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An Unsung Hero: Matheus de Castro Mahale

An Unsung Hero: Matheus de Castro Mahale

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Matheus de Castro Mahale was born c. 1594 at Navelim, in the island of Divar. The family hailed from Chorão island in the neighbourhood, and a branch of the family is alive today in Divar. Matheus de Castro must have lost his parents very early in life and he was brought tup by the Franciscan friars at their Reis Magos college. It was not a very different story from that of my family ancestor Shantappa Kamat from Moirá. While serving there in the kitchen, Matheus de Castro used his spare time to study. After five years of stay there we find himapplying for priesthood training. The friars dismissed his wishes as preposterous. This is understandable at a time when the white superiority was the order of the day even among the Religious Orders. A Franciscan friar born of white parents in India, complained in 1640, that even he and his like were called ‘niggers’ by their Europe-born colleagues. It was argued by the latter that although some of the Creole friars might be of pure European descent, yet the fact that in their infancy they had been suckled by the Indian ayas was sufficient to contaminate their blood for the remainder of their lives.
Matheus de Castro Mahale was born c. 1594 at Navelim, in the island of Divar. The family hailed from Chorão island in the neighbourhood, and a branch of the family is alive today in Divar. Matheus de Castro must have lost his parents very early in life and he was brought tup by the Franciscan friars at their Reis Magos college. It was not a very different story from that of my family ancestor Shantappa Kamat from Moirá. While serving there in the kitchen, Matheus de Castro used his spare time to study. After five years of stay there we find himapplying for priesthood training. The friars dismissed his wishes as preposterous. This is understandable at a time when the white superiority was the order of the day even among the Religious Orders. A Franciscan friar born of white parents in India, complained in 1640, that even he and his like were called ‘niggers’ by their Europe-born colleagues. It was argued by the latter that although some of the Creole friars might be of pure European descent, yet the fact that in their infancy they had been suckled by the Indian ayas was sufficient to contaminate their blood for the remainder of their lives.

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Published by: Teotonio R. de Souza on Nov 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial
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01/31/2014

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