including Portugal, in resisting and arresting the spread of Protestantism into their terrians, there eventually evolved a ‘ sense of being victorious’ and ‘a feeling of triumphalism’ among them, particularly in Portugal,  from where it moved to the East in sweeping speed with the desire to create protective shields as to safeguargd ‘Catholicism’ in India and to protect Christian faith from all types of aberrations. When king John III of Portugal came to know from Diogo de Gouveia, the Rector of Santa Barbara of Paris in 1539 about  the newly formed Society of Jesus and that it was different from the other mendicant Orders,[62]he wrote in that year to Dom Pedro de Mascarenhas, his ambassador in Rome, to get some Jesuits for mission work in India.[63] The first batch of Jesuits under Francis Xavier reached Cochin in 1542[64] and on the request of the city-dwellers of Cochin a college was set up by him later on the site of the existing church of Madre de Deus. The Jesuit college eventually came to be called Madre de Deus college.[65] It was from the Madre de Deus college that the Jesuits moved to the hinterland to work vigorously among the St.Thomas Christians. One of the earliest Jesuit priests to work among them was Melchior Carneiro, who participated in 1557-8 in the Inquisitorial court proceedings against the New Christians of Cochin on allegations of their judaizing activities. [66] In 1560 he was consecrated the bishop of Nicea.[67] He started making visits to the major enclaves of the St.Thomas Christians, particularly Angamali and Thodupuzha in 1557, at a time point when Mar Abraham was creating spheres of influence in the St.Thomas Christian settlements of interior Kerala.In 1557 he visited Angamali, where he saw [68] a university( referring to seminary)for priestly training of priests  in the kingdom of Angamali  and the teacher ( malpan), who was the most respectful priest of Angamali and had disciples all over Kerala. He taught the priestly candidates Scriptures and church law. The faithful used to assemble in the church, which had no statues or images but only a cross as object of veneration, for prayer in the morning and night. [69] He also visited in 1557 the  kingdom of Thodupuzha( Kizhumalainadu, with capital at Karikode) , where a priest who was in charge of three churches sought his support to contain the influence of Mar Abraham.[70]

In fact Mar Abraham came to India for the first time in 1556, [71] on the basis of the request that the uncle( malpan George) of the Archdeacon George of Christ had sent to the Nestorian Patriarch( Simon VIII Bar Mama).[72]   The Portuguese who wanted to bring the St.Thomas Christians under Padroado tried to arrest him alleging Nestorian heresy.  With mounting pressure from the Portuguese and fearing arrest from the Portuguese, Mar Abraham moved over to the southern parts of Kerala, particularly to the kingdoms of Kizhumalainadu( with capital at Thodupuzha), Vadakkenkur( with capital at Kaduthuruthi) and Thekkenkur (with capital at Kottayam)and started working among the St.Thomas Christians of the south for sometime. [73] It was at this juncture of time that Melchior Carneiro intensified his visit to the interior of Kerala. The St.Thomas Christians helped Mar Abraham to have safe journey from Vadakkenkur to Thekkenkur. However very soon ( ca. 1563 ) Mar Abraham went back to his native place, where he submitted himself to the Catholic Chaldean Patriarch Mar Abd Ishu. The latter confirmed Mar Abraham as the bishop of Angamali and sent him to Rome in 1564  to get papal recommendations for his work in India. Pope on his part sent him to the Patriarch of Venice, from whom Mar Abraham received all the Orders including Episcopal consecration once again.[74]

Meanwhile Mar Joseph and Mar Elias reached Goa by the end of 1555 as Catholic bishops, [75]  being sent by Patriarch Simon Sulaqa, who got reunited with Catholic church in  1552.[76] The two bishops were detained in the Franciscan Friary of Salcete near Bombay in 1556 for the purpose of preventing them from entering Malabar. During this period the Portuguese missionaries believed that as Friar Antonoio do Porto, the guardian of of the Franciscan Friary writes, the St.Thomas Christians came under the bishop of Goa and that any one administering sacraments to them without the permission of the bishop of Goa was viewed as a thief. [77] But in 1557 the Portuguese authorities released Mar Joseph and Mar Elias and allowed them to move to Kerala thinking that their presence in Kerala would help to reduce the influence of Mar Abraham , who had then been there in Malabar as a ‘Nestorian bishop’. Both Mar Joseph and Mar Elias reached Malabar by 1558 and spent almost two years visiting the churches and the settlements of the St.Thomas Christians in the interior parts of Kerala.[78]

V.The Domincans, Inquisition and the St.Thomas Christians

The year 1559 is often considered to be a turning point in the course of activities of the Portuguese missionaries in India because of the efforts to introduce the reforms of Trent Council and due to the rigorous religious policies followed during the regency of  Dona Catarina of Portugal , when the heir, her grandson Dom Sebastian (r.1557-1578), was only a minor. With the appointment of Dom Constantino de Bragança as the new viceroy , the Padroado tried to introduce a ‘ new militant Church’ by carrying out the  political and religious programmes of the regent.[79] In 1558, the year in which Mar Joseph had reached Kerala along with Mar Elias, a new diocese was erected in Cochin by Pope Paul IV by the bull Pro Excellenti ,[80] under Goa, which was raised to the status of an Archdiocese in the same year.[81] The bishop of the new diocese was appointed from the Dominican order, Dom Jorge Temudo.[82] The Dominicans had already established their  house in Goa in 1549 and another in Cochin in 1551.[83] In fact the Dominicans, who earlier had the tradition of fighting against the Albigensian heresy in the evolving urban centres of Europe in the thirteenth century with the help of Inquisition,[84]came to Cochin against the background of alleged prevalence of heresies and Judaic practices in the city. It is interesting to note that the arrival of the Dominicans almost looked like a response being given by John III to the request that Francis Xavier had made in 1546 to set up in India the ecclesiastical institution of Inquisition to spiritually tame and theologically discipline those who had already fallen or would fall into faith-related aberrations.[85] In fact it was the inquisitorial proceedings initiated against the New Christians of Cochin ( who were alleged of Judaizing practices) that prompted the Portuguese crown to send the Dominican Jorge Temudo as the first bishop of the diocese of Cochin, who assumed office only in 1559 [86] The Dominican bishop who came to Cochin in 1559 identified the St.Thomas Christians to be one of the heretical segments in India.

As early as 1558 onwards we find the Dominicans , much more forcefully than the Jesuits , compelling Mar Abraham to renounce his teachings and mistakes alleging them to be erroneous.  Till then the Jesuits had not contacted Mar Abraham directly, whereas the Dominicans managed to  persuade Mar Abraham to visit Cochin to have a direct encounter with him. Mar Abraham was made to make the profession of faith in the main church of Cochin by the Dominicans; but was later sent to Goa to be kept in the Dominican monastery for about two years. [87] Though the Inquisition was not formally then established under the Dominicans in India(it was formally established in Goa only in 1560) , the entire activity  was similar to that of a monitoring process equivalent to it.

From Goa Mar Abraham went back to his native land , but submitted himself to authority of the Catholic Patriarch Abd Ishu. Meanwhile Mar Joseph, who was then visiting the St.Thomas Christian settelements of inland Kerala was accompanied by a Dominican priest Fr. Antonius Zahara, with the intention of rectifying the erroneous teachings and the mistakes dissiminated by Mar Abraham.[88]  Here one should note that with the change in the religious policy of the Portuguese regent and with the establishment of Inquisition under the guidance of the Dominican Frairs, the Dominicans started increasingly playing roles in the matters of the St. Thomas Christians. The Dominican Friars began to accompany the prelates of the Syrian Christians during their visits to the Syrian churches or interfere in their affairs, both directly and indirectly.  However, in 1561 this Domincan priest was deputed by Pope for missionary work in Egypt. [89] It should be here specially noted that it was during the joint visits to the St. Thomas Christian churches by Mar Joseph and the Domincan Friar Antonius Zahara that the former was accused of heresy of Nestorianism and taken from Kerala to Goa (1562).[90] The contextual analysis gives the impression that Friar Antonius Zahara, who had been accompanying Mar Joseph in his visits to  the St.Thomas Christian settelements,  and Bishop Jorge Temudo of Cochin who was also a Dominican, had obviously some  role to play in levelling the charge of heresy of Nestorianism against Mar Joseph.[91] When Mar Joseph was arrested and about to be deported to Europe on charges of Nestorian heresy, he appointed George of Chirist as the Archdeacon in 1562,[92] who localized his base in Angamali. With the deportation of Mar Joseph to Europe, there was no Catholic bishop knowing Syriac language to cater to the spiritual needs of the community. Against this background Patriarch Abd Ishu appointed George of Christ as  the bishop of Palayur and suffragan  bishop of Angamali in 1566 following his election in the Episcopal council.[93]

