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Three years later I did the spiritual exercises, and not only on those days, but throughout the whole year I kept thinking about the same thing. After this period, and sure that, thanks to our Lord, nothing would make me change, my decision was made forever, I thought of telling my parents about my ideas to obtain their consent to follow my calling, but before that I wanted to take all of the steps, that is, to make sure I would or would not be received in my conditions, without dowry or even trousseau, and thanks to our Lord, I got it all quickly, without any difficulties, they receive me at any time even if I carry nothing with me but my goodwill and the huge desire to dedicate myself to the service of God and live just for Him.
I even waited for some months for my aunt, Carapebus, who was coming to spend a few days with us, because since she was very religious and kind, I imagined she could help me get my parents' consent, but before the day of her arrival my Father heard of my ideas through a stranger, and so I no longer waited and told them everything. They soon were as opposed as possible and, among other things, they cut relations with my best friends' families who were not to blame at all, because it all came only from me, or even better, from God. They tried everything, even convincing me that I was mad, that it was all caused by hysteria and that I must be convinced of that so I could make efforts to be cured from that state.
After all, by realizing nothing would make me change and that I perfectly knew that, being almost 30 years old, I was entitled to choose whatever life I wanted, they called the infamous doctors and convinced them to provide the certificate I told you about, probably to have this evidence in their favor in case I tried to go against their will. Anyway, I have been going through things that only God knows about, my life in these two years has been a real suffering, at the age of 31 I see myself stuck and watched like a or year-old girl and so many of them at that age are freer than me, at 31!
Well, I know that love even though a very confusing one is what blinds them to the point of causing me so many injustices, so I forgive them with all of my heart, because I care for my parents very much and that is why I have been waiting this whole time to see if I could get their consent and blessing before I left. For me, that would be the maximum possible happiness, but unfortunately I see that my patience, submission and condescendence have gotten me nowhere.
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I feel as unhappy as I can be, and I can no longer suffer from that pain, so I come to ask Your Honor the huge favor of talking to my Father and telling him how unhappy I feel in this world, and how much I wish to go on with the religious life. Make them see that, if I got married, as they would like me to, I would not stay home with them either, and if I got married, for instance, to a diplomat, I would have to be apart [from them] as did my mother, from her family [and my brother], who is in Brazil, from all of us, [inside the] convent he can find me whenever he wishes to visit and heard from by through letters.
Explain to him that the step I am willing to take is not dishonor to my family, on the contrary, how many distinct people and even [princesses] became nuns, and one cannot say they lowered themselves. Tell him that you also have a cousin, who is a nun, and therefore she is very acknowledged by everyone, including her family. Tell him, finally, that him being such a good Father he must be ready to make this sacrifice, even if against his will, to make his daughter happy, since she cannot be so in any other way. But I am sorry to remind you of all that when Your Honor knows a thousand times better than me what you should tell him.
I trust it all to your intelligence and good heart, all I ask of you is to use all your efforts to obtain such a desired consent by touching his heart, which is very soft and good. But if after all that he continues to say no, then I ask Your Honor for your competent protection so that I can get the freedom I am entitled to since I can no longer remain in this life of suffering, and I am more than decided to follow my calling. This will be a huge happiness for me, and satisfaction for my family, because, thanks to God, nothing will make me change my mind and I will only be a torment for them while I am depriving them from having fun, because they do not want to go if I do not go with them, and tormenting them every time I ask them to let me follow my calling.
I hope, or else, I am almost certain that Your Honor will do what I just asked you to, and that very briefly I will owe you my happiness! I also have another big favor to ask you, which is to take me with you to Lisbon when you go back there with your Honorable family, and there I will say which order I wish to join.
I would like to thank you one thousand times and conclude here, very thoughtful and grateful, thank you very much,. Post scriptum on October 4, After this letter was written, while I waited to send it to you when you return to Porto, my suffering has increased greatly, they no longer respect me and even treat me badly, now I am a prisoner with guards day and night, and they follow me when I leave the house, even though I am with Mother, they treat me like I am a mad person. This is superior to human forces, and as it is true I am in my perfect senses and I do want to be a good daughter, and I wish to walk prudently.
