Pope Leo XII: In plurimis(1888)
To the Bishops of Brazil.
Amid the many and great demonstrations of affection which from almost all the peoples of the earth have come to Us, and are still coming to Us, in congratulation upon the happy attainment of the fiftieth anniversary of Our priesthood, there is one which moves Us in a quite special way. We mean one which comes from Brazil, where, upon the occasion of this happy event, large numbers of those who in that vast empire groan beneath the yoke of slavery, have been legally set free. And this work, so full of the spirit of Christian mercy, has been offered up in cooperation with the clergy, by charitable members of the laity of both sexes, to God, the Author and Giver of all good things, in testimony of their gratitude for the favor of the health and the years which have been granted to Us. But this was specially acceptable and sweet to Us because it lent confirmation to the belief, which is so welcome to Us, that the great majority of the people of...
"In Plurimis: Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Abolition of Slavery." Vatican website. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_05051888_in-plurimis_en.html. Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Brazilian slaves carrying a sedan chair (Library of Congress)View Full Size