Being the bishop-elect of Palayur and suffragan  bishop of Angamali,  the Archdeacon George of Christ set up a new church( St.Mary of Assumption) in Angamali with his own money, as Fr. Gaspar Alvares says in his report of 1580 from Cochin to Fr. Everardo Mercuriano, the Prepositum General of the Jesuits in Rome.[94] Archdeacon George of Christ himself while writing to Fr Everardo Mercuriano in 1580 says that ‘he had built church St. Mary (of Assumption) with his own money and the monetary help from his parents.’ [95]

In the meantime Mar Joseph was taken to Portugal on the decision of the Inquisition of Goa,[96] an institution in whose functioning the Domincans played a vital role.  Though he was not kept in the prison, he was put up in the Dominican monastery Goa,[97] which shows that he was under the watchful eyes of the ‘theological police’. In 1563 he was taken from Goa to Rome on the accusations of Nestorian heresy. [98]

Once Mar Joseph was removed from  Kerala, the Dominican bishop of Cochin (Dom Jorge Temudo O.P.) made attempts to visit the most important settelements of the St.Thomas Christians.  He made a pilgrimage to Parur and celebrated a solemn High Mass in the church of Parur with choir and band from Cochin on one of the most important feast days (21-11-1563), which was followed by submission of the leading laymen, cattanars and Archdeacon to this Padroado bishop. Though the Portuguese Padroado was given no jurisdiction over the St.Thomas Christians so far , the Dominican  bishop of Cochin made use of this opportunity to appoint some priests as vicars of this community.[99] It was rather usurpation of ecclesiastical authority over them, as there was already an Archdeacon, who was already chosen as the bishop-elect of Palayur and suffragan  bishop of Angamali and was then administering the affairs of the St.Thomas Christians. It was the beginning of an exercise, which continued in the rainy season of 1564, when the Dominican bishop Temudo went into many other settlements of the  St.Thomas Christians in the interior of Kerala along with the superiors of the various Religious Orders of Cochin. He even appointed vicars at many places and got this community submitted to his authority, which enabled him to control them considerably.[100]

 

Meanwhile Mar Joseph came back to India in 1564 with clean chit from the Church authorities of Portugal certifying the orthodoxy of his faith. In Portugal Mar Joseph had been brought before Cardinal Henry, the Grand Inquisitor and the regent of Portugal as king Dom Sebastian was still a minor. Cardinal Henry being convinced of the orthodoxy of Mar Joseph acquitted him of heresy. Since the Grand Inquisitor ( the uncle of Dom Sebastian) acquitted him of heresy, Mar Joseph did not go to Rome. Instead, he returned to India in 1564.[101] But the various Portuguese missionaries, particularly the Dominicans during this period, who wanted to keep him permanently away from the St.Thomas Christian community were not happy with Mar Joseph’s return to Kerala. They wrote to Pope Pius V accusing him of simony and heresy. Pope authorized the Archbishop of Goa in 1567 to suspend him and deport him to Rome and hand over the spiritual care of the St.Thomas Christians to the Dominican bishop of Cochin, Dom Jorge Temudo. [102] The Dominicans finally got what they had been looking for since 1559. Mar Joseph was again arrested and deported to Portugal and then to Rome with the same allegations of Nestorian heresy, a fact which shows that the entire exercise was not in the name of preserving the orthodoxy of faith, but they were calculated moves designed to keep the bishops from West Asia permanently away from this community by using the label of “heresy” as an efficient tool. [103] Proably Mar Joseph left for Rome in the beginning of 1568. Melchior Nunes Barreto wrote in 1568 that papal orders were already carried out and in that letter he requested that the General of Jesuits should see to it that Mar Joseph would not return to India. [104]Mar Joseph reached Rome in 1569,  where  he greatly impressed the Church authorities of Rome with his piety and learning, as a result of which he was set free; however he could not return to Malabar, as he died in Rome in 1569.[105]

 

Meanwhile Mar Abraham who was sent to Rome in 1564 by the Chaldean Patriarch Mar Abd Ishu came back to India with valid Episcopal consecration from the Patriarch of Venice[106] and with letters of Pope and the Patriarch addressed to the authorities of Portuguese India as well as recommendation letters of the superior generals of the Franciscans, the Dominicans and the Jesuits. Mar Abraham reached Goa in 1568. In spite of all these documents, he was arrested and detained at the Dominican monastery of Goa by the viceroy and the Dominican Archbishop of Goa, Dom Jorge Temudo, saying that he did not have the authorization of the Portuguese king Dom Sebastian to come to India. [107]It was Dom Jorge Temudo as the then bishop of Cochin , who played a vital role in getting Mar Joseph arrested and deported to Rome. By the time when Mar Joseph returned to India,  Dom Jorge Temudo had become the Archbishop of Goa (1567-1571), using which position he tried again to keep Mar Abraham away from the Syrian Christians. On 6th December 1569, Fr.Melchior Nunes Barreto S.J. writes to Francisco Borgiae, Prepositum General of the Jesuits, that  Mar Abraham had already reached India via Persian Gulf with confirmation from Pope as the bishop of the St.Thomas Christians and that he was still in detention in the Dominican monastery.[108] However on ther night of the Maundy Thursday, he managed to escape from the Dominican house of Goa where he was detained and walked all the way on bare foot from Goa to Kerala to reach Angamali.[109]

 

It was Mar Abraham who played  a decisive  role in localizing the seat of the Bishopric of the St.Thomas Christians in Angamali on a permanent basis, eventhough it was also the ecclesiastical base for Mar Joseph from 1558 onwards. From early 1567 onwards, immediately after Mar Abraham’s consecration by the Patriarch of Venice, by the Brief of Pope Pius IV, the St.Thomas Christians were divided among two bishops, one being Mar Joseph residing at Angamali and ruling over the Christians of the north and the other Mar Abraham governing those in the south, as per the information given by the Jesuit visitor of the East Fr. Alexander Valignano  in 1575.[110] However, before the arrival of the Papal Brief, Mar Joseph was deported to Europe, where he died in 1569, as we had seen earlier. [111]

Mar Abraham had bitter memories of his detention in the Dominican monastery of Goa and he did not want to go to that city any further, where the Archbishop was Dominican Dom Jorge Temudo, who always tried to keep the Syrian Christian bishops away from India. When Mar Abraham was invited for the second Provincial council of Goa(1575), he refused to go, raising doubts about his safety in the council.[112]  With the increasing religious monitoring that happened during the regnal years of the Portuguese king Dom Sebastian (1557-1578), who was eagerly looking everywhere for spaces to fight “Crusades”( and finally lost life in the “Crusade” fought against the Moroccans at Alcaçer Quibir (1578),[113] doctrinal checking was usually done in India with the help of Dominican bishops, who could easily identify and report matters related to aberrations of faith immediately to Inquisition. Thus, though the Dominican bishop Jorge Temudo of Cochin was made the Archbishop of Goa in 1567, king Sebastian, as the chief protector of Padroado Real sent Dom Henrique de Távora e Brito, another Dominican, as the bishop of Cochin (13 Jan 1567 – 29 Jan 1577). [114]  Dom Henrique de Távora e Brito was a participant in the Council of Trent ( 1545-1563),[115] who tried to bring in the spirit of Counter-Reformation in the enclaves of the St.Thoams Christians, as well

 

VI. Re-creating Partnership with the Jesuits(1575-1585)

 

Since the bishops and the St.Thomas Christians had increasing troubles from the Dominicans during period between 1559 and 1577, we find Mar Abraham trying to negotiate with the Jesuits, who by this point of time had started getting global acceptability not only as an agency of Counter-Reformation, but also as a major cultural and educational force of Christianity.[116] This probably he realized during the time of his stay in Italy and other parts of Europe. He seems to have forgotten the bitter experiences of 1557( when the Jesuits tried to deport him). His relationship with the Jesuits started getting cemented, with the increasing familiarization with them, particularly with Padre Alexander Valignano, who came forward to state as early as 1575 that Mar Abraham was the legitimate bishop for the St.Thomas Christians of the South, while (late)Mar Joseph was the bishop of Angamali , as per the Brief of Pope Pius IV. While visiting Kerala, Fr. Valignano also looked into the various possibilities of working among the St.Thomas Christians. [117] By this point of time, king Sebastian of Portugal, who was educated in his younger days by the Jesuits, also began to favour Jesuits more and more for missionary works in the East.