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I did not want that, due to Father's position, a foreign person should be aware of these facts, but if there is no other way, I hear about Mr. Bishop from Porto, and it is possible that I ask him for protection, which I will only do if I am forced to, and that can happen even if I did not get your response, to whom I once again appeal as a friend of my father's, as a representative of my country, and as a gentleman and good man.
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If by any change Your Honor has any message or letter to send me, please do not send it by mail, because the letter would certainly be opened and read by someone in my family. So if you have any answers, please send them through one of the Honorable daughters, asking her to give it to me without anyone watching or noticing it. Desperate, and without a good response, a few months after Rosa tried to escape, but ended up being caught in the railway station of Alfarelos, near Porto, by police agents who made her return home.
From that point onward, the police was always at the door of the consul's residence, and Rosa decided to publically address the civil governor of Porto, so that he could do something against the illegality of the situation she was subjected to. After that, an issue that was firstly limited to the domestic jurisdiction entered the courts and became a polemic matter that, for more than one year, divided opinions. The former considered that Rosa had control of her mental faculties. Observing the religious passion shown by the defendant, eminently suggestible, the narrowing of the consciousness field, incompatible with the free exercise of will and action, I recommend that she should be interdicted.
In this impasse, a medical board composed of three doctors was named, and refused to declare anything about the case, pledging incompetence in the field of alienist diseases. After much controversy, the judge asked the nomination of another board, and in the latter two doctors decided in favor of Rosa's mental health, and one diagnosed her with psychic degeneration. But while judges and doctors tried to agree on Rosa's mental state, the Calmon case left the courts and took over the streets, and then the chancelleries and the Parliament.
This news arrived to the Parliament fast. In the session of April 27, , in the Chamber of Peers, the count of Bertiandos questioned the government about the information that had arrived from Porto, which seemed to suggest that the Brazilian consul in that city committed the crime of keeping his adult daughter in false imprisonment and that the situation was overlooked by the authorities to avoid diplomatic problems.
But the Brazilian consul indeed counted on the solidarity of the authorities from Porto, who worked against the will of any judicial decision by preventing Rosa to leave home. In a letter written in that same month to his superior in Lisbon, the consul confessed that up until that moment, none of the authorities in Porto had denied him "benevolence and protection".
He also wanted to ensure the sympathy of governmental authorities so that, in case he had to leave the country, he would be able to take his daughter with him, even if against her will. This was actually a conflict of legal framework. For the Portuguese law, the consul's coercion was in fact illegal, once Rosa was an adult and had the right to decide to go with her father or not. Considering the ancient Portuguese Ordinances from the Kingdom, still valid in Brazil, even an adult was still under the tutelage as daughter-family.
So, he asked the Brazilian minister in Lisbon to work on his side together with the Portuguese government and that, if necessary, seek the intervention of the Brazilian president. The Brazilian minister in Lisbon, however, refused to bother his superiors and insisted that the matter was personal, and that, in the worst-case scenario, it should be treated in Portuguese civil or criminal instances, but never in diplomatic chancelleries. The correspondence between the Brazilian consul and minister became more violent throughout the Calmon constantly charging Alvim due to the little support received by the legation, the minister being more and more irritated about Calmon's claims and insinuations.
The tone of the letters exchanged with the consul in Porto, or with the minister of Exterior Relations in Brazil, gives the idea that Alvim would indeed have more sympathy for the cause of the daughter than that of the father. We can also understand that he felt very troubled to see all of the manifestations of anticlerical radicalism which, at that point, were associated with the name of his country.
In a report from August , addressed to his boss in Brazil, Alvim complained about the problems he had had with the Calmon Case, including with employees of the legation itself that had joined the campaign in favor of the cause of the consul in Porto promoted, according to him, by "groups of Portuguese and Brazilian Jacobins". The newspapers followed the progress and setbacks of both judicial suits against father and daughter simultaneously.
