November 3, 1514

The Bull Praecelsae Devotionis, November 3, 1514

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God. For an abiding remembrance.

Meditating fittingly in the inmost counsels of our heart upon the unwearied fervor of lofty devotion, the purity of blameless faith, the respect for the Holy Apostolic See, and the ardor of lofty virtues, whereby our very dear son in Christ, Emmanuel, the illustrious king of Portugal and of the Algarves, has made himself, in manifold ways, leasing , serviceable, and agreeable to us and to the said see, especially since in the light of experience we consider, and from manifest proofs everyday clearly perceive, with what unremitting vigilance his Sublimity and Serenity, following the example of his predecessors, the kings of Portugal, had striven, and evermore zealously strives, for the most part in person and not without the greatest effort and expense, in order that the barbarous hostility of the Moors and of other infidels to our Saviour and to the Christian name may not only be warded off from the territories of the faithful, but, perishing in its own iniquity, may be entirely restrained and blotted out, and that the Christian religion may by peaceful means be advanced and promoted in all longed-for ways: persuaded by these considerations and by many other legitimate reasons, we deem it fitting and expedient constantly to guard and protect those concessions which we have learned were granted by our predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, to the aforesaid predecessors of the said King Emmanuel, and also to grant other and new privileges, in order that then his Highness, fortified by the further munificence of the aforesaid Apostolic See, may not only be roused to greater zeal in fulfilling his promises, but having received a liberal and generous reward may induce and cause others more readily to undertake similar work, and that in his devotion to us and to the aforesaid see may be increased, and that in return for the labors which he sustains in serving the Church Universal by exalting the Catholic and apostolic faith, he may obtain suitable honors and rewards.

A short while ago, divers letters of the following tenor were issued by our predecessors, Popes Nicholas V and Sixtus IV, of happy memory.

[Here follow the bulls of June 18, 1452; January 8, 1455; and of June 21, 1481-which includes the bulls of January 8, 1455 and of March 13, 1456, and part of the Treaty of Alcacovas relating to Guinea]

We, therefore, who passionately strive for the advantage and profit of the said King Emmanuel, since he is continually aiming at the growth and extension of the faith, of our own accord, an not at the instance of the said King Emmanuel or on account of any request offered by any other person in his behalf, but from our mere deliberation and out of our certain knowledge and from the plenitude of apostolic power, approve and renew and confirm by the apostolic authority and by the tenor of these presents, the aforesaid letters, all and singular, regarding their contents, all and singular and whatever has followed thereupon as established and acceptable, and supplying all and singular defects, both of law and of fact, if any should happen to occur in them; and we decree that they ought to be permanently valid.

And for greater security and by virtue of the authority in the terms mentioned above [Bulls of June 8, 1452, January 8, 1455, and June 21, 1481, which includes the bulls of January 8, 1455, March 13, 1456 and part of the Treaty of Alcaçovas], we newly grant everything, all and singular, contained in the aforesaid letters. and all other empires, kingdoms, principalities, duchies, provinces, lands, cities, towns, forts, lordships, islands, harbors, seas, coasts and all property, real and personal, wherever existing, also all unfrequented places, recovered, discovered, found and acquired from the aforesaid infidels, by the said King Emmanuel and his predecessors, or in the future to be recovered, acquired, discovered, and found by the said King Emmanuel and his successors, both from Cape Bojador and Nao to the Indies, and in any place or region whatsoever, even although perchance unknown to us at present; and we also extend and amplify the aforesaid letters, and their contents, all and singular to the aforesaid concessions, and in virtue of holy obedience and under penalty of our wrath, by the authority and in the terms aforesaid, we inhibit all faithful Christians, even though adorned with imperial, royal, or any other rank. . . from presuming to hinder in any way the said King Emmanuel and his successors in respect to the aforesaid concessions, and from furnishing aid, counsel, or favor to the said infidels [The original manuscript of the promulgated bull is in the National Archives in Lisbon, Coll. de Bullas, maço 29, no. 6].

