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Monteiro da Vide, Sebastião


Archbishop and legislator in Brazil; b. Monforte do Alentejo, Portugal, March 19, 1643; d. Salvator, Bahia, Sept. 7, 1722. At age 16 he entered the Society of Jesus, but he left soon afterward to become a soldier and later to study Canon Law at the University of Coimbra. After ordination he became an ecclesiastical judge and vicargeneral of Lisbon. He was named bishop of Bahia on May 8, 1701, and consecrated on December 21, 1701. He took possession of his see on May 22, 1702. He is known for having created many new parishes, but especially for holding in 1707 the first diocesan synod in Portuguese America, and for publishing the famous Constituições Primeiras do Arcebispado da Bahía feitas e ordenadas por Propostas e Aceitas em o Sinodo Diocesana que o dito Senhor celebrou a 12 de junio do ano de 1707. The dioceses of Brazil had been governed by the constitutions of the Archdiocese of Lisbon, but after 1707 Da Vide's treatise was used, with suitable adaptations, in all the dioceses of Brazil throughout the rest of the colonial period and well into imperial times in the nineteenth century. These constitutions were universal in scope and admirable in their conciseness and clarity. They were highly praised by contemporary European canonists. Da Vide also included statutes for his cathedral and charters for various ecclesiastical courts in his diocese. Besides legal writings, he published a biography of Mother Vitoria da Encarnação, a holy Poor Clare nun of Bahia, Historia da vida e morte da Madre Soror Vitoria da Encarnação, religiosa do Convento de Santa Clara do Desterro da cidade da Bahía (Luiz Carvalho, ed., Rome 1720). He also left a manuscript entitled "Exortação mística."

Bibliography: s. leite, História de Companhia de Jesús no Brasil, 10 v. (Lisbon 193850).

[m. c. kiemen]

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