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Cura (Healing): Blue Work

Trabalhos da Cura (Curing Works) taking place outside of the church space and typically at Casa da Saude or in a particular resident's home, are aimed to concentrating everyone's energy into the desire to have an ailed person cured of his/her illness.

The hymns that are sung during the Cura are powerful hymns in which spiritual entities are called upon to assist those in need of healing and support. As the Santo Daime religion has a strong syncretic nature, these entities have roots in the African spiritist traditions, the celestial constellations, the forces of nature, the earth based traditions of the rainforest, Christian deities such as God the Father, the Holy Mother, Jesus Christ, and the angels and archangels.

For this work it is common to sing from a collection called Cura, which includes Oração, Cura Part I and Part II, as well as Cruzeirinho of Mestre Irineu. Other Hinários can be sang in the form of a Cura work, such as João Pedro, Madrinha Rita, or Padrinho Corrente.

Healing WorkAs the Daime carries with it the healing faculty, inherent to this secular drink and mentioned in countless hymns, perhaps best represented in the hinário of Irineu Serra, which says, "I take this drink that has incredible power", healing sessions - or Healing Works - always had a prominent space in the doctrine.

Researching the innumerous texts and testimonials from followers I could build a relatively faithful picture of this unique characteristic, which is present in the Daime, the cure, and which here is described in a summary of the ritual.

Rodrigo Borges Conti Tavares.
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The healing works began in 1931 as concentrations that were held on Wednesdays. Mestre would work for the benefit of that person or those people in need, present or absent, with everyone in concentration. At that time we had the healing calls. Then Mestre would quietly make those calls. So, right there in the concentration he would receive how could be the cure of that person.

The healing works are always held on Wednesdays, except in cases of urgency, and it's just concentration, without singing hymns. The work has to have three, five, seven or nine people. According to our ritual, the chair at the head of the table remains vacant, and during the concentration you should call Mestre to that place. We cannot exalt ourselves anywhere, because we are spiritualists. I am not better than anyone, and Mestre himself wouldn’t say: "I am the curator.” When people arrived with complains, he would say: "Well, I'll see what I can do for you. I am going to see my mother, the Queen, and if she agrees you can get better, recover your health."

In this work the only thing that can’t be cured is a sentence, because the sentence comes from God. There are diseases, types of suffering, which has no cure and one has to endure. But aside from that, everything can be cured within the obedience that we must render to God, our creator. Now, the greatest loss in this work is the person to be exalted [act out].

Personal account of Percília Matos da Silva.


According to Silmara Camargo, in conversations with Mrs. Percília, our Mestre used to say that to make a healing work first we have to have a patient, and this one express the desire to conduct a healing work for him (her). He also said that the healing work consists only of the concentration, where the healing crew concentrates for around an hour and a half in favor of the patient, asking and praying to God to bestow the cure if the person deserves.

Although this kind of work was only consisted of concentration, and, in the words of Mrs. Percília, "tight concentration!" [Isabela Oliveira], it was also open the possibility of singing a hinário at the end of the service as a supplement. In such cases, it is said that Mestre liked to sing, when he sang, the hinário "O Amor Divino", of Mr. Antonio Gomes da Silva.

In these sessions, Mestre often received instructions on how to treat the disease, doing the work and taking Daime to “go pick up the prescription”. As one of his passages explains, in conversation with the Queen of the Forest, he asked for Her to place in the brew all the healing powers of the world, and so is the Daime today. According to Percília herself, when contracting malaria, the remedy was not always home made, and in her case the instruction received by Mestre Irineu was to use “drugstore medication” [Isabela Oliveira]. Therefore, it is important to remember that the aim was to take Daime to receive a cure, but it also came in many ways, be it extraordinary or not.