Wherefore, by apostolic writings, and of the same accord, we charge our venerable brothers, the Archbishop of Lisbon and the bishops of Idanha-Velha (Guarda) and Funchal, that they, or two or one of them, by himself, or through another, or others, solemnly publishing the present letters and all and singular therein contained, where and when it shall be expedient, and a often s they shall be required on behalf of King Emmanuel and his successors and, aiding the aforesaid King Emmanuel and his successors with effectual protection in the aforesaid, do by our authority cause the present and other letters and the matters contained therein to be inviolably observed after this manner, not permitting them [i.e. the kings] to be troubled in any way whatever and by anyone in respect to these matters, restraining the disobedient by ecclesiastical censure, without permitting appeal, and likewise if necessary invoking for this purpose the aid of the secular arm. And nonetheless, observing the legal process to be followed in these matters, let them be careful, as often as it shall be expedient, to harass again and again those who it shall appear have incurred the censures and penalties imposed by them in accordance with circumstances.

Nor shall the [edict] of Pope Boniface VIII., of celebrated memory, similarly our predecessor, interfere with these injunctions, in which, among other things, he forbade that anyone be summoned to trial outside his city or diocese, except in certain excepted cases, and in those cases not more than one day's journey from the bounds of his diocese, or that judges, deputed by the Apostolic See, presume to proceed against anyone outside the city or diocese in which they shall have been deputed, or that they presume to intrust their duties to any other person or persons; nor the regulation in regard to the two days' journey, ordained in the General Council; and other apostolic constitutions; nor all those constitutions whatsoever to the contrary, which the said Nicholas and others of our predecessors, who made similar concessions to the said King of Portugal, declared to be of no effect in their letters, even if the said see has granted an indult to any, jointly or singly, that they may not be interdicted, suspended or excommunicated by apostolic letters not making full and express mention, word for word, of such indult.

Let no man whomsoever therefore infringe or with rash boldness contravene this our approval, renewal, confirmation, completion, decree, grant, extension, amplification, inhibition, and mandate. Should anyone presume to attempt this, 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 on the third day of November, in the year of the Incarnation of our Lord, 1514, in the second year of our pontificate.

Jacopo Sadoleto
B. de Comitibus

Jacopo Sadoleto and Pietro Bembo were secretaries to Leo X.


Leo episcopus, servus servorum Dei. Ad perpetuam rei memoriam.

Precelse devotionis et indefessum fervorem, integre fidei puritatem, ingeniique in Sanctam Sedem Apostolicam observantiam, excelsarumque virtutum flagratiam, quibus charissimus in Christo filius noster, Emmanuel Portugallie et Algarbiorum rex illustris, sese nobis et dicte sedi multipliciter gratum, obsequiosum, et acceptum prebuit, apud archana mentis nostre digne revolventes, presertim cum, magistra rerum experientia teste, perpendimus ac apertis documentis in dies clare conspicimus, quam sedula vigilantia sua Sublimitas et Serenitas suorum predecessorum Portugallie regum gesta sequendo, plerumque in persona, non sine gravissimis laboribus et expensis, nixa et sit continuo ferventius enititur, ut Salvatori nostro ac nomine Christiano infensa Maurorum et aliorum infidelium immanitas nedum a fidelium finibus arceatur quinimo suis flagitiis male perdita, et arctetur funditus et deleatur, et Christiana religio, optata pace freta, votiva in omnibus suscipiat incrementa, hiis considerationibus et plerisque aliis legitimis causis suadentibus, congruum et opere pretium existimamus, ea que a predecessoribus nostris, Romanus pontificibus, ipsius Emanuelis Regis predecessoribus prefatis concessa comperimus, nostro etiam munimine confovere ac alia etiam de novo concedere, ut exinde Celsitudo sua, Apostolice Sedi predicte ulteriori munificentia premunita, in prosecutione promissorum non solum ardentius inflametur, sed et liberali ac munifica compensatione accepta ceteros reddat et faciat ad similia promptiores, et ejus erga nos et sedem predictam devotio augeatur, et pro laboribus quos Universali Ecclesie circa Catholice et apostolice fidei exaltationem bene serviendo sustinet condignos honores et gratias reportet.

Dudum siquidem a felicis recordationis Nicolao papa V. et Sixto IV. Romanis pontificibus, predecessoribus nostris, emanarunt diverse littere, tenoris subsequentis.

[Here follows the bulls of June 18, 1452 (a part of which is given above); of January 8, 1455; and of June 21, 1481 which includes the bulls of January 8, 1455, and of March 13, 1456 and part of the treaty of Alcacovas relating to Guinea.]

