‘Em Procissão Solene a Deus Orando, para os Batéis Viemos Caminhando’—The Long Ebb-Tide of Catholic Public Piety in the Former-Portuguese Enclave of Macao
2. Historical Background
3. Secular Influences
4. Ecclesial Influences
Hence, he would do something very wrong and dangerous who would dare to take on himself to reform all these exercises of piety and reduce them completely to the methods and norms of liturgical rites. However, it is necessary that the spirit of the sacred liturgy and its directives should exercise such a salutary influence on them that nothing improper be introduced nor anything unworthy of the dignity of the house of God or detrimental to the sacred functions or opposed to solid piety.
5. Postscript-The Tide Begins to Turn
Conflicts of Interest
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The 1991 census giving the figure as 6.7% (Hao 2011, pp. 121–22) and the Pew Survey of 2010 suggesting 5.3% (Religions in Macau|PEW-GRF 2010). The1991 census figures include only the religious affiliation of Macao residents. It is likely that above 90% of the Filipino non-resident workers are also Catholics. The 1991 census recorded 14,544 Filipino born non-resident worked and, by 2020, this figure had risen to over 31,600 (Statistics—Statistics and Census Service 2020).
For all practical purposes, the confrarias are organised in a largely similar way and for the same purposes (mutual assistance, practical and spiritual, social and religious) as their counterparts across the Iberian peninsular. In many respects they share common characteristics with the confraternities, guilds and stores found across late-Medieval and Early Modern Europe.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of Fr Teixeira (1912–2003) as an historian of Macao. Despite his rather sparing approach to the citation of his sources, his sixteen volume Macau e a sua Diocese, published between 1940 and 1979 (Teixeira 1940), stands peerless in its scope and depth as an account of the history of Macao. An illuminating account of his work is to be found in (The Historian of the City of the Mother of God, Father Manuel Teixeira 1982).
One such potential source, Conego José Kou Tin Yau (1925–1921), the last of the Macao clergy to have been ordained early enough to have had extensive first-hand experience of the pre-conciliar practice, was taken ill and died during the writing of this article.
In modern Portuguese orthography “Macau”, from the Chinese “A-Ma Gau”, meaning “Bay of A-Ma”.
For a fuller introduction to the Padroado Real Portuguesa, see (Lach 1994, pp. 230–45).
Ljungstedt records that the Senado of Macao had advised King Philip (I of Portugal, II of Spain-this during the union of the Kingdoms) that City already had “a Cathedral with two parishes, a Misericordia with two hospitals and four religious bodies, viz: Augustinians, Dominicans, Jesuits and Capuchins.” (Ljungstedt 1836, p. 155). An introduction to the history of early Catholic Macao can be found in the first four volumes of (Teixeira 1940).
The author is firmly committed to a proper “religious turn” in the history of religious belief and practice, indeed in history in general, and would align himself very firmly with the sentiments expressed by Sarah Foot in ‘Has ecclesiastical history lost the plot’ (Foot 2012).
Atkinson’s introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Lusiads, for example, assumes this to be so and stands as a representative of this commonly held position (De Camões and Atkinson 1952, p. 18), although others are less convinced: see, for example (Boxer 1968, p. 32). Perhaps the most that can be said is, as Clive Willis has observed, “That [Camões] lived in Macau in the late 1550s I consider to be beyond doubt. Whether he composed his verses in the gruta de Camões it is impossible to judge.” (Willis 2001, p. 99).
The Dutch had attempted to capture Macao on several occasions but were definitively defeated in a battle on 24 June 1622, the Feast of St John the Baptist, leaving (according to Mundy (1919, III–i:268)) 500 or 600 hundred dead. The victory was attributed to the Saint’s intercession (although the quality of the gunnery of Fr Giacomo Rho SJ played a part and he was immediately acclaimed the patron of the City (Boxer 1968, p. 125). Anders Ljungstedt makes mention of the procession in (Ljungstedt 1836, p. 154). The day was observed until the hand-over to China in 1999 (Wu and Yang 2005, p. 482).
Fr Teixeira can be seen at the rear (left hand side) of the procession of priests, at the very end of the film at 2′43′′.
