|JapSin I, 112|
Shanzhong zhugong guili 善終助功規例.
By Fu Ruowang 伏若望 (João Fróis, 1591–1638).
One juan. Chinese bamboo paper in one volume. No date or place of publication.
The cover bears the title Tianzhong zhugong 天終助功 and a Latin inscription: “Methodus adiuvandi | moribundos | a p. Joanne Froes, S.J.”The frontispiece bears the emblem of the Society of Jesus. The back of this folio gives the title together with the name of the author and those of the censors: Yang Manuo 陽馬諾 (Manuel Dias Jr.), Guo Jujing 郭居靜 (Lazzaro Cattaneo) and Li Ningshi 黎寧石 (Pedro Ribeiro, 1570–1640). Permission for publication was granted by Fu Fanji 傅汎際 (Francisco Furtado).
There are ninety-six folios in the entire book, which starts with an introduction by the author (three folios). Each half folio consists of six divisions; each division has two columns with eleven characters in each column. The prayers are given in large characters while the explanations of the rituals are given in small characters. The upper middle of each folio bears the title Shanzhong zhugong 善終助功. The number of each folio is given below the fish-tail. This book is designed to help in preparing the dying for a happy death. The material is mostly taken from the Rituale Romanum. Pfister (p. 187) does not seem to mention this book. He attributes three works to Fróis:
1. Zhu shanzhong jing 助善終經 (Prayers to help toward a good death).
2. Wushang jing li guicheng 五傷經禮規程 (The method of venerating the five wounds of Our Lord).
3. Ku'nan daowen 苦難禱文 (Litanies of the Passion).
He then adds under number 4: “Le P. Sotwel cite encore: De adjuvandis christianis morti proximis; en chinois: 善終助功 Chan tchong tchou kong, Méthode pour assister les mourants, qui semble se confondre avec l’ouvrage no l, Bibl. Nat., 1 vol., nouv. fonds chinois, 2768. (Cordier, L’Imprimerie, p. 25).”
We do not doubt that these two books, Shanzhong zhugong (guili) and Zhu shanzhongjing are one and the same (cf. BR, p. XXXV: librum de juvandis illis qui sunt in articulo mortis, cui titulus Xen chung cu cung); they were given different titles and this caused confusion.
Cf. Courant 7350 (without title, 96 folios, Nouveau fonds 2768), 7351, 7352; Couplet, p. 22; Jap-Sin I, 186.
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 161-162.