Mombasa, a city within what is now the nation of Kenya, was a Portuguese colony on the eastern coast of Africa during the early part of the 17th century.
Most of its citizens were Animists or Muslims, but there was a Christian community there too, comprised of both Portuguese and native people.
Augustinians had been ministering in Mombasa to the local people and to the Poertuguese soldiers at Fort Jesus since 1597.
In 1614 the Sultan of Mombasa and his wife were murdered and their salted heads were shipped to Goa and displayed on pikes.
This was to the utter disgust of the Portuguese historian, Bocarro, who was present at this horrible incident.
For this cruel action, later Christian inhabitants would pay dearly with their own lifeblood seventeen years later.
Their surviving seven-year old son, Yûsuf ibn-asan (Yussuf bin Hassan), was given into the care of the Augustinian priests, who sent him to Goa for a military education and a Christian upbringing.
The Viceroy in person gave him his own baptismal name, Jeronimo, and later a Christian wife from Goa.
In 1630 Jeronimo came back to Mombasa as the sultan, when he was 21 years of age.
He returned from Goa to Mombasa with his wife in great ceremony 'as a second Constantine' to his Muslim subjects.
When, however, after some time he found out about the treacherous manner of the murder of his parents only sixteen years earlier, his entire perspective on life completely changed.
He turned against the Portuguese commander of Fort Jesus, who used to insult him in front of his subjects as "a mere black man."
Photos (at right):
Picture 1: Kenya shown in yellow.
Picture 2: Sketch of Fort Jesus.
Picture 3: Part of Fort Jesus.