 

The need to increasingly depend upon the Jesuits came by 1576 with the appearance of Mar Simon, who was then believed to have been a bishop (but was later revealed before the authorities of Inquisition in Spain that he was neither a bishop nor a priest)[118] and who had the strong support from the queen of Vadakkenkur, in whose kingdom lived a major chunk of the St.Thomas Christians. Probably Mar Abraham anticipated another move from the Dominican bishop of Cochin to expel all the bishops from West Asia, including himself, under the pretext of ousting Mar Simon. [119] With the coming of Fr. Dionysius S.J. as  the rector of the Jesuit college of Madre de Deus of Cochin in 1576, the relationship between Mar Abraham and the Jesuits got intimately cemented and deepened. Fr. Dionysius visited Mar Abraham, who reciprocated it by visiting the Jesuit Fathers on the fesatday of Corpus Christi in 1577.[120] During this phase of cordiality and friendship, Mar Abraham allowed Jesuits to establish a house at Vaipikotta. The Jesuits on their part sent two priests,[121] Fr. Bernardine Ferrario and the native Jesuit priest Fr. Pero Luis to Vaipikotta.[122] In the month of August 1577 the Jesuits came to Angamali to take part in the feast of Assumption in the church of St. Mary erected by the Archdeacon George of Christ. [123]  After the  feast, the entire group , including Mar Abraham, native priests, the Jesuits and a community of about 5000 people went to the laying of the foundation stone of the church of Hormisdas( later known as Kizhakkepally), which Mar Abraham kept as his Episcopal church. [124]  Against this background of cordial relationship, Mar Abraham was ready even to introduce several Latin liturugical traditions including the Sacraments of Extreme Unction and Confirmation.[125]

 

The missionary accounts also give some sort of understanding about the demographic strength of the St.Thomas Christians , which got much more crystallized and clarified by the time the Jesuit missionaries started reporting about them. Giovanni Empoli, who came to Quilon in 1503 estimates that there were more than 3000 St.Thomas Christians in Quilon alone, who were called Nazareni.[126] Same is the number of Christians(3000) in Quilon according to the estimate given by the German artillerist, who accompanied Vasco da Gama in 1502/3.[127] However it is Tome Pires, the author of Suma Oriental (1512-5), who gives the demographic strength of this community for the first time for entire Kerala, which varied between 60,000 and 75,000.[128] In 1564[129] and in 1568[130] the number of the St.Thomas Christians was estimated to be 1,00,000. In 1575 the Jesuit priest Fr. Alexander Valignano estimated them to be more than 1,00, 000, among whom 20, 000 were fighting soldiers. [131]

 

The Jesuits had such a good influence over Mar Abraham that in 1583 Fr. Alexander Valignano could persuade Mar Abraham to convoke a reformatory synod at Angamali. The Trent council had earlier expressed earnest desire for the convocation of provincial and regional councils as to take its decrees and teachings to the grassroot –levels of all countries. In the synod of Angamali held in the Assumption church, Mar Abraham, the Archdeacon, Fr. Alexander Valignano and the Jesuits from Vaipikotta also took part. Mar Abraham made the profession of faith, who was also required to entrust to a Jesuit priest with knowledge in Syriac the liturgical books of the Syrian Christians for correction. [132] The entire exercise gave the impression that the Syrian Christian bishop and their liturgical texts had errors related to faith. The same was the type of discussion that happened in the third provincial council of Goa (1585) in which he participated much reluctantly and with assurances from Pope for his safety. The major part of the council discussion revolved around correction of their liturgical books, appointment of a Jesuit priest as a helper and executor of the decrees of the council,   translation of Latin Missal and other liturgical books into Syriac etc., for their use among the St.Thomas Christians.[133] Though Mar Abraham refused to accept the decrees of the council indicating the need to consult with the Archdeacon and the important Christian leaders before doing so, he was intimidated with the punishments of Inquisition by the Dominican Archbishop João Vicente da Fonseca(1583-6), which finally made him put his signature.[134] But he came back from Goa with strained relationship with the Jesuits.

 

VII. The Spanish Hapsburgs, the Augustinians and the Move towards Homogenous Global Christianity

 

In 1580 , when the Portuguese ruler Cardinal Henry(who was also the former Archbishop of Lisbon and Grand Inquisitor)  died, there was no male member left in the royal family of Portugal to ascend the throne. At this juncture Philip II, the Spanish king of Hapsburg dynasty entered Portugal and in 1581 he was proclaimed the king of Portugal by the Cortes as Philip I of Portugal. Though there were two distinctively separate administrative machineries for Spain and Portugal, both for civil and ecclesiastical matters, as per the terms of agreement of 1581, the accession of Spanish rulers on the throne of Portugal and their continued control till 1640 influenced the nature of missionary policies of the Portuguese in India in general and among the St.Thomas Christians in particular. [135] Under the Spanish rulers the Castlian and the Catalan members of various Religious Orders as well as the  Augustinian monks began to get preferential treatment in matters of religion in many of the Portuguese enclaves. Thus with the accession of Spanish ruler Philip II(1580-1598) to the throne of Portugal, there began a slow erosion of the privileged position of the Jesuits( the Jesuits earlier had significant say during the time of king Sebastian, as he was trained by the Jesuits) delaying even the canonization process of Francis Xavier. The main reason for this relatively anti-Jesuit stand of Philip II was that the Jesuits kept alive Sebastianism in Portuguese colonies by saying that king Sebastain did not actually die in Morocco and that he would soon return to Portugal to restore monarchy and drive away the Spaniards.[136] Since king Sebastian was educated by the Jesuits and also had a special liking for the Jesuits, the latter used to keep alive stories of an immortal Sebastian and through Sebastainism they kept active anti-Spanish feelings in Portugese colonies. However the Jesuits from Spain including Catalonia and working in Portuguese colonies and the East still used to get preferential treatment from the Spanish ruler Philip II . It is against this background that the pressure for inducting Francis Roz( from Catalonia)  into Mar Abraham’s theological-cum-administrative  team is to be seen.[137]

 

Meanwhile with the accession of the Spanish Hapsburg rulers as the masters of the Portugal and its enclaves, we find the Augustinians gaining an upper hand in the ecclesiastical matters. As Martin Luther was an Augustinian, for long this Order was not favoured very much in many Catholic countries of Europe,[138] particularly against the background of conflict between the Protestant Reformers and Catholic Counter Reformers. Though the Augustinian monasteries of Cochin and Goa were established in 1572,[139] it was against the general backdrop of relative Spanish disinterest in those religious Orders that promoted Sebastianism in Portuguese colonies that the till-then peripheralized Order of the Augustinians was preferred by the Hapsburg rulers Philip II and Philip III( Philip I and Philip II respectively of Portugal). In fact the preferential treatment to the Augustinians in the East by the Hapsburg rulers started with the appointment of Dom Alexis de Menezes as the Archbishop of Goa and then the viceroy of Goa and later the viceroy of the Spanish Crown for Portugal from 1614-1615.[140] During the time of the Spanish Hapsburgs, the Augustinian Friars were preferred for ecclesiastical and diplomatic jobs in Safavid Persia, Ottoman Turkey and Bengal and in Safavid Persia, they had houses in Isfahan since 1602[141] with subsidiary houses in Congo, Sohar( Soar), Curiate,  Dobba[142] and Basra since 1624,[143] besides Shiraz in 1626 and Georgia in 1627. [144] In the seventeenth century ,  the superior of the Augustinians in Bandel, Bengal even got the powers of a magistrate to try all the cases, except the ones involving capital punishment. [145] Later Sebastião de S. Pedro, another Augustinian Friar was appointed as the Archbishop of Goa(1625-1629).[146] The religious -cum -political roles,  that the Jesuits had earlier used to accomplish, now went into the hands of the Augustinians in the East against the background of the changed political contexts and the eventual changes in the religious politics of the Spanish Hapsburgs. [147]

 

