Book 2, Chapter 9 and 10

[107]                How our loving God disposes the heart of Queen Ginga to leaving the inhuman Giaga life, & return­ing to him the Supreme good, & Creator

Chapter IX.

Dear reader, there are three ways in which our loving Lord is accustomed to calling a sinner to repentance & amendment for the sins he has committed, the first of which is when he calls us through inspirations he sends into our hearts, as he did to Abraham whom he not only called, but called away from his people & took him from his father’s home.  The second is what he does by means of man, when by examples he fires us & by exhorta­tions moves us not only to desire but to achieve our Spiritual Salvation.  The third comes from necessities & adverse events, in the midst of which it is customary to resort to God wholehearted­ly as the Israelites did because of the cruelty & severe rule of their enemies, when they were converted again to God with all their hearts, & he sent them the help they needed, which never fails the sinner so that he should turn from his evil life to him.

We can see clearly that our loving God called Queen Ginga to him by the first method from her history, not only by inspiration, but also with his divine presence at the sacred baptismal font, and also in his crucified form, & in the Sacra­ment of Love & Triumph.  We cannot deny that he used the second, when she was in Oando in tyrannical command, & had defeated its Lord with her barbarous hand, and even killed him, as was related in previous chapters; he did it by means of Capuchin missionaries she found there, who exhorted her to change her life & return to blessed God whom she had abandoned; for the same purpose he made use of two Priests mentioned above, and even supposing that she showed herself to be moved by their exhortations, she did not show herself resolute until after the third [108] method which is ordinarily the one which draws many people from the bad [wicked] ways so as not to fall over the ultimate precipice & lose themselves.  This barbarous woman,enemy of the human race, had made herself an enemy of Heaven, earth, men & beasts with the cruelties & barbarities which she committed towards the Creatures who are the work of the heavenly hand of the Creator [marg. note that is at Car. 15 because I believe you to be]. Seeing herself [out: therefore] hated & abhorred by all, both Portuguese and Giaga, & even by those not giaghi, afflicted continual wars, laden with Years, & with the indispositions that old age brings with it, having lost a sister named Chifungi & baptismally Domma Gracia, a prisoner of the Portuguese who because she was barbarous & cruel & had betrayed them threw her into the Coanza river where her life ended [after the Space of 27[1] years, and half the Life of a Giaga as you have heard in book. [blank] Char [blank]][2] she resolved to return to blessed God to ask pardon for the sins she had committed, & make amends for her life, & abandon the Giaga life, laws, rites, ceremonies & customs she observed.  When our loving Lord saw the Queen’s goodwill he did not reject her as an Adulteress but listened to her prayers, & as he sent to the sons of Israel Aoth son of Gerra or Athomel son of Chem who liberated her, he sent Signore Cavagliero D. Ludovico Martino di Suosa nephew of the above-named Gio Correa di Suosa[3] who was the one who enabled us Capuchins to disembark in Loanda against the opinion of the Royal ministers in the year MDCLIV on the 11th of November,[4] & did much for us during the time of his government which lasted three years; the reason for mentioning the above Lord is so that the reader should know that he was the one who received Queen Ginga in Loanda when she was sent as Ambassadress by King Ngolambande her brother, & was baptised, as you have already heard.  Queen Ginga used to say that the Suosa House had killed her & brought her back to life, that Signore Gio Correa indicated above had given her a Soul by baptising her, that Signore Gio Fernando di Suosa had killed her by throwing her out of the Kingdom, for which reason she became a giaga, & lost her Christian name & works, Signore Cavagliero D. Ludovico Martin di Suosa by giving her her sister & Priest [added:  garble ends in “no”] brought back her soul & body to being Christian [Xpia] [109].  As you will observe from what follows.[5] So Queen Ginga wrote to the Lord Governor & sent an Ambassador to the City of Loanda; the contents of the letter were congratulations on his safe arrival as governor of the City & Kingdom, & other compliments it is accustomed to pay on such occasions, & part of it was a request for her sister Donna Barbara called Cambo with promised not only of the appropriate ransom, but expressions of desire to be reconciled with the Holy Church, return to blessed God, make peace with the King of Portugal & abandon the Giaga life, [remembering the Exhortations of the Capuchin missionaries above] Calling to her mind the benefits received from her God & [B. m.] by means of the sacred ablution of baptism, which had freed her from slavery to the devil, & supposing that Cavagliero Gio Fernandes di Suosa had been the cause of her being out of her Kingdom of Dongo, & for that reason she had taken up the Giaga life, she had now repented & it was for his Clemency to help her & favour her so that she could return to the right path of Salvation out of which she had now been for many Years, & this would happen if he gave her back her sister, & sent a Capuchin Priest with her to reconcile her with blessed God & baptise her people, & found a Church at her Court.  Having received this letter the Governor felt greatly consoled & happy because in his Royal dispatches His majesty orders the Lords of Ethiopia to be led back to our holy Catholic faith & obedience to it.  He proposed in the Royal Chamber & Council that they should make the deal, to which various people were opposed, & concluded that they should not send the lamb into the Lion’s mouth, & that the Queen’s Zeal was pretended & not true, & that having her sister in her hands she would have her killed; others also said that she was a Royal person, & that it was necessary to have permission from their Lord; others, cloaked with Zeal, affirmed from the pulpit & in public conversations that it was in no way proper to send her because of the danger of Idolatry & that the Governor should not send her.  These controversies lasted some time and in the end took fourteen months, but finally, the Zealous Governor having considered how useful the ransom would be to the King, the public good that would result from peace & trade, &, what was more important, the service of blessed God, reconciliation with God & Peace [110] with the King, resolved to end the opposition by sending the Queen’s sister to her having for her ransom a Hundred and thirty slaves which is the equivalent of 5600 Italian crociati & another seventy slaves partly to the Governor & partly to Royal officials which makes 1900 which in all is 7500 Italian scudi.[6] When he had made this resolution he wrote a letter to P. Serafino da Cortona in the following words, translated from the Portuguese Language into our Italian so that the Zeal of the above Knight may be seen, in the service of blessed God & his King, & it is as follows[7]

