PARVI, D. João (? -1546)
2nd bishop of Cape Verde.
In September of 1538, he was presented as bishop of Cape Verde. He was a member of the diocesan chapter of the prestigious cathedral of Évora, where he was a crosier archdeacon and a magisterial canon, having been the clergyman to officiate in this cathedra. He was a contemporary of D. Martinho of Portugal, a royal messenger to Rome with the purpose of creating the dioceses of Angra, Cape Verde, S. Tomé and Goa, a fact that might have been relevant in his selection. He was of French origin, from the diocese of Baiona, having the common name of João Petit, and was naturalized by the mercy of D. João III. He took part in the humanist group of Évora, which also included names such as D. Francisco de Melo, master André de Resende and Nicolau Clenardo. He was confirmed by the Roman Curia on September 23, 1538. He began to confer holy orders on October 19 of this same year, so he must have been consecrated in the Episcopal dignity around this period. There was a delay before he resided in the bishopric, as there is evidence of his presence in Évora until January of 1545. In September of this same year, he elaborated a will, in which he named his nephew, Reginaldo Parvi, his inheritor. This document affirms that he would soon depart to the island of Santiago, Cape Verde, where he must have arrived in the end of 1545, becoming the first resident bishop. He died in the city of Ribeira Grande on December 29, 1546 with just about a year spent in the bishopric. The royal ecclesiastical patronage was aware of the fragile start of the Atlantic island bishoprics, and while D. João Parvi didn?t establish residence, the king appointed a visitator to the archipelago, who would exercise equally the office of lieutenant of the vicar-general and ecclesiastical judge in Cape Verde. He designated Afonso Martins, beneficiary of the church of the city of Ribeira Grande who, in addition to developing other supervisory actions, moved to the island of Fogo at the request of the local elite in order to conduct visitations at the church of S. Filipe in the town with the same name. About 120 years later, Manuel Severim de Faria, in an apologetic tone, refers to D. João Parvi as one who was sacrificed to the service of the church, affirming that he died quickly after arriving due to the fervor with which he was devoted to his pastoral activities, not having so much as observed proper protection of his health for some months, which the local climate demanded of the Portuguese clergy. It literally reads, ?He expired while confirming, disturbed with the labor of many people.? While in Portugal in 1538, he sent a letter to the Inquisition of Lisbon concerning the abuses of the New Christians on the islands of Cape Verde, so he must have exchanged correspondence with the local authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical. D. João Parvi initiated the organization of the diocesan structures, namely the diocesan chapter, as it was prescribed to him in the bull of creation of the bishopric of Cape Verde. He left an offering to the diocesan chapter for them to say masses for his soul. He was buried at the church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário in Ribeira Grande.
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ALMEIDA, Fortunato de, História da Igreja em Portugal, nova ed.preparada e dirigida por Damião Peres, vol. II, Porto-Lisboa, Livraria Civilização, 1968, pp. 685.
PAIVA, José Pedro, Os Bispos de Portugal e do Império, 1495-1777, Coimbra, Imprensa da Universidade, 2006.
REMA, Henrique Pinto, ?Diocese de Cabo Verde?, História Religiosa de Portugal, dir. de Carlos Azevedo, Lisboa, Círculo de Leitores, 2001, vol. II, A-C, pp. 280-284.
SANTOS, Maria Emília Madeira; SOARES, Maria João, ?Igreja, Missionação e Sociedade?, História Geral de Cabo Verde, vol. II, coord. de Maria Emília Madeira Santos, Lisboa-Praia, IICT-INCCV, 1995, pp. 382-383.
SOUSA, António Caetano de, Catálogo dos bispos das igrejas de Cabo Verde, S. Tomé e Angola in Colleçam dos documentos, estatutos e memórias da Academia real da História Portugueza que neste anno de 1722 se compuzerão e se imprimirão por ordem dos seus censores, Lisboa, Pascoal da Sylva, 1722.
Author: Maria João Soares
Translated by: John Starkey