Dom Alexis de Menezes had the perception of a standardized global Christianity, probably on par with the global Spanish empire spanning into the geographies of four continents. He wanted to get the differences in cultural practices and ritual traditions in Christianity to be erased as to create a homogenized global Christianity. He tried to materialize this by visiting the major enclaves of Christian groups across the East. We are familair with the visit he made to the settelements of the St.Thomas Christians, before and after the Synod of Diamper, obviously to wean them away from the influence of West Asian bishops and to integrate these native Christians into the frames of Padroado, besides facilitating the integration of their spice –production centres with the commercial activities of the Portuguese crown.[148]  Dom Alexis also gathered information about the Christian presence in Socotora and wanted to visit this island, as mentioned in Jornada, and “to gather remnants (of information) of local Christianity, in order to reduce these Christians to the Catholic Creed and eventually to bring them to India”.[149] We find Dom Alexis de Menezes sending missionaries to the Saffavid court of Isfahan.[150]  Roberto Gulbenkian    and Luis Filipe Thomaz see behind these moves an attempt to “transfer the so-called St.John the Baptist’s Christians, or Mandeans(  a gnostic sect)   of Lower Mesopotamia to the Portuguese strongholds of the Persian Gulf and also to Goa, where they could serve as soldiers.”[151] The contextual analysis shows that the grand project of homogenized global Christianity of Dom Alexis de Menezes consisted of the plan to convert St.Thomas Christians, the Chtristian groups of Socotora and the St.John the Baptist’s Christians of Persia(particularly of Iran) into Latin Christians and create a supportive social base for the Lusitanian enterprise in the East. However the long and continous resistance from the numerically largest group of the St.Thomas Christians among them from the time of the synod of Diamper onwards delayed and later shattered their plans.

 

The foregoing discussion shows how the nuanced and complex type of interactions between the Portuguese missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians in the sixteenth century should be read and perceived while revisiting Synod of Diamper in the twenty first century. Obviously through the interaction with the Portuguese missionaries, the St.Thomas Christians got chances to get access to the larger Christian world, to get themselves reformed on the basis of the new teachings of the Church, to get disciplined on the basis of Tridentine guidelines. But this is only one side of the story. Different Religious Congregations working under Padroado Real, but with different spiritual traditions and varying missionary orientations as well as charisms, had different types of approaches towards the St.Thomas Christians. They still varied on the basis of the complex responses that these Congregations gave to the challenges they experienced at global, regional and local levels. Above all there was the conditioning of the nature of interactions(between the Portuguese missionaries and the St.Thomas Christians) from the part of the various kings of Portugal, who, as protectors of the Padroado system, ultimately decided how the pepper –producing-cum-trading community of the St.Thomas Christians should be handled at different time periods on the basis of his political and commercial requirements and exigencies.  The members of various Religious Congregations operating as part of Padroado system and its missionary enterprise seem to have often worked with the sincerity, good intention and zeal required of any other missionary of the times; but they played their respective roles only in the way they were assigned to them by the crown periodically. A great part of the trouble arose from the fact that the national monarch of Portugal, by way of his presenting of the Congregations and missionaries before Pope for work among the St.Thomas Christians, translated his logic, intentions and purposes to India in general and Kerala in particular, while sending them at different time points. The individual Religious Congregations and their members might not have been aware of the totality of the picture nor all the intentions of the Portuguese crown. However, though the decisions of the crown, as chief patron of Padroado,  at varying points played vital role in shaping the nuanced contours and trajectories of Portuguese missionary activities in Kerala and the nature of their interaction with the St.Thomas Christians, the overwhelming ignorance of many missionaries ,the arrogance and reluctance of some of them to understand the native Christians and respect their ritual traditions and cultural practices put such deep wounds in this community that their scars still remain to be unhealed.

 

 

 