Low’s accounts of the processions, in particular, reveal her strong New England Unitarian sensibilities in her revulsion at these Catholic devotions, describing the ceremonies as “wretched”, “mockery” (twice), “a farce”, “horrid”, “really quite dreadful” and making “her blood run cold” (Low Hillard 2002, pp. 107, 108, 136, 211, 316).
The apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, central Portugal, in 1917, quickly acquired widespread popularity in Portugal and her colonies. They were widely seen in apocalyptic terms, variously related to the First World War, in which Portugal was a participant in alliance with Britain, France and (from 1917) the USA, the Russian Revolution of that same year, and the anti-clericalism of the Portuguese First Republic. It is unsurprising that the Portuguese Catholics of Macao would quickly develop an attachment to the devotion. In 1940, as the Sino-Japanese War surrounded Macao and the stand-off between Portugal and the Holy See was resolved by a concordat, the Catholics of Macao enshrined and crowned a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Cathedral of the city, under the title Queen of Portugal.
The subsequent renaming of this day as the Day of Camões-supposedly it is also the date of the poet’s death (another contested element of his legacy)-has not, itself, been free from politically influenced change. It was referred to as the Dia da Raça (the Day of the [Portuguese] Race) by António de Oliveira Salazar, the Prime Minister of the authoritarian Estado Novo regime from 1932 to 1968, and, following the fall of that regime in the 1974 Carnation Revolution, has now settled into the lengthy, if more liberal, appelation of “The Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities”.
“Macanese”, or in Portuguese “Macaenses” is a contested term refering to those of mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry (or aspiration). See (Marreiros 1994).
For a concise account of this event, see (Maxwell 2009).
The author was recently told, by Jorge Neto Valente, a former Portuguese Cavalry Office, later Legislative Assembly Member under the post-1999 Macao SAR settlement and current President of the Macao Lawyers Association, that Portugal had been permitted to retain its seven armoured cars in Macao after 1967, but the agreement stipulated that they were not to be taken out onto the public street. (conversation, 22 January 2021).
For just such a consideration, see (Simpson 2014).
The growing coolness in the relations between the two men is observable in their correspondence-particularly in the previously unpublished letters, now available in Pedro Ramos Brandão’s 2003 book (Brandão 2003).
An Encyclical Letter is an authoritative teaching document of the Pope in epistolary form, addressed to the bishops and superiors of religious orders and congregations. These documents, which often have very long formal titles (Mediator Dei itself is formally called “Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Sacred Liturgy to the Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and Other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See”) and are, therefore, commonly known by the first two or three Latin words of the text of the encyclical. Mediator Dei means “The mediator of God”.
The others being Mystici Corporis on the nature of the Church (Pius XII 1943a) and Divino Afflante Spiritu on Sacred Scripture (Pope Pius XII 1943b). The magisterium of Pius XII is, after Sacred Scripture, the most frequently quoted source in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (Testacci and Lora 1992, pp. 608–9).
Meaning “This Sacred Council”, from the opening phrase of the document “This Sacred Council has several aims in view”.
A “Post-Synodal Exhortation” is another type of teaching document issued by popes following and in response to meetings of synods of bishops. Of a lower authority than an encyclical, it is however, considered to be an authoritative expression of the teaching of the Catholic Church. Evangelii Nuntiandi means “to proclaim the Gospel”.
Salvador Ryan describes the creative tension between the two well when he suggests that if the correct balance is struck, rather than the disdainful regard of the one for the other, the in a “process of embodiment and expression, doctrine becomes inculturated and nuanced”. (Ryan 2012, p. 969).
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Morgan, S. ‘Em Procissão Solene a Deus Orando, para os Batéis Viemos Caminhando’—The Long Ebb-Tide of Catholic Public Piety in the Former-Portuguese Enclave of Macao. Religions 2021, 12, 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030193
Morgan S. ‘Em Procissão Solene a Deus Orando, para os Batéis Viemos Caminhando’—The Long Ebb-Tide of Catholic Public Piety in the Former-Portuguese Enclave of Macao. Religions. 2021; 12(3):193. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030193Chicago/Turabian Style
Morgan, Stephen. 2021. "‘Em Procissão Solene a Deus Orando, para os Batéis Viemos Caminhando’—The Long Ebb-Tide of Catholic Public Piety in the Former-Portuguese Enclave of Macao" Religions 12, no. 3: 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030193