POPE ALEXANDER VI
May 3, 1493
POPE ALEXANDER VI
Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the illustrious sovereigns, our very dear son in Christ, Ferninand, king, and our very dear daughter in Christ, Isabella, queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon, and Grenada, health and apostolic benediction.
The sincerity and whole-souled loyalty of your exalted attachment to ourselves and the Church of Rome deserve to have us grant in your favour those things whereby daily you may the better and more easily be enabled to the honour of Almighty God and the spread of Christian Government as well as the exaltation of the Catholic faith to carry out your jolly and praiseworthy purpose and the work already undertaken of making search for far-away and unknown and countries and islands. For this very day of our own accord and certain knowledge, and out of the fullness of our apostolic power, we have given, granted, and assigned forever, as appears more fully in our letters drawn up therefor, to you and your heirs and successors, kings of Castile and Leon, all and singular the remote and unknown mainlands and islands lying towards the western parts and the ocean sea, that have been discovered or hereafter may be discovered by you or your envoys, whom you have equipped therefor not without great hardships, dangers and expense - and with them all their lordships, cities, castles, places, villages, rights and jurisdictions; provided however these countries have not been in the actual temporal possession of any Christian lords. But inasmuch as at another time the Apostolic See has granted divers privileges, favours, liberties, immunities, exemptions, faculties, letters, and indults to certain kings of Portugal, who also by similar Apostolic grant and donation in their favour, have discovered and taken possession of islands in the regions of Africa, Guinea, and the Gold Mine, and elsewhere, with the desire to empower with our apostolic authority, as also is right and fitting, you and your aforesaid heirs and successors with graces, prerogatives, and favours of no less character; moved also thereto wholly of our similar accord, not at your instance nor the petition of anyone else in your favour, but of our own sole liberality and out of the same knowledge and fullness of apostolic power, we do by tenor of these presents, as a gift of special favour, grant to you and your aforesaid heirs and successors, that in the islands and countries, already thus discovered by you or in your name and to be discovered hereafter, you may freely and legally use, employ and enjoy in all things and through all things, exactly the same as if they had been granted especially to you and your aforesaid heirs and successors, all and singular the graces and privileges, exemptions ,liberties, faculties, immunities, letters, and indults that have been thus granted to the kings of Portugal, the terms whereof we wish to be understood as sufficiently expressed and inserted, as if they had been inserted word for word in these presents. Moreover we extend similarly, and enlarge these powers, in all things and through all things to you and your aforesaid heirs and successors, to whom in the same manner and form we grant them forever, apostolic constitutions and ordinances as well as all grants of similar kind made by letters to the kings of Portugal, as well as other things whatsoever to the contrary not withstanding. But as it would be difficult to have these present letters sent to all places where desirable, we wish and with similar accord and knowledge do decree that to copies of them, signed by the hand of a public notary commissioned therefor, and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical officer or ecclesiastical court, the same respect is to be shown in court and outside as well as anywhere else as would be given to these presents should they be exhibited or shown. Let no one, therefore, infringe or with rash boldness contravene this our indult, extension, enlargement, grant, will and decree. Should anyone presume to do so, be it known to him that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul.
Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year of our Lord's incarnation one-thousand, four-hundred and ninety three, the third day of May, the first year of our pontificate.
Registered in the Apostolic Secretariate.
The Bishop of Controne. July
Gratis, by command of our blessed Lord, the Pope.
POPE ALEXANDER VI
Alexander episcopus, servus servorum Dei, carissimo in Christo filio Ferninando regi et carissime in Christo filie Elisabeth, regine Castelle, Legionis, Aragonum et Granate, illustribus, salutem et apostocum benedictionem.
Eximie devotionis sinceritas et integra fides quibus nos et Romanum reveremini ecclesiam non indigne merentur ut illa vobis favorabiliter concedamus per que sanctum et laudabile propositum vestrum et opus inceptum in querendis terris et insulis remotis ac incognitis in dies melius et facilius ad honorem Omnipotentis Dei et imperii Christiani propagationem ac fidei Catholice exaltationem prosequi valeatis. Hodie siquidem omnes et singulas terras firmas et insulas remotas et incognitas, versus partes occidentales et mare oceanum consistentes, per vos seu nuncios vestros, ad id propterea non sine magnis laboribus, periculis, et impensis destinatos, repertas et reperiendas imposterum, que sub actuali dominio temporali aliquorum dominorum Christianorum constitute non essent, cum omnibus illarum dominiis, civitatibus, castris, locis, villis, juribus, et jurisdictionibus universis, vobis, heredibusque et successoribus vestris, Castelle et Legionis regibus, imperpetuum, moto proprio et ex certa scienta ac de apostolice potestatis plenitudine donavimus, concessimus, et assignavimus, prout in nostris inde confectis litteris plenius continetur. Cum autem alias nonnullis Portugallie regibus qui impartibus Africe, Guinee, et Minere Auri, ac alias, insulas etiam ex similibus concessione et donatione apostolica eis facta repererunt et acquisiverunt, per Sedem Apostolicam diversa privilegia, gratie, libertates, immunitates, exemptiones, facultates, littere, et indulta concessa fuerint; nos volentes etiam, prout dignum et conveniens existit, vos, heredesque et successores vestros predictos, non minoribus gratiis, prerogativis, et favoribus prosequi, moto simili, non ad vestram vel alterius pro vobis super hoc oblate petitionis instantiam sed de nostra mera liberalitate ac eisdem scientia et apostolice potestatis plenitudine, vobis et heredibus et successoribus vestris predictis, ut in insulis et terris per vos seu nomine vestro hactenus repertis hujusmodi et reperiendis imposterum, omnibus et singulis gratiis et privilegiis, exemptionibus, libertatibus, facultatibus, immunitatibus, litteris, et indultis regibus Portugallie concessis hujusmodi, quorum omnium tenores, ac si de verbo ad verbum presentibus insererentur, haberi volumus pro sufficienter expressis et insertis, uti, potiri, et gaudere libere et licite possitis et debeatis in omnibus et per omnia perinde ac si illa omnia vobis ac heredibus et successoribus vestris prefatis specialiter concessa [fuissent], auctoritate apostolica, tenore presentium de specialis dono gratie indulgemus, illaque in omnibus et per omnia ad vos hedesque ac successores vestros predictos extendimus pariter et ampliamus , ac eisdem modo et forma perpetuo concedimus, non obstantibus constitutionibus et ordinationibus apostolicis, nec non omnibus illis que in litteris Portugallie regibus concessis hujusmodi concessa sunt, non obstare ceterisque contrariis quibuscunque. Verum, quia difficile foret presentes litteras ad singula queque loca in quibus expediens fuerit, deferri, volumus, ac moto et scientia similibus decernimus, quod illarum transumptis, manu publici notarii inde rogati subscriptis et sigillo alicujus persone in ecclesiastica dignitate constitute , seu curie ecclesiastice, munitis, ea prorsus fides indubia in judicio et extra, ac alias ubilibet, adhibeatur, que presentibus adhiberetur, si essent exhibite vel ostense. Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paginam nostrorum indulti, extensionis, ampliationis, concessionis, voluntatis, et decreti infringere, vel ei ausu temerario contraire. Siquis autem hoc attemptare presumpserit, indignationem Omnipotentis Dei ac beatorum Petri et Pauli apostolorum ejus se noverit incursurum.
Datum Rome apud sanctum Petrum, anno Incarnationis Dominice millesimo quadrigentesimo nonagesimo tertio, quinto nonas Maii, pontificatus nostri anno primo.
Registrata in secretaria apostolica
Gratis de mandato beati domini nostri pape.
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