Nos igitur, qui ejusdem Emmanuelis Regis, fidei augmentum et propagationem jugiter procurantis, commoda et utilitates supremis desideriis affectamus, moto proprio, non ad ipsius Emanuelis Regis vel alicujus alterius pro eo nobis super hoc oblate petitionis instantiam, sed de nostra mera deliberatione et ex certs nostra scientia apostolice potestatis plenitudine, omnes et singulas literas predictas ac omnia et singula in eis contenta et inde secuta quecumque rata et grata habentes, auctoritate apostolica, tenore presentium approbamus et innovamus ac confirmamus, supplentes omnes et singulos defectus, tam juris quam facti, siqui forsan intervenerint in eisdem, ac perpetue firmitatis robur obtinere debere decernimus.

Et pro potiori cautela, omnia et singula in eisdem litteris contenta, ac quecunque alia imperia, regna, pricipatis, ducatus, provincias, terras, civitates, opida, castra, dominia, insulas, portus, maria, littora, et bona quecunque, mobilia et immobilia, ubicunque consistentia, per eundem Emanuelem Regem et predecessores suos a dictis infidelibus, etiam solitaria quecunque recuperata, detecta, inventa, et acquisita, ac per ipsum Emanuelem Regem et successores suos in posterum recuperanda, acquirenda, detegenda, et invenienda, tam a Capitibus de Bogiador et de Naon usque ad Indos quam etiam ubicunque et in quibuscunque partibus, etiam nostris temporibus forsan ignotis, eisdem auctoritate et tenore de novo concedimus; litterasque supradictas ac omnis et singula in illis contenta ad premissa etiam extendimus et ampliamus, ac in virtute sancte obedientie et indignationis nostre pena quibuscunque fidelibus Christianis, etiam si imperiali regali, et quacunque alia prefulgeant dignitate, ne eundem Emmanuelem Regem et successores suos quomodolibet in premissis impedire, ac eisdem infidelibus auxilium, consilium, vel favorem prestare presumant, auctoritate et tenore premissis inhibemus.

Quocirca venerabilibus fratribus nostris archiepiscopo Ulixbonensi, et Egiptanensi et Funchalensi episcopis, per apostolica scripta motu simili mandamus quatinus ipsi, vel duo aut unus eorum, per se vel alium seu alios, presentes litteras ac omnia et singula in eis contenta, ubi et quando expedierit, ac quotiens pro parte Emanuelis Regis et successorum suorum predictorum fuerint super hoc requisiti solemniter publicantes, ac eisdem Emanueli Regi et successoribus in premissis efficacis defensionis presidio assistentes, faciant auctoritate nostra presentes et alias litteras et in eis contenta hujusmodi inviolabiliter observari, non permittentes eos super illis per quoscunque quomodolibet molestari; contradictores per censuram ecclesiasticam, appellatione postposita, compescendo; invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii secularis. Et nihilominus, legitimis super hiis habendis servatis processibus, illos quos censuras et penas per eos pro tempore latas eos incurrisse constiterit, quotiens expedierit, iteratis vicibus, aggravare procurent.

Non obstantibus recolende memorie Bonifacii Pape VIII, similiter predecessoris nostri, qua inter alia cavetur ne quis extra suam civitatem et diocesim, nisi in certis exceptis casibus, et in illis ultra unam dietam a fine sue diocesis ad judicium evocetur, seu ne judices ab Apostolica Sede deputati, extra civitatem et diocesim in quibus deputati fuerint, contra quoscunque procedere, aut alii, vel aliis vices suas committere presumant, et de duabus dietis in concilio generali edita ac aliis apostolicis constitutionibus ac omnibus illis que idem Nicolaus et alii predecessores, qui similes eidem Regi Portugallie fecerunt concessiones, in eorum litteras voluerunt non obstare, contrariis quibuscunque; aut si aliquibus, communiter vel divisim, ab eadam sit sede indultum quod interdici, suspendi, vel excommunicari non possint per litteras apostolicas non facientes plenam et expressam ac de verbo ad verbum de indulto hujusmodi mentionem.

Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paginam nostre approbationis, innovationis, confirmationis, suppletionis, decreti, concessionis, extensionis, ampliationis, inhibitionis, et mandati 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 quingentesimo quartodecimo, tertio nonas Novembris, pontificatus nostri anno secundo.

Ja. Sadoletus
B. de Comitibus

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