CASTRO, Gaspar de (1561-1626)
Clergy of the Society of Jesus who worked mostly in Japan. He was born in Braga, around 1561, and died in Higo on 7th May, 1626.
He entered the Society in 1578 and served as a nurse in Coimbra for six years. In 1588, he left as the companion of Bishop Dom Sebastião de Morais and was the only member of the Episcopal entourage to survive the epidemic that affected the São Cristóvão carrack. When in Goa, he carried on with his studies and was ordained priest. Then, in 1593, he accompanied Dom Pedro Martins to Japan, having arrived there in 1596. He stayed in Japan until March, 1615. He worked always in Nagasaki or surrounding area; he was at Nagasaki?s college in 1603; there are references of his presence at the Fukahori residence in 1606 and 1607; and in 1613 he is back to Nagasaki, working at the annex of the Santiago hospital and some neighbouring communities. He professed vows for spiritual coadjutor in Nagasaki on 8th June, 1603. He probably left for exile in November, 1614, but returned to the Nipponese archipelago in 1620 and worked in the Shimabara peninsula. On 7th March, 1623, he signed the manifest against the libel of the friars; he was arrested in Higo, but was then released.
Bibliography: COSTA, João Paulo Oliveira e, O Cristianismo no Japão e o Episcopado de D. Luís de Cerqueira, dissertação de doutoramento em História apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, 1998 (texto fotocopiado). Monumenta Historica Japoniae, dir. de Josef Franz Schütte S. J., Roma, Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1975.
Author: Helena Rodrigues
Translated by: Maria das Mercês Pacheco