In the session of February 11, in the Chamber of Peers, the count of Bertiandos continued to insist with the government so that Rosa would have her individual freedom legally ensured, asking for explanations about the connivance of the police with the arbitrariness of the consul in Brazil. The prime minister, Hintze Ribeiro, guaranteed that the authorities of Porto would not agree to any action opposed to the deliberations of the judicial power.
However, Rosa continued to be "protected" by a police agent. On February 17, at the door of the Trindade Church, the situation was aggravated and the rift between both sides became even worse.
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The news of the following days reporting the case in the Trindade Church show such a disparity in the description of facts, that a careless reader might conclude that there were two different episodes. Practically, the single point in common between the reports of conservative and radical publications is the statement that Rosa had lived in her parent's house against her will for a long time, since they stopped her from accepting her religious calling. From that moment on, the story takes two different paths. Correio Nacional , a liberal conservative newspaper, narrates the following scenario: at the exit of Trindade Church, Mrs.
Rosa Calmon told her mother she would no longer return to the house, and that she intended to accept the invitation of a female friend, D. Maria Almeida Garrett, to say in her house; then, she would fulfill her wish to join a convent. After hearing his daughter's statement, the Brazilian consul got desperate and made a huge mess, threatening his daughter with his cane and threatening to kill whoever got close to her; at the same time he pulled her.
Resisting her father's pressure, Rosa grabbed the lateral crates of the church. Counting on the protection of a police officer and the help of a friend, the Brazilian consul could drag his daughter to the carriage. In the front of the church, people were perplexed with such a "salvage" act and some "blood stains" were seen under the crates where Rosa was removed from. Her father ran to defend his daughter, and confronted a group of clergymen who threatened to hit him while he pulled them away with his cane; at the same time, he asked for the people's help against the thieves who kidnapped the girl.
The same newspaper also reported that the girl accompanied the journalist "kindly and did not resist", and that there was "very little blood" because her "hands were swollen and cut because of the cold weather", and that the "attack" had been previously arranged between Rosa and her confessor. Regardless of the differences between the versions, the episode triggered a real anticlerical fury that began immediately in the city of Porto and rapidly spread to Lisbon and other areas of the country.
On the following Sunday, a manifestation of solidarity was expecting the Brazilian consul at the exit of Trindade Church. Since no one from the Calmons attended the mass, the group went to their house; the consul came to the window and thanked the show of support "free people of Porto", and then he threw petals on them. The small group of people returned to the Trindade square to boo the priests, and burn copies of the catholic newspaper A Palavra.
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The police intervened and tried to send the people away; some were wounded and arrested. For the rest of the day, groups of people walked by the streets of Porto celebrating at the door of liberal newspapers and shouting against the Jesuits, while running from the police. The Dorothean retreat and the Catholic Association were also attacked with stones. Many priests were chased down the street amidst slogan "Jesuits, die; Beat up, form the cullt! Municipal authorities were forced to put the main religious houses of the city under police protection.
Focuses of clerical manifestations were spread throughout the country - not only from Porto to Lisbon, but also in provincial cities, especially in the ones that had deeper republican concentration. On March 1st, the students of the Polytechnic, the Commercial Institute, and the Medical School organized a satirist procession in some streets of Porto, raising a flag with an effigy of an ultramontano "in strange clothes and extremely embellished".
As revenge, on that night, "there were small explosions" close to the Commercial Institute. The Progressive Party did not miss the chance to denounce the prepotency and the despotism of authorities in response to disturbances in public order. However, opposition managed to turn the case into a political weapon to confront the government with one of the most sensitive pints of the national religious question related to the illegal presence of religious corporations, which had been officially forbidden by law since In the main cities of the country, the situation became riotous, with the population in the streets swearing against the priests and newspapers preaching against the illicitness of religious orders.
