|Garcia de Orta, Portuguese physician Goa,IndiaWikipedi|
Garcia de Orta (or Garcia d'Orta) (1501? – 1568), a Renaissance Sephardi Jewish physician based in Goa was a popular physician to the rich and famous, including many Viceroys and Governors of the Portuguese colony and even to the Indian rulers. He had a flourishing practice in India whose foray into Indian tropical medicinal plants and remedies for the tropical diseases won him laurels. His book Coloquios dos simples e drogas e cousas medicinais da India (Conversations on the simples, drugs and materia medica of India), which was published in India in 1563 is a monumental work, dealing with tropical ailments and medicines. It was quite indispensable for the practitioners of tropical diseases centuries ago.
|Lief-the-Lucky - DeviantArt|
During the Portuguese rule in India, De Orta was so influential that the site - Island of Bombay was taken on lease by him from the King of Portugal between 1554 and 1570. He even built a residence called The Manor.
|Water-boarding, Goa Inquisition 1859 ---Postcard News|
Forcibly converted to Christianity in 1497, the Jews in Spain were derogatorily classed as Cristãos Novos (New Christians) and marranos ("swine"). Despite their conversion to Christian faith, many of these refugees maintained their original faith secretly and never gave up their Jewish faith.
|Torturing of non Christians. Spanish Inquisition. Wikipedia|
|King João III and the Inquisition in Portugal.wikipedia.org|
|Portuguese inquisition. The Blogs | The Times of Israel|
Above image: Auto da Fe in Portugal - Portuguese Inquisition was introduced in 1536. For non Christians and converts, it was a period of torture, pain and suffering. Religion took precedence over rationality and common sense.........
Educated at the Universities of Alcalá de Henares and Salamanca and after qualifying himself as a physian in Spain, Garcia returned to Portugal in 1525 and had a good practice in Lisbon, besides becoming the physician to the ruler of Portugal John III The Portuguese Inquisition (Portuguese: Inquisição Portuguesa) was formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of its king, John III.
Just like Spanish Inquisition, the major target of the Portuguese Inquisition were the converts from Judaism to Catholicism. The Conversos, also known as New Christians or Marranos were suspected of secretly practicing Judadism. Many of these were originally Spanish Jews who had left Spain for Portugal, when Spain forced Jews to convert to Christianity or leave. The number of victims is believed to be around 40,000.
|Torture. Spanish Inquisition, 1805. a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com|
|Entrance of a garden, Garcia De Orta, Panaji, Goa, IndiaAlamy|
The inquisition was established in Goa In 1560,– 24 years after the Portuguese Inquisition was instituted in Portugal. Aleixo Dias Falcão and Francisco Marques, established inquisition in Goa. With the opening in 1565 of an Inquisitorial Court in Goa to punish the new converts and non - Christians, the persecution became forceful in 1569 against Jews, secret Jews, Hindus, Muslims and New Christians.
His friend Martim Afonso de Sousa, Governor-General of Portuguese India from 1542 to 1545. (with whom he first came to India) gave him protection during the early stage of Goa Inquisition. Physician Garcia was lucky and he did not live to see serious Inquisition in Goa. He died in 1568 but his family and sister Catarina were unlucky and arrested in the same year of their arrival from Portugal. The religious heads who oversaw the persecution of non-Christians and others were so ruthless, without any remorse or respect for the departed souls, dug the graves of those converts who were secretly Jewish. During that time Garcia's sisters and his family were tortured till they “confessed” to their being Jews. They told officials that Garica de Orta was Jewish as well. The family was charged with their crimes and burned them alive at the stake
on October 25, 1569. Then the inquisitors did an awfully bad thing no civilized person could ever think of - an inhuman and despicable act. Garcia' was posthumously convicted by the Inquisition Court and his mortal remains were exhumed in 1580 from his grave and burned to ashes along with copies of his books, except the work Coloquios dos simples e drogas e cousas medicinais da India.
Also persecuted in the Goa Inquisition was the ancient Christian community of Malabar Nasranis on the south Indian coast of Kerala. The Portuguese religious fanatics described the Malabar Nasranis as Sabbath-keeping Judaizers and burnt their Syriac-Aramaic manuscripts at the Synod of Diamper.
The insane people committed this atrocity deliberately in the name of religion and Christ, an embodiment of love and care. Both Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions were the darkest chapters in the history of world religion and it showed to the world how religious fanaticism would reach the abysmal depth of human ugliness, intolerance and violence against fellow human beings in the name of God. The pathetic fact is no body had seen Him, nor had God appeared before any of our religious heads!
|Seal of the Inquisition,en.wikipedia.org|
Image above: Inquisição Portuguesa - Grand Inquisitor chosen by crown and named by pope. Consisted of a Grand Inquisitor, who headed the General Council of the Holy Office. Meeting place: Estaus Palace in Rossio squar, Lisbon. ........
Now we have a different scenario in Portugal. De Orta is being adored and is a famous figure of Portuguese history in India and Portugal. In his honor Portugal has issued stamps, coins and bills (currency notes) bearing his figure. Two gardens, one in Goa, India and the other in Lisbon, Portugal are dedicated to de Orta and named after him .