1452 - Dum Diversas - issued by Pope Nicolas V to Alfanso v of Portugal

Full Translation into English.

Bishop Nicholas Servant of the Servants of God. 


For the perpetual memory of this act: To the dearest  son in. Christ Alfonse, illustrious King of Portugal and the Algerians, Greeting and Apostolic Blessing.  


While we turn over in our mind the diverse concerns of the office of Apostolic service entrusted to us (although we do not deserve it) by celestial Providence, concerns by which we are every day urgently pressed, we are also moved  by a persistent encouragement: we chiefly carry in our heart that the well-known anxiety, that the rage of the enemies of the name of Christ, always aggressive in contempt of the orthodox faith, could be restrained by the faithful of Christ and be subjugated to the Christian religion. To this purpose also, when the occasion of the matter demands it, we laboriously expend our free [desire/eagerness/devotion], and indeed remember to follow with fatherly affection all the faithful of Christ, especially dearest sons in Christ, illustrious Kings, professing Christ’s faith, who, for the glory of the Eternal King, eagerly defend the faith itself and with powerful arm fight its enemies. We also look attentively to labor at the defense and growing of the said Religion and all things pertaining to this healing work, should proceed from our undeserved provision, we invite, with spiritual duties and grace, the faithful of Christ and also individuals to rouse their [positions/duties?] in help/support of the faithh.1. As we indeed understand from your pious and Christian desire, you intend to subjugate the enemies of Christ, namely the Saracens, and bring [them] back, with powerful arm, to the faith of Christ, if the authority of Apostolic See supported you in this. Therefore we consider, that those rising against the Catholic faith and struggling to extinguish Christian Religion must be resisted by the faithful of Christ with courage and firmness, so that the faithful themselves, inflamed by the ardor of faith and armed with courage to be able to hate their intention, not only to go against the intention, if they prevent unjust attempts of force, but with the help of God whose soldiers they are, they stop the endeavors of the faithless, we, fortified with divine love, summoned by the charity of Christians and bound by the duty of our pastoral office, which concerns the integrity and spread of faith for which Christ our God shed his blood, wishing to encourage the vigor of the faithful and Your Royal Majesty in the most sacred intention of this kind, we grant to you full and free power, through the Apostolic authority by this edict, to invade, conquer, fight, subjugate the Saracens and pagans, and other infidels and other enemies of Christ, and wherever established their Kingdoms, Duchies, Royal Palaces, Principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps and any other possessions, mobile and immobile goods found in all these places and held in whatever name, and held and possessed by the same Saracens, Pagans, infidels, and the enemies of Christ, also realms, duchies, royal palaces, principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps, possessions of the king or prince or of the kings or princes, and to lead their persons in perpetual servitude, and to apply and appropriate realms, duchies, royal palaces, principalities and other dominions, possessions and goods of this kind to you and your use and your successors the Kings of Portugal.


We carefully ask, require, and encourage your same Royal Majesty, girded by the sword of virtue and fortified with strong courage, for the increase of the divine name and for the exaltation of faith and for the salvation of your soul, having God before your eyes, may you increase in this undertaking the power of your virtue so that the Catholic faith may, through your Royal Majesty, against the enemies of Christ, bring back triumph and that you earn more fully the crown of eternal glory, for which you must fight in lands, and which God promised to those who love Him, and our benediction of the See and grace.


2. For we, by the dignity of your sacrifice, grant that you undertake this work with more courage and fervent zeal, together with chosen sons, noblemen, dukes, princes, barons, soldiers, and other faithful of Christ, accompanying your Royal Serenity in this fight of faith, or contributing with their means, and that they undertake or contribute from their possession, or send, as said before, from which you and they hope to be able to pursue the salvation of their souls, and they hope, by the mercy of omnipotent God, and his apostles the blessed Peter and Paul, entrusted with authority, to you and indeed all individual faithful of Christ of either sex accompanying your Majesty in this work of faith. Indeed to those who did not want to accompany you personally, but will send help according to their means or exigency of allegiance, or they will reasonably contribute from those possessions assigned by God, we grant, by the power of your sacrifice, a plenary forgiveness of all and individual sins, crimes, trespasses, and digressions which you and they have confessed with contrite heart and by mouth, to you and to those who accompany you, as often as you and they happen to go into any war against the mentioned infidels, and indeed to those who do not accompany you but are sending and contributing, as mentioned before, to those who persist in sincerity of faith, in the unity of the Holy Roman Church, by our obedience and devotion and of our successors Roman Pontiffs entering canonically, to the remaining a suitable confessor whom you and anyone of them selected can forgive merely once at the moment of death. Thus, however, the confessor sees to matters in which there is an obligation to a third party and that you, those who accompany you, who send and contribute fulfill it if you and they survive or your heirs and their heirs if you and they perish, as mentioned before.


3. And nevertheless, if it should happen that you or others of those accompanying you against the Saracens and other infidels of this kind, on the way there, staying there, or on the way back, departed from this world, we restore you and those accompanying you, remaining in sincerity and unity, through the present letter, to pure innocence in which you and they existed after baptism..


4. But we demand that all and each thing which the faithful of Christ, who do not accompany you, contributed for your support to carry out this undertaking, be taken by the noblemen of individual places in which these contributions were given and as time permits at once be repaid and given to you through secure messengers, or letters of the bank, without any reduction, expenses, and salaries, merely reasonably reserved for those working in this undertaking, and that they are transmitted under authentic sum-total, and that if the noblemen themselves, or anybody else deducted, or transferred or seized for his own use from the sum sent for support of this undertaking anything except expenses and salaries, or if they allowed or conspired for money to be either fraudulently or deceitfully subtracted, transferred or seized, that they incur eo ipso the sentence of excommunication, from which they cannot be absolved except by the office of the Roman Pontificate if they are in articulo mortis (at the moment of death).


5. For the rest, since it would be difficult to carry this present letter to individual places where perhaps it would be doubted about its credibility, we want and decree with authority that to its transfer signed by the hand of Notary public and provided with seal of a bishop or High Court, same credibility is shown, as if the original letter were presented or shown.


6. Consequently, it is not allowed to any person to infringe this sheet of our granting, pardon, will, indulgence, and decree, or dare to oppose it rashly. If, however, anyone tried to tamper with it, he would incur the indignation of the Omnipotent God, and of blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.


Given in Rome at St. Peter, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1452 on June 18th, in the sixth year of our Pontificate.