[1] The Church administrative system of patronage was introduced by the Spaniards in their colonies including South America with the name Patronato and by the Portuguese in their colonies with the name Padroado Real. C.R.Boxer, The Portuguese Sea-borne Empire,1415-1825, London, 1969, pp.228-9 See Antonio da Silva Rego, Le Patronage Portugais de  l’Orient, un aperçu historique, Lisbon, 1959;  Fortunato de Almeida, Historia da Igreja em Portugal, 4 vols., Oporto, 1967-71;Francisco Bethencourt and Kirti Chaudhuri(eds.), Historia da Expansão Portuguesa, vo.I, Lisbon, 1998, pp.369-86; Isabel dos Guimarães Sa, “Ecclesiastical Structures and Religious Action”, in Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo Ramada Curto(ed.), Portuguese Oceanic Expansion, 1400-1800, New York, 2007, pp.255-82; Pius Malekandathil, “Cross , Sword and Conflicts : A Study of the Political Meanings of the Struggle between the Padroado Real and Propaganda Fide”, in Studies in History (Sage Publications),  vol.  XXVII, 2, 2012, pp.251-267
[2] In fact the Padroado rights and duties were initially given to the Order of Christ, which was one among the four military religious orders (Santiago, Avis, Hospital and Christ)of Portugal involved in the fight against Islam against the context of the Crusades. The Order of Christ, which was founded by king Dinis in 1319 to replace the Order of the Knights of Templars after its suppression by Pope, had channelized a great amount of the wealth of the Templars for sponsoring the Portuguese voyages of geographical discoveries in the Atlantic. Since the time of Prince Henry the Navigator, who was the Grand Master of the Order of Christ, chain of voyages leading to geographical discoveries became an important activity of the Order of Christ, which was eventually given by Pope the spiritual jurisdiction over the ‘lands, islands and places’ hitherto discovered or yet to be discovered by the Portuguese. After the death of Henry the headship Order of Christ was incorporated into the Portuguese crown. C.R.Boxer, The Portuguese Sea-borne Empire, p.229; Isabel dos Guimarães Sa, “Ecclesiastical Structures and Religious action”, p.258. A series of papal Bulls like Dum diversus(1452), Romanus Pontifex(1455)and Inter Caetera(1456) were issued to the Portuguese rulers handing over them spiritual authority in the newly discovered areas.
[3] For all practical purposes it meant rights to rule over their spiritual matters as patron of the missions and to set up dioceses, religious institutions as well as houses in such territories, where they also held the right of presenting prelates and office holders to vacant sees, religious houses and other ecclesiastical institutions. The responsibility that fell upon the Portuguese rulers, in return for it, was that they should provide for the material needs of the church and clerics appointed by them in such territories Thomas Pallippurathukkunnel, A Double Regime in the Malabar Chruch, Alwaye, 1982, pp.3-4
[4] William Brooks Greenle(ed.), The Voyage of Pedro Alvares Cabral to Brazil and India from Contemporary Documents and Narratives, London, 1938, pp.86-7;  João de Barros, Asia. Dos feitos que os Portugueses fizeram no Descobrimento e Conquista dos Mares e Terras  do Oriente, Decada I, Lisboa, 1973, liv. 5, cap. 8, p. 158
[5] For details on the account of Fr. Joseph see A. Vallavanthara, India in 1500AD: the Narratives of Joseph the Indian , Kottayam, 1984
[6] Pius Malekandathil , “The Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians:1500-1570.” in K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R. de Souza and Pius Malekandathil (eds.), The Portuguese and the Socio- Cultural Changes in India:1500-1800A.D., Fundação Oriente, Lisbon/IRISH, Tellicherry, 2001, p.124.
[7] From thirteenth century onwards the Muslim merchants turned out to be a major competitor to the local merchants including those from the community of St.Thomas Christians on Indian markets. Under the influence of Muslim mercantile allies the Zamorin stipulated by the end of the fifteenth century that the king of Cochin should expel the Nazarene (St.Thomas) Christians from Cochin and that its trade should be handed over to the Muslims of Calicut. For details see O.K.Nambiar, The Kunjalis:Admirals of Calicut,London, 1963,p.40
[8] Thome Lopes, “ Navegação as Indias Orientales escrita em Portugues por Thome Lopes” in Collecção de Noticias para a Historia e Geografia das nações ultramarinas que vivem nos dominios Portugueses ou Lhes são vizinhas, tom.II, no.1 and 2, Lisbon, 1812, pp.199-200
[9] Ibid., pp.199-200
[10] The church of Our Lady of Mercy that belonged to the St.Thomas Christians was set on fire by the Muslims in 1505. See  Gaspar Correia, Lendas da India, vol.I, ed. By R.J.de Lima Felner, Lisboa, 1858, pp.152ff.
[11] Gernot Giertz, Vasco da Gama, die Entdeckung des Seewegs nach Indien : ein Augenzeugenbericht, 1497-1499, Tübingen, 1980, p.166
[12] See “Calcoen” written by a Flemish artellierist who accompanied Vasco da Gama in this voyage. “Calcoen”. in Viktor Hantzsch, Deutsche Reisende des Sechzehnten Jahrhunderts, Leipzig, 1895, p.6
[13] Antonio da Silva Rego, Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, Lisboa, 1948,  vol.I, p.25
[14] Jean Aubin, “L’apprentissage de l’Inde: Cochin 1503-1504”, in Moyen Orient et Ocean Indien, 1988; Genevieve Bouchon, “Calicut at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century”, in The Asian Seas 1500-1800:Local Societies, European Expansions and the Portuguese, Revista da Cultura,vol.I, 1991,p.44
[15] “Reisebericht des Franciscus Dalbuquerque vom 27. December 1503” in B.Greiff(ed.), Tagebuch des Lucas Rem aus den Jahren 1494-1541, Augsburg, 1861, p. 146
[16] In 1503 Afonso de Albuquerque restored the privilege of the St.Thomas Christians to keep weights and measures of the city under their custody , which they were enviously maintaining since 849 when Ayyanadiakl Thiruvadikal had conferred this privilege upon them. He also engaged a Dominican priest Pe. Rodrigo O.P  to baptize the children of the St.Thomas Christians of Quilon. Probaly this was the first case when a Portuguese missionary  started getting involved in the affairs of the St. Thomas Christians directly.Pius Malekandathil, “The Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians:1500-1570”, pp.125-6
[17] For details on this Vicar General see Georg Schurhammer , Francis Xavier: His Life , His Times, vol.II, : India, 1541-1545, translated by Joseph Costelloe, Rome, 1977, p.146
[18] Small churches or prayer centres formed the only ecclesiastical institutions that evolved in the East at this point of time.  Though the Vicar General was to supervise the evangelization works and attend to the spiritual care of the new converts , there were only very few converts during the period between 1505 and 1510. However the work increased with John Fernandes, who was the next Vicar General (1510-13)
[19] Maria Levy Jordão( ed.),  Bullarium  Patronatus Portugaliae Regum in Ecclesiis Africae , Asiae atque Oceaniae , tom.I, Olisipone, 1868, p.100
[20]  The letter of Frei Domingos de Sousa and Pero Mascarenhas to the king dated 20th December 1514. ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, II, Maço 53, doc. 154
[21] Letter of Frei Domingos de Sousa(OP) , General Vicar of India, dated 10th July 1514 Corpo Cronologico, II, Maço 49, doc. 42. See also Georg Schurhammer , Francis Xavier: His Life , His Times, vol.II, Rome , 1973, p.146
[22] João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, “Os Portugueses e a cristandade siro-malabar( 1498-1530),”in Studia, no.52, 1994, pp.145-6; Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.I,pp.188, 205, 210
[23] Pius Malekandathil, “The Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians:1500-1570,” p.131
[24] Though in the original letter date of its writing is not indicated, Luis Filipe Thomaz views that this must have been written in 1518. Luis Filipe F.R.Thomaz, “ Were Saint Thomas Christians Looked upon as Heretics?”, in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, ed.by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, Fundação Oriente,Lisbon/IRISH, Tellicherry,  2001,  p.  51
[25] Carta do Padre Alvaro Penteado a El-Rei( without date) in Antonio da Silva Rego, Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente,vol.III, Lisboa, 1948,  pp.543-553
[26] Luis Filipe F.R.Thomaz, “ Were Saint Thomas Christians Looked upon as Heretics?,”  p. 49. In Ethiopia the Portuguese Jesuits even later considered the Monophysite Christians to be heathens and hence they were re-baptized as to convert them to Catholicism. Ibid., p.59
[27] For details on the accusations levelled by Alvaro Penteado see Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.III,pp.543-553; João Paulo e Costa,” Os Portugueses e a cristandade siro-malabar(1498-1530)”, in Studia, No.52, Lisboa, 1994, pp.145-167
[28] João Teles e Cunha, “Socio-Cultural Aspects of the Catholic Missionary Works in India”, in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, edited by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, p.240
[29] Jörge Pock, the German merchant agent of the businesshouse of the Hirschvogels of Nürenberg  writes from Cochin in 1522 as to how ‘the priests of Cochin , with whom he talked, were taken up by Luther’s words and how they reacted saying that he ( Luther) was telling the truth and that he must be a saintly man.’ Jörge Pock in his letter to Michael Behaim expresses his desire to get copies of “ di zeittung vom München vonn Wittenberg”( evidently referring to the news–letters of Martin Luther) See the letter of Jörge Pock sent to Michael Behaim  from Cochin on 1st January 1522 given in Ghillany, Geschichte des Seefahrers Ritter Martin Behaim, Nürenberg, 1853, Urkunde XXIV, p.121; See also Pius Malekandathil, The Germans, the Portuguese and India, Münster, 1999, p.65. One may find deails also in Hedwig Kömmerling-Fitzler, “Der Nürnberger Kaufmann Georg Pock( 1528/9)  in Portugiessisch-Indien und in Edelstein land Vijayanagara,” in Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg, 55, 1968, pp.137-184
[30] João Paulo e Costa,” Os Portugueses e a cristandade siro-malabar(1498-1530)”, p. 148; Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.I, p. 546
[31] Letter from Pe. Alvares Penteado to Cardinal Dom Afonso , brother of king John III in Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.II, pp 357-61
[32] Inid., pp.357-61
[33] Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.II , pp. 243-5
[34] Alvares Penteado , on his return to India from Portugal after having visited king Manuel wanted to administer baptism to the St. Thomas Christians, which task he got it inserted into the letter of Dom Manuel. In the public baptizing ceremony that was organized, he ridiculed the baptism rituals of the St.Thomas Christians publically stating that the Latin ritual of baptism was the correct one.  Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.II, pp.357- 361.
[35] Mathias Mundadan, History of Christianity in India, Vol. I, Bangalore, 1972, pp.304-7
[36] Ibid., pp.306-7; Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.II, pp.143ff
[37] Georg Schurhammer , Francis Xavier: His Life , His Times, vol.II, p.146