Copy of the letter

Rev. Fr.,

Queen Ginga’s repeated requests to have her sister Donna Barbara in her hands & in her power have moved me to accede to her demand, as it seems to me just & in no way prejudicial to my King & Lord, but rather, serviceable to blessed God because she says she wishes to be reconciled with blessed God & his holy Church, live like a Catholic & a Christian with all her people, & to this effect asks me for her Religious in company with Donna Barbara who in a few days’ time will leave for Massangano.  May the Lord go with her, & give many years of life for his holy Service.  Loanda, St. Paul of the Assumption first of April 1656

Governor of Angolla

For P.Serafino Prefect of the mission of Ginga Ludovico Martino di Suosa P. Serafino received with great joy & content the letter from the Governor & answered that he was ready to go or to send someone else as might be thought best, & remained irresolute & weighing whether he should go or send someone else; finally, [111] seeing that it was necessary for him to be present at Massangano for various reasons, he determined to stay & send someone else; for this enterprise he chose P. Fra Antonio da Gaeta,[8] a Father of noble birth, also adorned with the qualities required for such an enterprise, who at that time was in the same place.  So the Father prepared himself for the day, & took the necessary steps both for his body and his soul.  During this time, when Donna Barbara appeared, on the ninth day of April in that Year[9] dedicated to the Passion of our loving Lord, she was received with demonstrations of joy & celebration, & was welcomed fittingly with discharges of musketry & artillery.  When these days & the festive Paschal days[10] had passed, Donna Barbara left Massangano for the fortress of Embaca situated on the bank of the river lucala where it divides into seven streams, and arrived there on the second day of may, & was received with due honour & celebration, because although the fortress had been disastrously burned down on the day before, they had saved the munitions, as was their duty as part of the deal they were doing, & of the vigilance they had to exert over Donna Barbara, so that she would not run away as the black people do, being naturally inclined to do so through their instability.  She was entrusted to a Portuguese Captain named Giosefo Carrasco,[11] a man of sixty years of age, of great experience and skill in Court affairs; he did not fail in his office which he did with great prudence & cleverness, and even greater honour & respect as befitted such a person.  For this reason he was present at all times, showing himself a faithful executant not only of orders but also on hints.  He had orders from the Governor not to go further unless all the Ransom had been paid first; a Hundred slaves had been paid,[12] & thirty were lacking.  When the Queen saw how long her sister was delayed, not knowing the Governor’s orders she was preparing the other thirty thinking that her sister would be arriving in the meantime, & when she saw the delay, she sent to Embaca to ask the reason for it, & when she had an answer to the effect that the reason was the lack of thirty slaves she was very angry, & more so when the devil assured her by means of one of her Priests that it was a Portuguese stratagem [112] to ask for the other thirty & then turn back to Loanda with her sister; it was not very difficult to make someone naturally suspicious & inclined to evil believe this, nor was it necessary to use the eloquence of the Roman orator to confirm her in her false belief, but she at once believed that false minister, & suddenly gathered together the great people & Priests, & they concluded that it was truly a deception by the Portuguese, & as the thief considers others to be thieves, & the liar considers others liars, they thought the same of the Portuguese, & being all firm & stable in their wrong opinion, they threatened the Governor’s Ambassador, by name Captain Manoel Flois,[13] with death; having heard the threats of death he tried to convince the Queen of the contrary of what the Priests had said, & that it was all a deception of the devil to disturb the good that would come from peace, but seeing that she would not listed to reason he represented to her that if she did not break her promise and his King broke his, he would give her satisfaction with his own life; while this suspicion and controversy was going on he secretly sent Runners to Embaca with a letter to P. Antonio telling him what was happening, & about these false suspicions, & asking him without delay to come to the Queen’s Court to quieten the tumult that might arise.  