According to Luiz Carlos Teixeira de Freitas, "Since the beginning Mestre Irineu would hold the healing services on Wednesdays, except in urgent cases. Note that, when a healing work is requested, it has to be performed by at least three times and a maximum of twelve (3, 6, 9, 12), once a week, and the healing crew has to stay on a diet while the works are being carried out. At the time of Mestre, as it was done only in case of need and with a reliable “healing committee” [1], they would pray the whole time without having a formal “opening” or “closing”, despite today's leaders such as seu Daniel Serra, Mestre’s nephew, mark the closing of the work in a formal order (with the appropriate closing prayers). An interesting fact is that the patient did not necessarily have to be present." Although, several accounts claim that since the beginning these works were closed with the nine prayers [2] and a Salve Rainha [Sandra Lucia Goulart].

[1] - In the time of Mestre Irineu, nine people members of the General Staff composed this committee:

1 - Madrinha Peregrina
2 - Percília Matos
3 - Lourdes Carioca
4 - Zulmira Gomes
5 - Maria Gomes
6 - José das Neves
7 - Francisco Martins
8 - Francisco Grangeiro
9 - Júlio Chaves Carioca

[2] This aspect of the so called “nine prayers” is one of the juiciest in the set of fine teachings that Mestre Irineu kept presenting us. When he referred to the “nine prayers”, he was referring to the “Our Father”, to the “Hail Mary” and to the “Holy Mary” prayed three times. And what this means? The prayer we know as “Hail Mary” has a clear origin content division: While the first part: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women! Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb” is integrally based in the biblical text, when the angel greets Mary and announces the Redeemer, the second part: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray to God for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen” is the result of elocutions that the Catholic Church added during the course of a millennium. “Jesus” was placed in the middle of the two parts around 1300 DC. It was thence that Mestre Irineu dealt with the “Hail Mary” as if they were two prayers: The first one reproduces the angel's greeting to Mary; the second elevates our prayers to Her. Therefore, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Holy Mary composed three prayers; times three, and we have the “nine prayers” (Luiz Carlos Teixeira de Freitas).


Still citing the healing works left by Mestre Irineu, is supposed that in the 60s, a period in which Mestre joins the Esoteric Circle of the Communion of Thought, surges the work that is called Trabalho de Cruzes [Cross’ Work], or Trabalho de Abertura de Mesa [Table’s Oppening Work]. This work in particular was of short duration and its intent was to promote a closure in between spirits and the patient - in favor of people who were obsessed, in a state of severe psychological or spiritual distress [Isabela Oliveira]. In many cases this work assumed the character of exorcism. Importantly, in this work the Daime was not always served, or in small doses, with emphasis given to prayer, mental concentration and the powerful ritualistic itself. Today this work is rarely performed and little is said about it.

According to Mrs. Percília Matos, “The Cross’ Work is for when a person is disturbed, not in control; it is when a spirit gets near and is responsible for causing that kind of disorder. In these cases a work is held with at least three people, including the patient, always starting on Wednesday. It is necessary three works, giving continuity on Thursday and Friday, or nine works if the case is too heavy. And you do it either at six in the morning or at six in the evening, because the sun is our guide”.

According to Guido Carioca, “In my knowledge, the Cross’ Work at the time of Mestre was the work denominated “Table’s Opening”, and Mrs. Percília Matos was the responsible person for it. Today, the responsible one is my mother, Mrs. Lourdes, instructed by Mrs. Percília herself. Nowadays this work is seldom held in Alto Santo.”

According to Dona Lourdes Carioca, who joined the doctrine in 1959 and for many years was responsible for the organization of this work,

"The obsession happens when the person is influenced by inferior lineages (...) the person suddenly changes, being quiet as if in another world, away from everything, from life, oblivious to things (...) depending on the case, there are some people who starts acting like crazy. Screaming, running around, cursing… Such a horror! And I have seen some very ugly cases (...) they are inferior beings who incorporate in some people (...) the White Table’s Work* is held for these cases, to drive away these bad things, these evil spirits. [Sandra Lucia Goulart - CONTRASTES E CONTINUIDADES EM UMA TRADIÇÃO AMAZÔNICA: AS RELIGIÕES DA AYAHUASCA]

*The same as Cross’ Work / Table’s Opening Work – although Cefluris has a ceremony called White Table’s Work - a mix of Umbanda and Kardec liturgy -, it has no resemblance with the work that here is cited.