Silveira, Gonçalo da, ven.

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Jesuit missionary of the Far East and Africa; b. Almeirim, Portugal, between 1521 and 1524; martyred, Africa, March 11, 1561. His parents were Luis da Silveira, first Count of Sortelha, and Beatrice Coutinho, daughter of Fernando Coutinho, Marshal of the Kingdom of Portugal. On June 9, 1543, Gonçalo entered the Society of Jesus at the University of Coimbra. He brilliantly completed the course of studies. In 1556 (St.) Ignatius of Loyola confirmed his appointment as provincial of the Jesuits in India. Silveira managed the Jesuit mission in the Far East until Antonio de Quadros relieved him in 1559. Shortly afterward he departed for Africa, where he founded a mission among the Monomotapa on a tributary of the Zambesi River. He converted their chief and many tribesmen, but Arabs from Mozambique convinced the chief that he should be killed. On March 11, 1561, he was strangled. No one came to take his place, and his work among the Monomotapa died with him.

Bibliography: h. chadwick, Life of Ven. Gonçalo da Silveira (New York 1911). f. rodrigues, História da Companhia de Jesus na Assisténcia de Portugal (Porto, Port. 1931). b. leite, D. Gonçalo da Silveira (Lisbon 1946). l. koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon: Die Gesellschaft Jesu einst und jetzt, (Paderborn 1934) 164546. c. sommevogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 vol. (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 7:173133.

[g. r. avellar]