Having received the letters he conferred with Donna Barbara & the Captain, & they judged it best to conclude the deal before the devil should triumph.  So the Father left Embaca for Matamba, Court of Queen Ginga, where he arrived after twenty days’ journey, not without having suffered much on the way from fever, as a result of which he was forced by that which admits no laws to bleed himself although he had never learnt the art of doing so, for it is in the nature of necessity that it makes people masters before they have been pupils, & having learnt, he had written a letter to the Queen in anticipation to which he had a not very satisfactory answer, and after all this was received by the Queen & the great people of the Court at over one league’s distance with a great show of joy, being received as a minister of blessed God & given many thanks both to him & those who sent him.  The Father came [113] to the Queen dressed in a Clerical Alb, & with a Holy Crucifix round his neck, and entered the quilombo as the Queen’s Court was called, that is to say as it were the army of the Queen, and when the due ceremonies for them who receive & for him who comes had taken place, he found all the people gathered together, accompanying their Queen in signs of joy, both shouting and beating of palms according to the custom of the black Ethiopian people; in order to receive him with due honour, they had adorned not only the Royal hall, which was a porch like those which in Italy are used to store hay or straw, they had I say adorned it with various silken cloths[14] in which the white sign of peace with blessed God & with the King of Portugal which was to be established stood out.  The Father was much consoled by that spectacle, but even more astonished, & remained lost in wonder at the Royal  welcome because when he took leave of the Queen to go to the House which was prepared for him to rest after the fatigue of his journey he was asked by the Queen to go with her to watch a marvel.  He set off with her to another porch under which on an altar there was a Holy Crucifix five palms high, & in front of it a Sacred Image with candles lit, at which sight the Father stood in astonishment, & as he came out he exclaimed to the Lord: “What is this I see?[15] My crucified God among such heathen & cruel people? & what signs are these, o good Jesus?”  Having prayed devoutly, he retired, greatly consoled, to the House to give the loyal thanks he owed to the Creator, conceiving great faith in the conversion of the Queen & her people.  He then brought it about that, the Queen having completed the payment of the ransom, her sister would come without any difficulty; the Queen paid all she owed, & when the slaves had reached Embaca Donna Barbara set off for the Court of her Sister the Queen, who while this was happening had much wood cut in order to build a Church, & in brief brought it to completion placing inside it the Holy Crucifix which the Queen had acquired in the way you shall hear in the next chapter, [have heard in the previous chapter] & also a picture of Santa Maria Maggiore, & on this occasion [114] she gave up the name of quilombo, & took the name of Santa Maria di Matamba, meaning City of Santa Maria di Matamba, Court of Queen Ginga.  [As an example of the first labours in the Vineyard of Ethiopia, the sons of our Fr. S. Frans. gave the name City of S. Salvadore to the King of Congo’s Banza in the year 1491 but this change of their Father attracted the Censure of those who were little affected by it; they, however, were of contrary opinion and had their due reward from blessed God as they deserved.[16]]  Then Donna Barbara arrived, & was received with such joy & celebrations as can be imagined, and it is enough to say that it was eleven years since she had been imprisoned for the second time by the Portuguese, during which she had not seen her sister the Queen, and everyone can judge what happened, & the joy of both of them, & the feasting & c (before Page 122).[17]