[38] João Paulo e Costa,” Os Portugueses e a cristandade siro-malabar(1498-1530)”, pp.176-7; Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.II,  p.175
[39] Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.II, pp 352-6
[40] Teotonio R. de Souza,’’The Indian Christians of St.Thomas and the Portuguese Padroado: A Rape only after a Century-long Dating( 1498-1599)”, A paper presented in the International Seminar on  Christians and Spices , University of Munich, Freising, january, 14-17, 1997, p.2, no.3; Pius Malekandathil, “The Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians:1500-1570”, p.134
[41] George Schurhammer,  The Malabar Church and Rome during the Early Portuguese Period and Before, Trichinopoly, 1934,  pp.17-19
[42] Frei Paulo da Trindade , Conquista Espiritual do Orient, vol.I, Lisboa, MCMLXII, pp.102-3; See also Gervasis J. Mulakara, History of the Diocese of Cochin: European Missionaries in Cochin , 1292-1558, vol.I, Rome, 1986, pp.49-52; Pius Malekandathil, Portuguese Cochin and the Maritime Trade of India, 1500-1663( A volume in the South Asian Study Series of Heidelberg University, Germany), New Delhi, 2001,p. 92. The building processes of the Franciscan monastery of Goa had started as early as 1518.  See. ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, I, Maço 23, doc. 133 and 142. The buildings of the Franciscan monastery of Goa got completed in 1520. See ANTT, Fragmentos I, Letter of Frei Antonio to the king dated 27-10-1520
[43] For details see Fortunato de Almeida, Historia da Igreja em Portugal, 4 vols., Coimbra, 1919-1930; Jose Eduardo Franco and Luis Machado de Abreu(ed.), Para a Historia das Ordens: E Congregações Religiosas em Portugal, na Europa e noMundo, 2 vols., Prior Velho, 2014
[44] The religious movements of the Franciscan Friars(the  Mendicants), the Dominican Friars (the Predicants), Alleluiants, Flagellants, Waldensians, Patarines, Arnoldists, Poor Lombards, Joachimites, Dulcinians, Albigensians and Humiliatis spread as religious movements of the evolving medieval European towns, addressing the various issues and sensibilities of urban dwellers. For details see Donald F. Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages, London, 2002; pp. 203-14; C.Violantem, “Eresie Urbane e Eresie Rurali in Italia dal XI al XIII secolo”, in O. Capitani(ed.), Medioevo Ereticale, Bologna, 1977.
[45] For details see R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in Middle Age, Harmondsworth, 1970, pp.273-86; Donald F. Logan, A History of the Church, pp. 275-93
[46] Luis Filipe Thomaz shows how the “spiritual” Franciscans adopted the ideology of Joachim of Fiori, who argued that the Old Testament period had been the time span when God the Father reigned and the New Testament period witnessed the reign of God the Son, which was inscribed onto the Institutional Church . He believed that this would soon be replaced by the reign of Holy Spirit, which would be dominated by ‘’holy monks’’ and characterized by purity and chastity. The Franciscans viewed themselves as being the ‘’holy monks” who were supposed to dominate the era of the Holy Spirit and as being instruments to ‘’bring about the triumph of Christianity and the universal empire.’.  See Luis Filipe F.R.Thomaz, “ Were Saint Thomas Christians Looked upon as Heretics?”, in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, ed.by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, Fundação Oriente, Lisboa, 2001,pp.31-2. See also  Luis Filipe Thomaz, “Factions, Interests and Messianism: The Politics of Portuguese Expansion in the East, 1500-1521”in The Indian Economic and Social History Review, vol.28, No.1, New Delhi, 1991, pp.97-109
[47] Pius Malekandathil, “Spatialization and Social Engineering: Role of the Cities of Cochin and Goa in Shaping the Estado da India, 1500-1663’ in  João Paulo Oliveira e Costa and Vitor Luis Gaspar Rodrigues(ed.), O Estado da India e os Desafios Europeus: Actas do XII Seminario Internacional de Historia Indo-Portuguesa, Lisboa, 2010, pp.301-328
[48] Here I am also drawing parallels from European contexts where the Franciscans preferred to work. See also R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in Middle Age, Harmondsworth, 1970, pp.273-86; Donald F. Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages, New York, 2002, pp. 275-93; See also Pius Malekandathil(ed.), The Indian Ocean in the Making of Early Modern India, Routledge, London,/Manohar, New Delhi, 2016,p.38; Yogesh Sharma and Pius Malekandathil(ed.), Cities in Medieval India, New Delhi,2014, pp.9-10
[49] Even the first bishop who reached Goa in 1539 to take up the Episcopal see of Goa was a Franciscan, Frei João de Albuquerque, obviously  in tune with the prevailing perceptions of Franciscans as ‘’the holy monks’’( of the era of Holy Spirit),  whose responsibility also included the task of spiritually taming the Portuguese mercantile settlers in India, evidently on line with the agenda of the crown.
[50] George Schurhammer, The Malabar Church and Rome, pp.17ff.
[51] Biblioteca Publica de Evora, Nucleo dos Manuscritos da Casa Forte CIX/2-3, Maço 3, doc. 15, fol. 5v. ‘’Carta de Frei Vicente á el Rey , dando-lhe conta do collegio que edificara em Cranganore , estatutos dos collegiaes delle e outras noticias daquella Estado” Cranganore, dated 1 January 1549
[52] It was founded by Juan de Guadalupe in 1500 and became a Custody in 1509 and a province in 1517. Tara Alberts, Conflict and Conversion: Catholicism in Southeast Asia, 1500-1700, Oxford, 2013, pp.26-7
[53] For details see Mathias Mundadan, History of Christianity in India, Vol. I , pp.324-341; A. Meersman, The Ancient Franciscan Provinces in India, 1500-1835, Bangalore, 1971, pp.44-51
[54] Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Português, vol.IV, pp. 200-211. See also Pius Malekandathil,’’The Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians: 1500-1570’’, in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, ed.by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, Fundação Oriente, Lisboa, 2001, pp.138-9
[55] Ibid., p.140; Mathias Mundadan,St.Thomas Christians: 1498-1552, Bangalore, 1967, pp.137-8
[56] Though Goa was made a diocese in 1533, it was only in 1539 that the first bishop for Goa reached India. Despite the presence of a bishop in Goa , the relative longer stay of Miguel Vaz in Goa gave him upper hand in deciding the nature of policies to be resorted to in the ecclesiastical matters
[57] Josef Wicki, “Der Einheimische Klerus in Indien( 16. Jahrhundert )”, in Einheimische Klerus in Geschichte und Gegenwart : Festschrift zum 60 Geburtstag von Dr. Laurenz Kilger, Schöneck Beckenried, 1950, pp.21-29
[58] Ibid., pp.40, 62
[59] Pius Malekandathil, “Diocese do Funchal e estratégias missionárias na Índia: 1514-1550”, in Jose Eduardo Franco and João Paulo Oliveira e Costa(eds.), Diocese do Funchal: A Primeira Diocese Global, Historia, Cultura e Espiritualidades, vol.I, Funchal(Portugal), 2015,  pp.175-190
[60] Jesuit Society was founded by an ex- Spanish knight by name Ignatius of Loyola and six other students of Paris University including Francis Xavier in 1534.
[61] The Jesuits called themselves Company of Jesus. The word company meant infantry in military context and discipleship or companionship in spiritual context and it was initially used by them to signify a certain amount of military tone to their spiritual group. They were often known also as the soldiers of Christ or the Foot soldiers of the Pope and their intellectual fight against Protestantism in Poland, Lithuania and Southern Germany apparently justified these appellations
[62] Fortunato de Almeida, Historia da Igreja em Portugal, vol.II, Porto, 1968, p.169
[63] Fortunato de Almeida, Historia da Igreja em Portugal, vol.II, p.169
[64] Gervasis J.Mulakara, History of the Diocese of Cochin: European Missionaries in Cochin, 1292-1558, vol.I, Rome, 1986,pp.90-1
[65] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.I, doc.81, Rome, 1948, p.521
[66] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.III, Romae, 1956, pp.758-75: ANTT, Inquisição de Lisboa, Proc. No. 7296 de Leonor Caldeira, fol.11
[67] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.V( 1561-63), Romae, 1958, p. 276
[68] “Informação do que fez o Padre Mestre Melchior Carneiro em uns Reinos que estão junto de Cochim pela terra dentro”,  in Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, Vol.VIII,  Lisbon, 1952, p.498
[69] “Informação do que fez o Padre Mestre Melchior Carneiro em uns Reinos que estão junto de Cochim pela terra dentro”,  in Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, Vol.VIII, Lisbon, 1952, pp.498-9
[70] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.III(), Romae, 1956,pp.809-10
[71] Letter of Fernando da Paz dated 10-1-1557 in Antonio da Silva Rego (ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, vol.VI, Lisboa, 1950, p. 248; Account of Melchior Carneiro of 1557 in Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.III, Rome, 1956, pp.792-811
[72] Relatio P.Francisci Dionysii S.J. de Christianis S. Thomae, Cochin, 4 Januarii 1578. In Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol.XI, Romae, 1970, p.138
[73] P. Franciscus Dionysius SJ. Rector, P. Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. General S.J, Cochin, 2 Januarii, 1578, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580),, vol.XI,p. 63; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II,pp.37-40
[74] P. Franciscus Dionysius SJ. Rector, P. Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. General S.J, Cochin, 2 Januarii, 1578, In Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580),, vol.XI,pp. 63-4; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II,pp.48-50
[75] Josef Wicki, Missionskirche im Orient, 1976, p.204; Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.III, Roma,1948,  pp.800-801; 754
[76] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, XI, p.138. Account of Fr.Dionysius written in January 1578. He was confirmed as Patriarch by Pope Julius III on 20th February 1553.
[77] Joseph Thekkedath,  History of Christianity in India, vol.II, p.41
[78] Joseph Thekkedath,  History of Christianity in India, vol.II, p.42
[79] João Teles e Cunha, “Socio-Cultural Aspects of the Catholic Missionary Works in India”, in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, edited by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, p.242
[80] BNL, Fundo Geral, Cod. 737, “Erecção da Villa em Cidade ( de Cochim) , creação do bishpado a pedido de D. Sebastião 1557”, fols. 271-4
[81] Ibid. Fortunato de Almeida, Historia da Igreja em Portugal, vol.II, Porto, 1918, p.25
[82] Pius Malekandathil, Portuguese Cochin and the Maritime Trade of India, p. 95
[83] Gervasis J.Mulakara, op.cit., p.117
[84] R.W.Southern, Western Society and the Church in Middle Ages, Baltimore, 1970, pp.279-299.
[85] As early 1546 Francis Xavier had written to king John III from Amboina…..   “ in order to make the people who live in India into good Christians, (it is necessary) for your Majesty to send out the Holy Inquisition , for there are many here who live according to Mosaic law or who are of the Moorish sect…….And as they are many and spread out among all the fortresses, many preachers as well as Holy inquisition are required…” See Georg Schurhammer and Josef Wicki(ed.), Epistolae S.Francisi Xaverii aliaque eius Scripta, vol.I, Rome, 1945, pp.346-7