The public opinion and political pressure became so intense that the government was forced to act: on March 10, a decree was issued demanding that civil governors should inquire inside their jurisdiction about the existence of "religious institutions or orders of any name, institute or rule" dedicated to the monastic life, as well as "teaching, advertising, benefit or charity establishments addressed to or administered by religious congregations" and whether or not, in any of these houses, there was the "admission of sacred orders to apprenticeships for monastic life".
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The episode triggered a real anticlerical fury that began immediately in the city of Oporto and rapidly spread to Lisbon and other areas of the country. The results of the inquiry revealed what had been known for a while: several convents and monasteries that were fully free and autonomous were spread throughout the country. The publicity of this situation forced the government to take step in accordance with the current legal framework: after the decree of April 18, , religious houses that were exclusively dedicated to the monastic life were shut down, and the requirements and regulating principles for the future installation of religious associations in the country were specified, with the obligation of being devoted to "benefits, charity, teaching or missions overseas".
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The decree recognized that many religious associations, whose existence was acknowledged, had been surreptitiously introduced in the country; however, since they were officially unknown by the State, they were not under any sort of control. It also admitted it was impossible to "suddenly eliminate" everything that had been found, not only because there were many "altruistic and good things", but also because it was necessary to avoid the danger of "disturbing the society deeply, and then administrative means and resources from the treasury would hardly be able to provide immediate assistance".
In this way, the doors were reopened to religious orders in Portugal, as long as they were named as associations, even though enclosure or religious vows were legally forbidden to their statutes. The decree of April 18 drew the ire of all: of the catholic media, by corroborating the coercive closure of many religious retreats; 34 but also of the anticlerical enthusiasts, by legalizing the statu quo regarding the permanence of religious associations in the country.
While the news about the Calmon Case was still agitating the religious questions in the country, the family drama for the Calmons apparently was about to get resolved. Magistrates claimed there was not enough evidence to doubt Rosa's sanity, or to condemn her father for the abusive coercion. Likewise, it also stated that nobody would condemn a father who took the necessary precautions to stop her son or daughter, regardless of adulthood, from running away from home "to drown" or "to become a prostitute".
Since this matter had long overcome the proportions of family or local polemics, the Brazilian government decided to act on the central issues of the controversy and, in the beginning of March, it ordered the Brazilian consul to be removed from his post. Regardless of the sorrow, the Brazilian consul left the country as he wished to, that is, taking his family, including Rosa. Between and , the Calmons were a sort of thermometer to measure anticlerical fevers in Portugal. But it was much more than that. It is true that the antijesuitic and anticongreganist campaigns mobilized a relative unanimity of opinions.
But the public debate about Rosa's misfortunes included other issues that had fewer consensuses. The weight of Science and the increasing intellectual power of doctors in the society were some of these issues. The convent is like prisons and asylums, a mean to eliminate many degenerates, an instrument to segregate the ones who cannot, due to mental inferiority, be adapted to the conditions of common life. So that, after the matter is socially faced, enabling Mrs. Rosa to prosecute her obsessive desire, would maybe mean an act of collective hygiene.
Therefore, by comparing the convent to a well or a brothel, the representative of the Public Ministry had the process filed. The Calmon Case can only be understood by considering the success this kind of speech had at the time, in a rational and scientifically standardized view of the world where changes had to be similarly framed and institutionalized both scientifically and rationally. Rosa's story is also an example of how this speech worked as a mechanism of power and control for social and cultural matters, as well as political agendas and individual arbitrariness.
Indeed, if there were monarchic newspapers that supported the father and others that defended the daughter, 42 republican newspapers were seen almost unanimously defending the Brazilian consul. The fact that a debate that was apparently simply within the domain of Law illegitimate coercion of civil liberties of an individual moved to the sphere of Sciences and Morality is a clear sign that in the early 20th century the religious question was already impregnated with other problems that went beyond the traditional liberal anticlericalism.
Progressively led by radical republicanism, the Portuguese religious question began to be indissociable from the laic faith that pumped in the heart of those who believed in a revolutionary project for the regeneration of the Portuguese society. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory GRP More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Martin Claret.
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