THE LIFE OF ANTÔNIO GOMES DA SILVA
"The Messenger of Peace"
By Rodrigo Borges Conti Tavares [1]

 


 

The Life of Antônio GomesThe Juramidam Family / March 21, 2011

What follows is the research done on another Companion of Mestre, this time on Antonio Gomes da Silva, who arrived in the mission of Irineu Serra around 1938 being this way the last of the four to join the works of the Virgin of the Conception, the Queen of the Forest.


Mentioning his origins, Antonio Gomes da Silva was born in Ceará, in April 30 of 1885, where he married Mrs. Maria Nazaré and with whom he had five children. Then he moved to Belém do Pará and in 1921 he went to Rio Branco, Acre, where he worked on the rubber plantations and later in agriculture, like many migrant pioneers who came from the northlands and later joined the doctrine of Irineu Serra. Becoming widowed, he married again to Mrs. Maria, having of this marriage four more children.

Teófilo Maia, in conversations with Mr. José Gomes, Mrs. Adália and the already deceased Vó Preta, tells a little about the history of Antônio Gomes.




Crayon portrait of Antônio GomesThe picture on the left, kindly sent by Natan and delivered to him by Mrs. Nazaré Grangeiro, presents Mr. Antonio Gomes with the approximate age of 40 years old.

According to Eduardo Bayer, the technique used is the crayon, based on the original photo of his voter registration, according to his family. This technique was very common in the countryside, when photography was not yet widespread and the population sought this service to copy larger images of their relatives or to create compositions, when the result is more an idea than a true representation of the person. According to Eduardo Bayer, such service can be found still today in regional markets and fairs.


On their arrival in Acre and his encounter with the mission of Irineu Sierra, Jairo da Silva Carioca tells,




*Compadre: a colloquial way of saying “godfather”.

On the unfold of this this episode, Antonio Gomes soon settled in the fraternity after acquiring the colony of the brother-in-law of Maria Damião, and was because of the numerous family of the patriarch that in 1938 the ranks of the doctrine would have a significant increase in its numbers.



One of his daughters, Mrs. Cecília Gomes da Silva, the widow of Germano Guilherme and deceased in 2009, also added,



*some accounts are originally edited.


____________________

Let's all go, my brothers
We must not get discouraged
Because the Master who teaches us
He has strength and has power

Let's confront with courage
Without fearing anything
Because God helps us
And we only have to overcome

***

It is known that there were about 20 people who regularly drank Daime with Mestre Irineu in the late 30s, many of whom, like Antônio Gomes himself, had reached the mission to cure an illness but ended up staying in Mestre's cult because they felt supported and protected by him [Sandra Lúcia Goulart]. As complements the testimony of Mrs. Percília Matos da Silva,



Regarding his personality, besides being a merchant and patriarch of a large family, Guido Carioca tells us:

____________________

The Divine Love
That the Master entrusted to us
From our Sovereign Mother
From our Father Creator

This Divine Love
We must consecrate it
Because it’s the love of Jesus Christ
He ordered the Master to give it to us

The Divine Love
We inscribe on our hearts
Because this is the light
that the Master gives
To all His brothers

The Divine Love
From our Mother Creator
Is the nourishment of the spirit
And of the suffering flesh

***

Antonio Gomes received the hinário that is now called “Amor Divino” (Divine Love), of instructive tone and of great praise to the session of Irineu Serra, like his last hymn that was received shortly before his passing and which says, “I never saw in this world such great treasure, where all stars shine well drizzled with gold.”

His devotion to Mestre and the doctrine is clear, and his hinário book is the testimony of his healing, this happened on his arrival to the doctrine and that is sung in verses of recognition and praise to the spiritual world. The interesting thing about his hinário is that, in the healing sessions, when Mestre decided to sing a hinário after the concentration period, he usually sang the hinário of Antônio Gomes.

On his fifth hymn, "Declaration", Luiz Carlos Teixeira de Freitas tells of his encounter with Mrs. Adália, who is the daughter and the caretaker of Antônio Gomes’ hinário.

____________________

My leader gave me permission
For us to sing today
For everyone to see a miracle
That I have to show

I received this healing
With much satisfaction
I find myself healed today
Together with my three brothers

***

*On the account of Luiz Carlos Teixeira de Freitas regarding the silence in the healing sessions, it is important to emphasize that the hinários, when sung in healing sessions, were held after the service, which often had no formal closure.

From his hinário also comes the first mention of the name "Juramidam”, later reported by the earliest followers – and according to Mrs. Percília herself - as the name of Irineu Serra in the heavenly plan. An example would be the account of Daniel Arcelino Serra, answering Luiz Carlos Teixeira de Freitas, when the latter says,

“He [Mestre Irineu] spoke of Juramidam, talking, before Antônio Gomes received this hymn?”
“Yes, since the beginning.”
“And what he would say since the beginning?”
“That Juramidam was his own name. Here he was Irineu, but in the heavens his name is this, the name given by the divinity to him... He did not create himself, right? He already came with that particular name - his rank, his spirit, there in the eternity. Nobody gets there calling “Irineu”, because there nobody knows who Irineu is. There he is Juramidam. So when we make our prayers, our requests, we have to ask to Juramidam. You will see Christ speaking within you; pure, pure, pure. It is indeed God, truly.