[86] The inquisitorial court of Cochin in 1558 -9 consisted of two Jesuit priests( Pe. D. Gonçalo da Silveira, Pe. Belchior Carneiro), one Franciscan Friar( Friar Lopo) and a Dominican Friar ( Friar Nicolau do Rossario). See Pius Malekandathil, Portuguese Cochin and the Maritime Trade of India, p.97; Pius Malekandathil, “Living Religion in Emotional Turbulence: A Study on the Religious Fluviality of New Christians of Cochin and the Inquisition, 1546-1565,” in Pius Malekandathil, Joy L.K. Pachuau and Tanika Sarkar(ed.), Christianity in Indian History: Issues of Culture, Power and Knowledge, New Delhi, 2016, pp.261-2,
[87] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. IV, pp.231-2
[88] Joseph Thekkedath,  History of Christianity in India, vol.II,p. 43
[89] Ibid., p. 43
[90] Ibid., pp.43-4
[91] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. VI, p.427; DI, XI, p.138
[92] “Relatio P.Francisci Dionysii S.J de Christianis S.Thomae”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, Romae, 1970, pp.141-2
[93] “Patriarcha Abd Ishu Eligit Georgium in Episcopum Palurensem”, dated 25 August 1566, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.VII, Romae, 1962, pp.703-4
[94] “Fr. Gaspar Alvares SJ P.Everardo Mercuriano Praep. General SJ et Socii Europae”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XI, p.810
[95] He further requests that he might be permitted to continue to be the administrator of this church and nominate somebody in the future to administer it after his death. He also requests Pope for granting perpetually indulgences for those who visit this church on stipulated days.’Rev. Georgius de Christo: Archidiaconus P.Everardo Mercuriano, Praep.General S..J, Cochin, dated 15th Januarii, 1580, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XI, p.833
[96] Joseph Thekkedath,  History of Christianity in India, vol.II , p.44
[97]Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.),Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado, vol.IX, p.155
[98] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. VI, p.180
[99] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, VI, pp.178-180, the letter of Bro.Amador Correia S.J., 20-1-1564; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity, vol.II, Bangalore, 1988, p.45
[100] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, Vol.VI, p.413, letter of Pe.Francis Lopes S.J., dated 6-1-1565, Cochin.; pp.427-428,  letter of Fr.Nunes Barreto S.J., dated 15-1-1565, Cochin.
[101] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. VI, pp.227-8
[102] Joseph Thekkedath,  History of Christianity in India, vol.II, p.47
[103] Mar Simon Sulaqa, who reunited with the Catholic Church, had already obtained a letter of recommendation addressed to the Viceroy of Portuguese India from the Portuguese ambassador to the Holy See. The reunion of Chaldean Patriarch with the Catholic Church was quite known to the Portuguese. Giuseppe Beltrami, La Chiesa Caldea, p.25.
[104] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. VII, p.476
[105] Giuseppe Beltrami, La Chiesa Caldea, pp.92-93
[106] P. Franciscus Dionysius SJ. Rector, P. Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. General S.J, Cochin, 2 Januarii, 1578, In Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol.XI, pp. 63-4; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II,pp.48-50
[107] Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.XI, pp.62;65. The letter of Fr. Dionysius S.J. in 1578
[108] P.Melchior Nunes Barreto SJ , P.Francisco Borgiae Praepositum Generalis, SJ, Goa, dated 6-12-1569 , in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica (1569-1573),vol. VIII, Romae, 1964, p. 135
[109] Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity,  Vol.II., p. 49
[110] Deliberationes Patrum Veterum et Superiorum de Pluribus Quaestionibus Provincae Indiae, 6-18 December , 1575, Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), X, Romae, 1968, p.268
[111] Cf.Supra nos. 102; 105
[112] In fact the king of Cochin came forward to defend Mar Abraham by sending a letter to Pope saying that the prelate did not attend the council, because of fear of Portuguese persecution and ill treatment. In 1578 Pope Gregory XIII asked Mar Abraham to attend the next councils assuring him of safety, to which effect the Pope also had written to the Portuguese bishops of India and the king of Portugal. Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões, vol.XII, pp.321-22; 411-2
[113] Joaquim Verrissimo Serrão, Historia de Portugal, vol.III,Lisboa, 1978, pp.76-81
[114] He later became the Archbishop of Goa(1578-81)
[115] Josef Wicki, “ The Portuguese Padroado in India in the Sixteenth Century And Francis Xavier,” in E.R.Hambye and H.C.Perumalil(eds.),Christianity in India, Alleppey, 1972 , p.54
[116] By this point of time the Jesuits were also formulating the idea of global Christianity by introducing all the cultural facets of European Christianity in the East. This also included the  facets of relic-veneration, for which the relics, pulled down by the Protestants in North Europe were bought by the Jesuits themselves or through the agency of merchants and carried to South Europe, particularly Portugal,  from where they were further brought to Goa and Cochin for dissemination in various Christian enclaves of India.
[117] Deliberationes Patrum Veterum et Superiorum de Pluribus Quaestionibus Provincae Indiae, 6-18 December , 1575, Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), X,Romae, 1968, pp.167-9; 268
[118] Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity,  Vol.II., p. 51
[119] This did not happen. On the contrary Pope Gregory XIII in his Brief of 1578 had authorized Bishop Henry de Tavora e Brito and Mar Abraham to expel Mar Simon. But in 1583 when  two Franciscan Friars from Malacca and Macao reached Cochin, they  absolved Mar Simon from the excommunication without seeing its repercussions and persuaded the Mar Simon to go to Rome to prove his “innocence.”
[120] Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), X, Romae, 1968, pp.946-9
[121] Ibid., pp. 880-1 After ten years( i.e., 1587) the Jesuits laid foundation for the Vaipikotta Seminary
[122] Fr. Bernardine Ferrario, as an Italian Jesuit, unlike their Portuguese counterparts, carried a great amount of the spirit of Italian Renaissance with himself, including respect for cultural pluralism and readiness to interact, absorb and experiment with new cultures and ways of life that they encountered. The other was Fr.Pero Luis, who had earlier been a Brahmin from Quilon and got converted to Christianity in 1546 when he was about 15 years old. He became a Jesuit priest in 1575. After the short–term ministry among the St.Thomas Christians of Vaipikotta he went to Cochin and took up the supervision of the printing of the Tamil translation of the Doctrina Christãa, known as kiricittiyāni vanakkam. The final linguistic supervision of the first printed book in Kerala was done by him, as the per his account of 1580
[123] “Litterae Annuae Provinciae Indicae Sociis Lusitanis Missae”, Goa, November 1577,  in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), vol.X, Romae, 1968,.Ibid., p.953.
[124] A lot of Portuguese documents refer to it. See “P.E. Manoel Teixeria SJ, Superintendens , P.Everardo Mercuriano SJ, Praepositum General, SJ, Cochin, 10-30 Januarii, 1580 in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, pp.798-9; “Supplicatio Patrum S.J. in Favorem Praesulum et Christianorum S.Thomae”, Romae, Novembrii, 1578 , in  in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica (1577-1580),vol. XI, Romae, 1970,p.382;       “ Mar Abraham, Archiepiscopus, P.Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. Generalis S.J, Cochin, Januarii, 1580, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, pp.828-9; “ Memoriale Mar Abrahai, Archiepiscopi , ( Gregorio XIII) Papae Exhibendum”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, p.831
[125]“Memoriale Mar Abrahai, Archiepiscopi , ( Gregorio XIII) Papae Exhibendum”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, pp.826-9
[126] Giovanni di Empoli, “Viaggio fatto nell’India per Gionni da Empoli fattore su la nave del serenissimo re di Portugallo per conto de marchioni di Lisbona”, in G.B.Ramusio(ed.), Delle Navigationi et Viaggi nel qual si contiente la descrittione dell’Africa, et del Paese del Prete Joanni, con varii Viaggi, dal Mar Rosso a Calicut, et in fin all’isole Molucche, dove nascono le Spetieri, et la Navigatione attorno il Mondo, Venice, 1550,fol.57; Pius Malekandathil, “The Portuguese and the St.Thomas Christians :1500-1570” , in The Portuguese and the Socio- Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, ed.by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, Fundação Oriente, Lisboa, 2001,p.128.
[127] See the report of the German artillerists given in Gernot Giertz, Vasco da Gama, die Entdeckung des Seewegs nach Indien :ein Augenzeugenbericht 1497-1499, Tübingen, 1980, p.188. For the detailed report of the same see Horst G.W.Nüsser, Frühe Deutsche Entdecker: Asien in Berichten unbekannter deutscher Augenzeugen(1502-6), München, 1980, 126-40
[128] Tome Pires, A Suma Oriental de Tome Pires e o Livro de Francisco Rodrigues, ed.by Armando Cortesão, Coimbra, 1978, p.180. In this connection the recent research works of the Portuguese scholars like João Teles e Cunha, João Paulo Oliveira e Costa and Luis Filipe F.R. Thomaz deserve special mention because of the objective painstaking research. See João Teles e Cunha “De Diamper a Mattancherry: Caminhos e  Encruzilhadas da Igreja Malabar e Catolica na India: Os Primeiros Tempos(1599-1624)”in Anais de Historia de Alem-Mar, vol.V, 2004, pp.283-368; João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, “Os Portugueses e a Cristandade Siro-Malabar(1498-1530),in Studia, 52, Lisboa, 1994; Luis Filipe F.R.Thomaz, “ Were Saint Thomas Christians Looked upon as Heretics?”, in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India, 1500-1800, ed.by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, Fundação Oriente, Lisboa, 2001,pp.27-92
[129] Josef Wicki(ed.), Documenta Indica, vol.VI, Roma, 1948,  p.180; Pius Malekandathil , “ Woman , Church and Syrian Christian Households in Pre-Modern Kerala” in Kumkum Roy(ed.), Looking Within, Looking Without: Exploring Households in the Subcontinent Through the Time, Essays in Memory of Nandita Prasad Sahai , Primus Books,  New Delhi, 2014, p.259
[130] Josef Wicki(ed.), Documenta Indica, vol.VII, p.475. However, in 1607 Fernão Guerreiro estimates the number to be 80,000. See Fernão Guerreiro, Relação Annual, vol.II, p.338; João Teles e Cunha “De Diamper a Mattancherry”, p.289
[131] P.A. Valignani SJ Provincialis, Instructio PRO.P.NONNIO RODRIGUES S.J .Goa. 12 December 1583. Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XIII(1583-1585), Romae, 1975, p.420;  In Summarium Indicum Alterum P.Alexandri Valignani S.J Visitatoris , SHIMO( In Japonia) Augusto 1580, Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XIII(1583-1585) pp.176 . He also states that a great part of pepper is in their hands.Ibid., p.420
[132] Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XIII, p.499.It was in this synod that the Syrian Christians accepted the Gregorian calendar.

