The story of Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita, a Kongolese woman alleged to be possessed by the Saint Anthony is a narrative that discusses the Catholic movement she led in her home Kingdom of Kongo. In his book, Thornton follows the life of Kimpa Vita, giving the reader a sense of the culture and daily lives of the Kongolese.
Kimpa Vita grew up in a very unstable time and heard about local events from her family and neighbors. Three ruling families competed for power in the Kongo. This resulted in numerous, seemingly unending civil wars throughout the Kingdom of Kongo. In fact, her own father was often away at war to defend the people of the Kibangu region. Turmoil had gripped the lands for many years, and the people of the Kongo began to think nothing short of a miracle would bring peace and stability back to the Kingdom.
In 1704, when Kimpa Vita was twenty years old, she apparently died and then returned to life, possessed by the Catholic Saint Anthony. As Saint Anthony, she began to preach her version of Christianity, a mix of Catholicism with traditional Kongolese beliefs. Much to the dismay of the Catholic Church, Kimpa Vita
kongolese, vita, stone, kimpa, kongo, priest, people, christianity, conflict, catholic, society, beliefs, traditional, saint, priests, nagangas, kindoki, kimpasi, however, evil, kingdom, church, between, believed, anthony, time, peace, lusunzi, importance, gave, form, capuchin, because, ancestors, about, years