[115]                How the Holy Crucifix came to have power over Queen Ginga & the Course of the story follows[18] Chap. X

Let me, dear reader, show you how the Most Clement Lord did not only move the heart of Queen Ginga by the three methods already mentioned to abandon the barbarous & cruel giaga deeds, but also with his divine presence, not in the form of a judge to condemn her to eternal flames, nor of a burning bush to terrify her, nor of a flying Seraph to beat her down, but only in that compassionate form which redeemed the human race, & for that he shed his most precious blood not to condemn her, but to pardon the sins she had committed; let he who reads admire the stratagems of the heavenly Lover towards that evil woman at a time & occasion when she was very hostile to him, when like a furious harpy she was trying to obliterate the image of the Creator from the world, & destroy the human species, and not satisfied with so much human blood that thirsty hind sent under the orders of her General a great Army in the Year 1655 to scour the Country committing their usual robberies, barbarities & cruelties.  When the General, a barbarous & cruel man & true imitator of his Lady, had arrived in the lands of Manioando, Vassal of the Crown of Congo, who was called Pombo Samba[19], he had with him a most cruel war, & he, seeing he could not withstand the barbarian’s fury, fled leaving his tents & pavilions in order to save his life & those of his Vassals.  The Queen’s soldiers entered their enemies’ habitations to loot whatever was there, & among the spoils they found a Holy Crucifix under a porch which served them as a Church, on an altar, not hanging on the wall but bent in half as if in an act of admiration.  As is usual among soldiers who think it will please their General, they removed it [116] with other spoils of war, and presented that Sacred spoil to the General thinking to be rewarded with praise & honour; they were given a tacit reproach because when the general saw it he was so nauseated that he ordered it to be thrown into the woods.  The barbarous order was faithfully executed without any reply or opposition, as they knew his orders admitted of no opposition or excuse, but that he always punished any delay in their execution with severity.  O my good Jesus, what boldness must this evil man have, that he should, Lord, allow his sacrilegious mouth strength to order that your Sacred Image should be thrown into the woods?  While you have prevented other bold people from failing to reverence your Sacred name, let alone the Sacred Image?  It was for no other reason, dear reader, that the loving Lord wished to suffer that insult, & that derision on the part of the barbarous General, than in order to draw the Queen towards true knowledge & the abandonment of the inhuman Giaga life she led; but o hardened custom who can change you?  Tell me now bowing, dear reader, and do you not seem to see that sacred Image lying on the ground, the Irrational ones running to see it as their Creator and giving it due thanks in their manner for their Creation & preservation, as we have done so many times to his image the crucifix?  Let the reader speak of this fact, & take ample space to consider that sacred spoil, & turn both his eyes and ears towards the barbarous General, proud of the victory he had won over the enemy, who caused the retreat to sound with the warlike instrument and, having arrived at their fortifications, stayed to feast his body on the flesh of the prey of war, & aspired to nothing but the following day’s march, and while everyone else was resting his Body, the General, half asleep, heard in a dream the angry voice of the Holy Crucifix he had despised, which said to him the words reported here, Confessed by him with his own mouth after being questioned several times on the matter.  “Does what you have done seem good & fitting to you?  To capture me in war, & then leave me [117] in the bush?  Order without delay that I should be removed from the place where you had me thrown,& take me to the Queen your Lady, for if you do otherwise you will not leave without punishment”, & this was repeated three times, always with greater fear & trembling.  Hearing himself threatened with punishment, he who commanded others did not delay in turning words into deeds like a true observer of the Suetonian maxim, but as soon as phoebus appeared sent one of his officers named Barriagonga[20] with a good company of soldiers, with orders that a speedy return would be rewarded, but they were as with winged feet when the went for the Holy Crucifix, & having found it they wrapped it in the hairy skin of a wild animal, & having returned to their General they presented to him the Holy image which he received humbly, not giving it devotion & reverence as his Creator, because he was a true idolater & a true observer of the heathen Ceremonies, but because he saw himself free of the threats of punishment which hung over him;  happily & joyfully he had it placed in a net supported by a precious silk Cushion, and assigned men to the duty of carrying it, recommended them to be reverent & devoted & respectful, telling them it was a Zambi of the Queen, meaning that it was a God to the Queen.  That precious relic was carried by those delegated, with more fear than love & reverence, because of what they had seen & heard from their General, & because of his order to watch & guard it; it was carried like an ark in the middle of the army, those in front saying that they were carrying a Zambi, meaning a God.  The news was given to the Queen that they were coming from the war with great spoils, among them a Holy Crucifix; the Queen felt great joy, & ordered that the army should not enter the precincts of the City except on her orders.  She rewarded the messenger for the good news he brought; she ordered a proclamation to be made that all should prepare themselves to go on the following day to meet a Zambi that had been captured in war, & that the slaves of whites & merchants in the army should be present too to accompany her.  Next morning when phoebus appeared she ordered the warlike instrument to be played as a signal that she was coming [rising] from her Court; accompanied by firing of muskets & the sound of various instruments, she [came] from the precincts, & placing herself in a commanding position [118] she ordered the General to come, & bring the net where the Holy Crucifix was, when it passed near the place where the Queen was she adored, revered & worshipped it, & caused it to be saluted with firing of firearms, shouts, & clapping of hands according to the custom of the black Ethiopians, & also with players of instruments.  