____________________

The General Juramidam
His works are in the Astral
Enter into the kingdom of God
Who has divine force

***

Another detail is that, like Guido Carioca tells us, “Mr. Antonio Gomes was the brother who first received a mazurka in the works, and it was he who taught to dance the mazurkas that the other followers were receiving”. Nazaré Grangeiro, daughter of Mrs. Adália, also says that his grandfather was a simple person in his life and in the doctrine’s works, and Teófilo Maia complements that Antonio Gomes was the “General of Harmony” in the battalion, including being responsible for the discipline of the dance in the male ranks as well as acting as a conciliator between the fardados.

And it was with this conciliatory spirit that, after a short period of just eight years in the Daime, Antonio Gomes would give farewell to the fraternity during a difficult period, in 1946, when the session was closed by Mestre due to disagreements happening among the members. As his penultimate hymn recounts: “My Prince is offended / Because all of us offend Him / You closed Your session / The fault is ours.” This would be the heartfelt lament of the devoted companion that would not witness in life the reopening of the session. On this episode, and the passage of Antonio Gomes, Jairo Carioca accounts,






In an interview collected by Florestan Neto, from the book “Tales of the White Moon”, Walcírio Grangeiro, grandson of Antônio Gomes, recounts the moments when his grandfather, already very ill, seeks the aid of Mestre.

____________________

I sang alone on the bar [1]
And thus made it shake
If you want life I give it to you
Because nobody wants to die

Death is very simple
Thus I am going to tell you
I compare death
It’s the same as being born

After one dies
Firmness in the heart
If God gives you permission
Return to another incarnation

On earth as it is in heaven
Is everyone’s opinion
If one doesn’t prepare the ground
The spirit remains wandering

***

[1] “Bar” (Barra) is a word that in the Acre region refers to the threshold formed by clouds when they cover almost the whole sky, or it can also be the boundary between day and night, between life and death. [Sandra Lucia Goulart]

Among the offspring of Antonio Gomes figure the granddaughter Peregrina Gomes, daughter of Zulmira Gomes, which two decades later would marry Irineu Serra and become the inheritor of his spiritual work on earth. It was also the son of Antônio Gomes, Leôncio Gomes, who received from Mestre still in life the presidency of the session, since that the already Mrs. Peregrina Gomes Serra was still too young for that. It was in 1986, with the passage of Raimundo Gomes, also a son of Antonio Gomes, that Mrs. Peregrina assumes the command alone, a position that she still occupies today in the services’ headquarters of the Santo Daime doctrine, in Alto Santo.

Leôncio Gomes and the flag of the Santo Daime


In this picture we see Leôncio Gomes, son of Antônio Gomes, holding the flag of the Santo Daime and having at his side José das Neves Júnior, Francisco Grangeiro and others. The photo was sent by Mivan Gedeon and is part of the photographic collection of Daniel Serra, Mestre’s nephew.

About the caretaking of his hinário, Guido Carioca explains that Mrs. Adália Gomes, wife of Mr. Francisco Grangeiro, at the age of eight years old received from her father, Antônio Gomes, the mission to cultivate his hymns, a task which she still performs at the age of seventy seven years old. Currently, the hinário “Divine Love” is officially sung on All Souls' Day on November 2, along with the other three hinários of the Companions - Germano Guilherme, Joao Pereira and Maria Damião.

Despite not having seen in life in the reopening of the session, Antônio Gomes, as well as the closest followers of Irineu Serra, left a unique legacy to the doctrine which he so revered and helped to maintain, besides Mestre and a loyal group of pioneers, until his final breath. Among his fruits, his hinário is perhaps one of the greatest proofs of his work on earth, of the healing and of the spiritual recognition, which was made official by Irineu Sierra as one of the five that makes up the doctrinal basis of the Santo Daime. Therefore, is the word of his last hymn that closes this homage to one of the four so-called companions of our beloved General Juramidam.

____________________

This King who is here
That the Divine Father sent
He came to this world
To be the dominator

Even though I'm saying
Nobody wants to believe
That he has this power
To govern this world

He came to be a landmark
In this world of illusion
With the Power of the Eternal Father
He brings in the palm of his hand

He came to teach
In this universal world
For all of us to work
For the spiritual life

He orders us to correct ourselves
And to have full awareness
To see what we need
For our existence

Whoever isn’t full aware
Can’t have loyalty
Has firmness in nothing
And never speaks the truth

Our King where He resides
Is a palace of nobility
Nothing can be compared
To this Divine Purity

To go there into this palace
Is with superior force
This I say because I saw
That my King showed to me

I never saw in this world
Such great treasure
Where all stars shine
Well drizzled with gold


***

 

[1] Rodrigo Borges Conti Tavares has a degree in Visual Communication at UFRJ and is the creator and maintainer of the website The Juramidam Family, which is dedicated to the doctrine studies, especially the roots.