[132] Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity,  Vol.II, p.52
[133] Paiva Manso, Bullarium, Appendix, tome I, pp.57-93, Action III, dec.1-10
[134] Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity,  Vol.II, p.53
[135] Joaquim Verrissimo Serrão, O Reinado de D. Antonio, Prior do Crato, vol. I( 1580-2), Coimbra, 1956, pp.330-45; Joaquim Verrissimo Serrão, Historia de Portugal, vol.III, pp.85-90; See also Pius Malekandathil, Maritime India: Trade, Religion and Polity in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi, 2010(Third edition 2015), pp.196-204
[136] See Ana Maria de Albuquerque Binet, “O papel da Companhia de Jesus na Propagação da Crença Sebastica em Portugal e no Brazil”, in Jose Eduardo Franco and Luis Machado de Abreu(ed.), Para a Historia das Ordens: E Congregações Religiosas em Portugal, na europa e no mundo, vol.I, Prior Velho, 2014, pp.173-180;   C.R.Boxer, The Portuguese Sea-borne Empire, 1415-1825, London, 1969, pp.369-375. The movement of Sebastianism was eventually linked with millenarianism and the idea of Rei Encoberto and redeemer-king , which soon got circulated in Portuguese colonies by the Jesuits, elevating king Sebastian to the level of the millenarian figure of ‘redeemer king’ and keeping alive in Portuguese enclaves strong hopes in the restoration of Portuguese monarchy  and also a state of resistance against ‘the Castilians’. It was during the ‘Spanish captivity’ of 1580-1640 that the movement of Sebastianism and millenarianism got wider currency. In his younger age, king Sebstian was educated by the Jesuits. His dislike for marriage and women made many see in him the spiritual values of the redeemer-king. Many Portuguese believed that king Sebastian was alive in a cave, or on a mist-covered island in mid-Atlantic or under the custody of the Moors  or the Spaniards.
[137] The result of his visit is included in his treatise on the “mistakes” that he claims to have found in this  community.P.Francisco Roz, “De erroribus nestorianorum qui in hac India Orientali versantur, Orientalia Christiana, vol.XI_I, no.40, Jan. 1928.
[138] Denis L. Cottineau de Kloguen, An Historical Skech of Goa, New Delhi, 2005, p. 80. To counter the general stigma of being a religious Order that gave birth to Martin Luther and to make the Order receptive to the Catholic world , the Order even changed the colour of their habit from black to white.
[139] Josef Wicki, “ The Portuguese Padroado”, in H.C.Perumalil and E.R.Hambye(ed.), Christianity in India , Alleppey, 1972, p. 55 ; Denis L. Cottineau de Kloguen, An Historical Skech of Goa, New Delhi, 2005, p. 80. The twelveAugustinians reached Goa in 1872 under Fr. Antonio de Paixão.
[140] See also Carlos Alonso Vaňes , “The Convent of Saint Monica and Its Inhabitants in the Early Decades of the Seventeenth Century,” in Pius Malekandathil and Jamal Mohammed (eds.), The Portuguese, Indian Ocean and European Bridgehead: Festschrift in Honour of Prof. K.S. Mathew. Fundação Oriente, Lisbon/ IRISH, Tellicherry, 2001, pp.163-175; Carlos Alonso Vaňes, “ Dom Aleixo de Menezes and the Social Transformation on the West Coast of India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,”  in The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in India,1500-1800 edited by K.S.Mathew, Teotonio R.de Souza and Pius Malekandathil, Fundação Oriente, Lisboa/IRISH, Tellicherry, 2001, pp.421-436
[141] Antonio da  Silva Rego (ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado , vol.XI, p.202
[142] Ibid., p.209
[143] Ibid., pp.216-220
[144] Ibid., pp. 221-2
[145] For details see Pius Malekandathil, Jornada of Dom Alexis de Menezes: A Portuguese Account of the sixteenth Century Malabar, Kochi, 2003, pp.517-591; Antonio da  Silva Rego (ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, vol. XI, pp.202-222; Arnulf Hartmann, Historia das Missões dos Padres Augustinianos na India nos Principios do 18 seculo, escrita pelo P.Fr. Jorge da Presentação Missionario, p.198; Pius Malekandathil, The Mughals, the Portuguese and the Indian Ocean: Changing Imageries of Maritime India, New Delhi, 2013(Second edition 2014),pp. 188-9; E.R. Hambye, History of Christianity in India, vol.III, Bangalore, 1997, p.451
[146] Casimiro Christovão de Nazareth, Mitras  Lusitanas no Oriente, Lisboa, 1894,  p.137
[147] Pius Malekandathil, “Traders, Religious Orders and “ Rome of the East”: Changing Meanings of Religious Processes in the City of Goa, 1510-1650, ” in Pius Malekandathil, Lotika Varadarajan and Amar Farooqui(ed.), India, the Portuguese and Maritime Interactions, vol.I, New Delhi, 2017, chapter 27
[148] He departed from Goa on 27th December 1598 and reached Goa on 16th November 1599 after having convened the Synod and having visited the settlements of the St.Thomas Christians
[149] Luis Filipe Thomaz, “ Were Saint Thomas Christians Looked upon as Heretics?”p.58
[150] Pius Malekandathil, Jornada of Dom Alexis de Menezes,  pp.517-591
[151] Luis Filipe Thomaz, “ Were Saint Thomas Christians Looked upon as Heretics?”p. 58; Roberto Gulbenkian, “ Relações politico-religiosas entre os portugueses e os mandeos da Baixa Mesopotamia e do Kuzistão na primeira metade do seculo XVII”, in Anais da Academia Portuguesa de Historia, 2nd series, vol.32, tome 2d, 1989, pp.231-328

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