Meneses, Aleixio De

Meneses, Aleixio De a Portuguese prelate and statesman, was born Jan. 25, 1559. His father had directed the education of king Sebastian. Brought up in the palace, he entered, contrary to his parent's wishes, the convent of the Augustines at Lisbon, Feb. 24,1574, and finished his studies at Coimbra. He was appointed archbishop of Goa by Philip II, and took possession of his see in September, 1595. He convened a provincial synod, in which useful reforms were established; he organized many missions, and evangelized, among others, the savage inhabitants of the island of Socotra. He devoted himself also to the Christians of Abyssinia, and, above all, to those schismatic Nestorians known under the name of "Christians of St. Thomas," who have taken refuge for centuries in the mountains of Malabar. That in which the bishop of Cochin, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, and even the disciples of St. Francis were unsuccessful, he was enabled to accomplish, and after many centuries of division the Roman Church received into its bosom the greater part of this branch of the Christian family. Pope Clement testified to Meneses his satisfaction by a brief April 1,1599. Meneses was subsequently appointed to the government of the Indies, and performed the duties of viceroy from May 3, 1606, to May 28, 1609. He showed himself stern and severe towards some of the Mohammedan princes, but tranquillity at least was preserved in the Indies during his administration. He died May 3, 1617. His memorable journey in the mountains is published under this title: Jornadado Arcebispo de Goa D. Aleixo de Menezes quandofoi a serras do Malavar, em que mordo os antiguos Christaos de S.-Tome poi Fr. Antonio de Gouvea (Coimbra, 1606, fol.). There is added generally to this curious narration: Sinodo diocesano de igreja e bispado de antiguos Christaos de S.-Tome das serras de Malavar celebrado pot D. Fr. Aleixo de Menezes (ibid. 1606; translated into Spanish in 1608 by Francis Mufios . He also wrote Histoire Orientale des grands progres de l'Eglise catholique en la reduction des anciens Chritiens dits de St. Thomas,avec la messe des anciens Chretiens ens l'evche d'A ngamae (Bruxelles, 1609. 8vo; the translator, J. B. de Glen, has unfortunately left many blanks in his. version). See Barbosa Machado, Bibliotheca Lusitana; Ternaux-Compans, Biblioth. Asiatique et Africaine; Veyssiere la Croze, Hist. du Christianisme des Indes; Pedro Barreto de Regende, Tratado dos Vizos- Reis da India, in MS. in the Biblioth. imp. de Paris.

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