REIS, D. Fr. Fabião dos (c.1600-1674)
10th bishop of Cape Verde.
He was born circa 1600 in Campo Grande. He received holy orders at the age of 25 in the order of the Calced Carmelites, in which he spent his entire monastic career officiating at various monasteries. He was magistrate of the province of the order; he was educated in theology at the University of Coimbra; he was a lecturer of theoretical philosophy and theology on the island of Faial and a lecturer of moral theology for two years in the convent of Carmo in Lisbon; he was provincial commissary of Brazil, insular commissary and rector of the Franciscan College of Recollects of Santa Ana in Coimbra. He was also a censor of the Holy Office. His process of canonical qualification dates from January 1671, so he must have been presented to the Curia in this year. He was confirmed on May 16, 1672 and consecrated on September 11 of the same year when he was already of advanced age. In the period of the preparation for his trip to Cape Verde, he made countless appeals to the Foreign Council and he obtained favorable dispatch for all the financial requests, allowances for expenses and material goods, but they were just promises, since they would be paid by the royal treasury of Cape Verde, which lacked regular sources of revenue at the time. He received an Alvará das Faculdades. In 1673 he was still in Lisbon, and the treasury already owed him more than one thousand reis of his allowance, and so he left for Cape Verde under precarious conditions. He arrived in Santiago in June of 1673, and died a short time after on February 8, 1674 in the company of his ?family with limited means,? and for their sustenance, he had to contract debts in the court of more than 2000 cruzados. In the cathedral he didn?t have ornaments to celebrate solemn offices, and he couldn?t get the two complete sets of ornaments that had been promised to him due to the embezzlement of the financial deposit which was destined for the construction of the cathedral. Completely fettered materially and financially, he died nine months after arriving in Santiago during a pastoral visit in the city of the Ribeira Grande. They had reached such an extreme state that the body was shrouded with a purple ornament which was very old and used. The city hall, in moving tone, communicated the news of his death to the king and stated that, in spite of his short bishopric, the people had ?become very fond? of him. This affection is not surprising since, with the exception of this short bishopric, the diocese had been vacant for more than 26 years, the result of a break in relations between Portugal and the Holy See, and D. Fr. Fabião must have conferred holy orders on several ordinands that were in a state of impasse awaiting this sacrament of Episcopal ordination, because they no longer had the means to receive ordination outside of Cape Verde as in the period of economic expansion during the 16th century. Thus, the restoration of Episcopal activity, even if for a very short period, must have resulted in the reactivation of the ordinations and provisions in the offices and ecclesiastical dignities.
Anónimo (1784), Notícia Corográfica e Cronológica do Bispado de Cabo Verde, ? edição e notas de António Carreira, Lisboa, Instituto Caboverdeano do Livro, 1985.
ALMEIDA, Fortunato de, História da Igreja em Portugal, nova ed.preparada e dirigida por Damião Peres, vol. II, Porto-Lisboa, Livraria Civilização, 1968, pp. 686.
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.
SOARES, Maria João, ?A Igreja em tempo de mudança política, social e cultural?, História Geral de Cabo Verde, vol. III, coord. de Maria Emília Madeira Santos, Lisboa-Praia, IICT-INIPPC, 2002, pp. 340-341.
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