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The belief in miraculous facts in Brazil (17th and 18th centuries)

Grant number: 18/16380-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Jean Marcel Carvalho França
Grantee:Lucas de Almeida Semeão
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/14786-6 - Writings on new worlds: a history of the construction of moral values in Portuguese, AP.TEM


The belief in miraculous events was very common among the people of Brazil from the days of the colony. One of the central actors in this practice was the intercessors, men who acted as a kind of "bridge" between God and the faithful, questioning the first in the name of the second. The proof of the expressiveness of this belief is the number of times miraculous events were cited in the various Portuguese-language writings produced during the colonial period, indicating that the miraculous event was a common part of the daily life of various settlers. Many of the miracle intermediaries were saints already known in the Christian world; however, from the last quarter of the sixteenth century onwards, but more significantly at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the martyrs and distinguished men of the colonization process began to appear in the narratives as makers of miraculous portents. Such a presence grew notably throughout the century, but at the turn of the sixteenth century, there was a new change: the gradual diminution of miraculous narratives with mention of martyrs and men of distinction, and the diversification of miracle workers. The purpose of this research is to understand these variations, through some questions posed to the documentation of the time (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries): what belief in miracles represented in the daily life of people in a markedly religious age, such as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the Brazil? What was meant as a miracle? By whom and by what diffusers was this belief transmitted? Who performed the miracles? Who received them? Were there privileged places and moments of miraculous occurrences? Is it possible to construct a typology of miraculous deeds? And, finally, who interceded - when there were intercessors - these miraculous deeds?

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SEMEÃO, Lucas de Almeida. Miracles in Brazil (16th to 18th centuries). 2020. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais. Franca Franca.

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