They accompanied it to the Court and having arrived there they awaited the command of the Queen; she ordered that the Holy Relic should be held up by the Bearers, & that the army should enter the Court square where the Queen went to her throne according to her custom, having received the General & the army officers in the forms they observe, & when the General had given her exact information on the results if the war & particular on the Holy Crucifix she remained lost in wonder, & at that moment felt her soul pierced by grief for the sins she had committed, & her heart filled with Heavenly consolation as she remembered how many Years had passed since she had confessed them in the Holy baptismal ablution & renounced them, and she conceived true repentance for her sins & confessed them again to her Lord & Creator; she ordered that refreshments should be given to the troop, & that the General should present her with the spoils.  The general presented to her that which he had esteemed so little that he had thought only of throwing it into the bush, & in presenting it to the Queen it had the highest price & value it was possible to give it which was to call it God of the Christians, and what had passed was related again.  And will does not wonder at the love & grandeur of our God?  The Queen receives that Sacred image as a spoil of war, & although an idolatress, a Giaga & an enemy of the human race she recognised the compassionate image of the redeemer which was being presented to her on that occasion, & felt in that hour her Soul vexed by the cruel worm of consciousness of her sins in the past, & having repented of them began to feel in her Heart the pangs of divine Love which caused her to weep for them, and confess that she was nothing, & on her knees in body & with her Heart even more prostrate at the feet of her Lover & loving Lord she began like another magdalen to bathe them with the tears of confession, & to dry them with the resolution /119/ to change her life, & kissing & embracing that divine spoil she was unable to let it go or part from it; this is the way that this divine Lover has of vindicating himself & subsiding the rebellious Hearts of his enemies, & giving them the knowledge of his grandeur by placing them under his feet.  So our Ginga like another magdalen changed her life & her thoughts.  She was left wounded by the words of the redeemer, & transfixed by his compassionate looks as if by piercing arrows shot by the divine archer, wondering again & again at the compassionate image of the Crucified Lord & taking it in her hands she uttered these words: [I refer … to that of which I was a hearer and spectator] “So God seeks me, & comes to find me?  This is a true sign, my God, I repent of the sins I have committed, & promise you amendment, I conceive firm faith, & certain hope that in the future I will live in peace & quiet & will make amends not only by changing my outward dress, but will change my Ginga life into that of a Catholic Christian”, & as a sign that she abominated her past Idolatries she had that holy image placed under a portico adorned with various silken cloths on an altar, [underneath which also lay the Chest of King ngolambande her brother] keeping lights perpetually burning there, & every day on her knees in front of that Holy image she repeated her plea for forgiveness for the sins she had committed & her past life and promised to make amends for it.  And who will not wonder at the judgements of God, & his infinite goodness & mercy, who is it that searches for the one who is not searching for him, wakes the sleeper, and calls the one who is not calling him:  o good Jesus, o infinite love, what is this? [With all this there was [no] lack of reports to say that even after turning to the Holy Cross she kept the Chest of her brother which she kept as a precious relic and the custom of grandeur and […] the same happened when they went to her Court and after the reverence due to her repentance, … also the adoration of the King’s Chest, in the year 1651[21] a Capt. Manoel flois arrived in the Court sent by the Governor, and after having worshipped the Holy Crucifix she said “You must adore the Chest as well”.  Dear readers, let us speak of this fact: did you never hear nor see it happen that when a husband bad repudiated his Adulterous wife, & she was in the power of the adulterer, she still loved him & was jealous of him?  The Christian soul, bride of Christ, our only good, by sinning comes to fail in the faith due to its God, committing Adultery with the devil, the world & the Flesh, & as an Adulteress, unfaithful to her spouse, is held in great jealousy, & also through jealousy invited to return to her Lover; in this barbarous woman is clearly seen the jealousy which he holds for that sinful Soul and encourages him to forgive not only the sins she has committed, but he also [120] shows himself to her nailed to a Cross, so that she may do as she likes with him, & can this not be called an Excess of love? [continuation of marginal note from pg 119: which she refused to do because of being a Christian saying that she could not worship idols, so the Queen was … or whether it was as a test, or for another reason that they did all this, Dear readers.]  But now what will you say seeing him not only pardoning her but going to her House?  You cannot fail to exclaim ” o non plus ultra of divine love.”  Many times I have seen this new magdalen on her knees before the Holy Crucifix asking pardon aloud for the sins she had committed saying “Lord, do not pay heed to what I was, but to what I am now”, & she reneged on the inhuman Giaga life, Ceremonies, rites, laws & customs, & promised amendment.  But o my beloved God how is this?  There in the monduci City you turned your back on the barbarous & cruel tyrant Charles in sight of a great crowd of people courteously listening to your faithful servant, pupil of the Capuchin Religion (my dearest mother) & soldier of the winged Francesco only because he had committed a few barbarous acts for a few Years against the Creatures who are the work of your heavenly hand, & now o my Crucified Lord you stand not only with your face turned but with your arms open to Queen Ginga, who has devised so many barbarous & cruel acts, & committed them against the Creatures who are the work of your exalted right hand, not for a few years like Charles, but for thirty-seven [forty] years each one worse than the last, what signs of love are these o my loving God?  It is true that she persevered obstinately in her barbarous & cruel deeds; but she had repented of the sins she had committed, & firmly intended not to relapse, these dear reader are the arrows with which the divine Archer has pierced Queen Ginga.  Coral is born in the Dark bosom of the sea, with stone as its mother & rock as its father for its nurse the waves of the sea, & while it remains there it is nothing but a vile weed without any vigour, but when it is uprooted by the fisherman & dragged from the cruelty & hardness of stone and rock, & thrown out of the sea waves, & the barbarities of a Giaga, she suddenly became a rosy Coral, & when exposed to the true [121] sun placed on a Cross for the benefit of the human race her Heart is softened like that of another magdalen and she cried with tears to her Lord, the true fisherman, father & shepherd, & asks forgiveness for the sins she had committed.

