António Vieira

1608 - 1697

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

country of citizenship:  Kingdom of Portugal
languages spoken, written or signed:  Portuguese

António Vieira (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu viˈɐjɾɐ]; 6 February 1608 – 18 July 1697) was an Afro-Portuguese Jesuit priest, diplomat, orator, preacher, philosopher, writer, and member of the Royal Council to the King of Portugal. Vieira moved to Brazil in 1614 and later joined the Jesuit order. Vieira distinguished himself as an orator and became a tutor to the Infante Dom Pedro and a member of the Royal Council. He worked to improve Portugal's economic condition and advocated for the reform of the Inquisition and the rights of New Christians. As a diplomat, Vieira visited various countries and worked towards the betterment of Portugal. He dedicated his life to the conversion of African slaves and native Indians in Brazil and fought for their protection against exploitation. Vieira faced opposition and was even imprisoned by the Inquisition for alleged heresy, but eventually regained his freedom and prestige. Vieira is considered one of the literary greats of the Portuguese-speaking world, with numerous works that showcase his exceptional skill in prose. His letters, sermons, and writings are valuable historical documents for understanding the period. Vieira's legacy continues to be celebrated with commemorative coins, stamps, and academic programs dedicated to his work. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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