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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bezerra de Menezes

Dr. Bezerra de Meneses great apostle's of Spiritism
Adolfo Bezerra de Menezes Cavalcanti was born in the old neighborhood of Freguesia do Riacho de Sangue (Stream of Blood), today Solonopole, in Ceara, Brazil, on August 29th, 1831.
Died in Rio de Janeiro, on April 11th, 1900.

In the year of 1838, Adolfo Bezerra de Menezes Cavalcanti, started studying at the public school of the Friar's Villa, where in only ten months he sufficiently prepared himself to reach the degree of knowledge of his master, who was responsible to guide his first educational phase. At a very early age, he revealed to be extremely intelligent. When he was eleven years old he was able to commence the course on Humanities. At thirteen he knew Latin so well that he not only gave classes to his colleagues, but also was called to replace his teacher every time he had to be absent.

Encouraged by the firm purpose of being guided by his father's honest character, Bezerra de Menezes, with a reduced amount of money, given to him by his relatives, was taken by the firm purpose of overcoming all obstacles and headed to Rio de Janeiro in order to follow the career that his vocation inspired him to pursue: Medicine.
In November of 1852, he entered as intern resident at the Mercy Hospital. He graduated from the College of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro, in 1856, presenting a doctorate thesis about: “Diagnosis of Cancer." It was when he started to sign only Adolfo Bezerra de Menezes. On April 27th, 1857, he applied for a position of titular member of the Imperial Academy of Medicine, presenting the work: "Some Considerations on Cancer under its treatment perspective." The designated reporter, Academic José Pereira Rego, read the result on May 11th, 1857, and the election took place on May 18th of the same year, and he assumed the position in June 1st. In 1858 he applied to a position, as substitute, in the Area of Surgery in the College of Medicine. Due to the recommendation given by his teacher Manoel Feliciano Pereira de Carvalho, at the time Chief Surgeon of the Army, Bezerra de Menezes was named his assistant, assuming the position of Surgeon - Lieutenant.
In 1861 Bezerra de Menezes was elected the municipal representative of the Liberal Party, however the conservative chief, Haddock Lobo, under the allegation of him being a military doctor, refuted his indication. With the purpose of serving his Party, that needed him in order to obtain majority in the Camera, Bezerra de Menezes decided to retire from the Army. In 1867, he was elected General Deputy, and he was still present in three other lists for a position in the Senate.
During his political career, injurious rumors and accusations were acclaimed against him. As it happens with all honest politicians, a torrent of offenses covered his name with insults. However, the test of purity of his soul was given, when, abandoning the public life, he decided to live for the poor, distributing with the needful the little that he possessed.
He was always ready to assist the need ones; wherever there was an illness to combat, he would take to the afflicted the comfort of his kind words, the resource of the doctor's science and the aid of his scarce but yet generous purse.

Temporarily retired from the political activity, he dedicated himself to entrepreneurial issues, creating the Company of Railroad Macae Campos, in Rio de Janeiro. Later, he dedicated to the construction of the railroad of S. Antonio of Padua, a necessary stage to his, not succeeded desire, to make it reach the Rio Doce. He was one of the directors of the Architectural Company that in 1872 opened the “Boulevard September 28,” in the then neighborhood of Vila Isabel, whose name was given to render homage to Princess Isabel. In 1875, he was president of Company Carril S. Cristovão.
Returning to politics, he was elected municipal representative in 1876, exercising the mandate up to 1880. He was also president of the Chamber and General Deputy for the County of Rio de Janeiro, in the year of 1880.
Dr. Carlos Travassos had undertaken the task of translating Allan Kardec's works, reaching a good result with the Portuguese version of "The Spirits’ Book.” As soon as the translation was published he gave a copy of the book to the deputy Bezerra de Menezes - with a special dedication. The fact was described by the future 
“Doctor of the Poor” as follows: “He gave me the book in the city, and I lived in Tijuca, about an hour away from streetcar. I was carrying the book with me and since I did not have anything else to read during the trip I said, well, why not! I will certainly not go to hell for reading this... And after all, it will be embarrassing to have to declare myself ignorant regarding this philosophy, when I have been dedicating myself to the study of all philosophical schools.
With this thought, I opened the book and I immediately became fascinated by it – in the same way that happened to me when I read the Bible. I kept on reading, but I couldn’t find anything that was new for my Spirit. However, all that was new for me!... I had already read or heard everything that was in the "The Spirits’ Book.” I was quite amazed with that wonderful fact and I said to myself: it seems that I was a spiritist without knowing it, or as people usually say, I was born a spiritist.”
On August 16th, 1886, an audience of about two thousand of the finest people in town filled the room of honor of the Old Guard, in the Old Guard Street, current May 13th Avenue, in Rio de Janeiro, to hear in silence, excited, amazed, the wise word of the eminent politician, the eminent doctor, the eminent citizen, the eminent Catholic, Dr. Bezerra de Menezes proclaiming his decision to became Spiritist.
Bezerra was a religious person in the highest sense. Because of that, the Commission of Dissemination of the Spiritist Union of Brazil, assigned him to write every Sunday in the newspaper "O Paiz," the series of "Philosophical Studies,” under the title "Spiritism." Senator Quintino Bocaiúva, director of this most read newspaper in Brazil became sympathetic with Spiritism.
The articles of Max, pseudonym of Bezerra de Menezes, marked the golden time of the spiritist dissemination in Brazil. From November 1886 to December 1893.
THE BIOGRAPHY
of Bezerra de Menezes, before and after his change to Spiritism,
is consisted of the following works: " The Slavery in Brazil and the measures that are deem to take for its extinction - without damage for the Nation,” “Brief considerations on the droughts of the North,” “The Haunted House,” “Madness under a New Prism,” Spiritism as a Teogonic Philosophy,” “Marriage and Shroud,” “Black Pearl,” “Lazarus-- the Leper,” “History of a Dream,” and “Gospel of the Future.” He also wrote several biographies of famous men, such as the Viscount of Uruguay, the Viscount of Carvalas, etc. He was one of the editors of “The Reform,” a liberal organ of the Court, and editor of the newspaper “Sentry of Freedom.”
Bezerra de Menezes referred to the medical activity with the highest regard, “A doctor is not entitled to finish a meal, nor to ask if it is far or near, when an afflicted person knocks on the door. Those who do not help because they are entertaining guests or because they have worked long hours and are tired, or because it is too late at night, bad road or bad weather, because is far or is on the top of the hill, or above all, those who ask for a car for those who have not even resources to pay for the prescription, or that say to those who are crying at their door to seek for another doctor -- those are not doctors, but rather medicine dealers, who work for the income and to pay off their college debts.

Those are unfortunates who send to others the angel of charity that came to pay them a visit and that brought to them the only source that could satiate their thirsty of Spiritual wealth, the only that will never get lost in the sways of life.”
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