Dear reader, can you perhaps fail to gather & confess that in Queen Ginga are seen the five effects & notable secrets of the Love in which the human does not differ from the divine, although they have different ends as one concerns earth & the other Heaven?  Can you, I say, deny the first effect of love which is to wound the Heart, when you see Queen Ginga wounded by the sweet presence of the Lover crying “you have wounded my heart.”  The second effect which is to steal the Heart, [marg.: Cor. Cap.] was it not proved by Ginga when holding the sacred image in her hands she renounced her former life, & cried “you have taken my heart with sweetness”, because he who loves does not keep his heart in himself but where they have stolen and imprisoned it?  The third effect of love is that he who steals another’s heart also gives up his own, & it is a fair exchange; he who rests in God has God resting in him, as Queen Ginga always showed with her Zeal & devotion & worship of the Crucified Lord.  She also proved the fourth effect of Love in her repentance, which is the force & confidence to undertake great things, as she showed when Renouncing the Silver Chest dedicated to the King her brother, & to the devil, & all the things pertaining to the vain cult; now say if she proved the fifth which is called ecstasy which is admiration of what is loved, when without being called it comes to one’s house and into one’s hands in Crucified form; from this you can judge & give sentence in her favour without fear of being censured, admire how he called St. Peter to follow him, how he called the magdalen with inspiration, David with reproof, Nebuchadnezzar with punishment, St. Paul with all these summonses & in the same way we can say that he called Queen Ginga, as you have seen.  In such a case we can but admire our [122] loving God’s great prodigality; the prodigal son had not only lost his goods to the wicked souls who were in charge of him but ceased to be a son, but the Father had not ceased to be a Father as this is an impossibility, for the Love of God works in favour of sinners who turn to convert to him, with whom he shows his prodigality; when the Father received his son he gave himself to him with his arms open to embrace him, his eyes weeping, & loving him in his heart, to show that if he had lost the nature of a son he himself had kept that of a Father, now what can we say in our Case?   When we see our loving Lord giving himself entirely to the Queen in Crucified form?  The Father in the embrace of his son could move one of his arms elsewhere, but not our loving Lord who has them both nailed on the Tree of the Cross and cannot move them nor place them elsewhere than in the embrace of the sinner, nor can he turn his eyes except to him for whom he has suffered, & as a sign of the quality of his Love for sinners he bears a door open to his sacred Side, & so he gave himself entirely to Queen Ginga who had lost the nature of a daughter, & not only consumed her own substance, but had declared herself so many times the mortal enemy of the Creator & the Creation; but our loving Lord has made her subject to him, & made her from an enemy into a declared Friend, so that now we can sing “magnus Dominus, & magna virtus eius.”  All the above happened six months before the arrival of the Father in the Queen’s Court to show what jealousy the Crucified Lord felt for the Soul of the sinful Queen although she had committed adultry with the devil, world & Flesh, as he wished to save her [before Page 108. Chap IX where you will hear][22]

