Benedict Meia-Légua haunted the slave drivers years before the abolition.
His original name was Benedito Caravelas, and he lived until 1885; He was a born and well-traveled leader and knew much of the northeast. His wanderings had given him the nickname Meia-légua. He always had a small image of St. Benedict with him, which gained a magical meaning afterward.
He used to gather groups of black insurgents and put terror on the slave farmers of the region, inviting the Senzalas, freeing other blacks, squeaking, and giving harm to racists.
People say he was a bold and creative strategist. He gathered small groups to avoid large captures and attacked different farms simultaneously. The genius of the plan was that the leader of each group dressed exactly like him.
Whenever one had the misfortune of being captured, Benedict reappeared in other rebellions. The farmers came to believe he was Immortal. And whenever there was news of slaves rebelling came the question: "But is he Benedict?"
The myth gained traction after a dramatic capture. Benedito arrived in São Mateus (ES) tied by his neck, being pulled by a captain of the bush mounted on horseback. He was pronounced dead and taken to the slave cemetery in the church of St. Benedict.
On the other day, when they remembered the body, it was gone, and only blood footprints stretched out on the floor. That is how the legend he was protected by St. Benedict himself started. For more than 40 years, he and his Quilombo, more than they resisted, struck the slave system.
Meia-légua was only killed in his old age, lame and sick. He used to sleep on a hollow tree trunk that was his hiding place until a hunter uncovered it, so his pursuers stood by, waiting for Benedict to rest. They capped the tree and set it on fire.
His legacy is a trail of courage, faith, daring, and strength to fight for our people, which is still represented today in scenarios of Congada and Ticumbi for Brazil. Amid the ashes, they found his small image of St. Benedict.
Every January 1st, Ticumbi's procession will take the small image of St. Benedict of the Piabas Stream and take it to the church in a dramatic staging to celebrate the memory of Meia-Légua.