Follows the course of the story






[6]. On the considerable debate as to whether or not to accept Njinga’s offer, Birmingham, Trade and Conflict, p. 116.

[7]. Istorica Descrizione, Book 6, no. 11 quotes a somewhat different letter dated 8 April 1656, also printed in Brasio, Monumenta 12:

[8]. See note 62 above.

[9]. That is, 1656.

[10]. In 1656, Easter fell on    April.

[11]. jose Carrasco, the Captain of Massangano whom Cavazzi credits with smoothing the mission, but of whom Gaeta had a somewhat less favorable opinion, Maravigliosa Conversione, pp. 84-94.  He was the godfather of Njinga Mona at his baptism in 1657, Cadornega, Historia 2: 440.

[12]. Sousa Chicorro, the governor of Angola, wrote that he had received 99 of the slaves by 14 October, Brasic, Monumenta 12:

[13]. Manuel Frois Peixoto, arrived as ambassador on 2 December 1655, was much wsteemed by Njinga and helped to calm her concerns on the negotioations with Portugal.  Njinga threatened to kill him during negotiations for the return of her sister Barbara, da Gaeta, Maravigliosa Conversione, p. 86.

[14]. This is the luone, a large portico for receiving visitors.  Cavazzi describes Njinga’s further in Istorica Descrizione, Book 6, no. 52 and the one at Mpungu a Ndongo in book 7, no. 67.  See also da Gaeta Maravigliosa Conversione, pp. 97-8.

[15]. Njinga undoubtedly possessed considerable religious paraphenalia captured as spoils of war, and of course, had the dervices of Calixto Zelotes dos Reis Magros, a priest or interpreter, to arrange them.

[16]. Mbanza Kongo did not become Sao Salvador until later in the sixteenth century, for Afonso I (1509-1543) dated his letter as “City of Congo” (Mbanza Konga translated into Portuguese).  Cavazzi’s negative assessment of Kongo’s Christianity reflects his views before his visit to Nsoyo in 1664 (see Istorica Descrizione, Book 7, no. 123) which he apparently did not revise in the draft.

[17]. Correct cross reference.

[18]. It is illustrated in nos. 16-17.  The story of the crucifix is in Maravigliosa Conversione, pp. 107-110, where he says the targey of the raid, which can be dated to early in 1656, was “Embuilla” Mbwila, who was the overlord of Pombo Samba.

[19]. Jean Cuvilier placed this region east of the present town of Sanza Pombo, Near Yaka territory, Leguzzano, Descricao, 2: 90.

[20]. Barriagonga = Mbari a Ngonga.  In Istorica Descrizione, Book 6, no. 4, Cavazzi makes it Berrianganza.  The person in question wrote his name as “Bariangonga” in signing the Luso-Matamba peace treaty of 15 January 1657, Brasio, Monumenta 12: 92.

[21]. This is probably misdated to 1655, and Manuel Flois is probably Manuel Flores Peixoto, see note 257 above.  Da Gaeta relates that this incident with the cross took place about 6 months before he came, Maravigliosa Conversione, p. 107 and p. 122 below.

[22]. Correct cross reference.