|Tianzhu shengjiao shengren xingshi 天主聖教聖人行實 / [Gao Yizhi shu 高一志述] |
“Books on the lives of saints and sages played an important role in the Catholic catechetical method. These works abound in exempla (models) of Christian life, told to encourage and confirm people in their vocations. Similar works were introduced in China. Vagnone’s (Tianzhu shengjiao) Shengren xingshi (天主聖教)聖人行實 (1629) is a collection of the lives of seventy-two saints divided into seven categories: apostles, teachers of the Church, martyrs, confessors, religious, virgins, and women....” Cf. Standaert, Handbook of Christianity in China, v.1, p. 618.
Jap-Sin I, 65
Tianzhu shengjiao shengren xingshi 天主聖教聖人行實
By Gao Yizhi 高一志 (Alfonso Vagnone).
Seven juan. Chinese bamboo paper in seven volumes. Published by the Chaoxingtang 超性堂 of Wulin 武林 (Hangzhou, Zhejiang) in 1629 (Chongzhen 2).
The cover bears a blue label with the title of each juan.
The frontispiece of volume one bears the emblem of the Society of Jesus. The verso of this folio gives the title of the book and a general table of contents of the seven juan: 1) the Apostles, 2) popes and bishops, 3) martyrs, 4) confessors, 5) religious, 6) virgins and 7) widows. The author’s name is given at the end of this folio. Down below, printed horizontally, are the date and the place of the publication.
There is a preface by Vagnone (five folios), dated 1629, at the end of which there are two seals (one square and the other round) of the Society of Jesus. Then follows the table of contents. The censors of the book were Yang Manuo 陽瑪諾 (Manuel Dias Jr.), Guo Jujing 郭居靜 (Lazzaro Cattaneo) and Fei Lede 費樂德 (Rui de Figueiredo).
There are nine columns in each half folio with twenty characters in the first column of each paragraph and nineteen in the rest of the paragraph. The middle of each folio bears the title of the book, the title of the juan, the number of the folio and the name of the saint. At the end of each juan there is the following inscription: 武林天主教超性堂新刻 (New engraving by the Catholic Church Chaoxingtang of Wulin).
According to Pfister (p. 92) the book was written when Vagnone was in exile in Macao and published in Jiangzhou 絳州. From what we have seen it is clear that the book was published in Wulin (Hangzhou).
Cf. Hsü 1949, p. 43; Courant 6693; BR, p. XXXI; Couplet, p. 11; Margiotti, pp. 279–280; Xie Guozhen 謝國楨: Zhongguo fangshu xiaoshi 中國訪書小史, in: Zhonghua wenshi luncong 中華文史論叢, 3rd series (Shanghai, 1979), p. 361.
Source: Albert Chan, Chinese books and documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp.119-120.
See Roundtable entry.
BnF edition online at Gallica.
Local access dig.pdf. [Vagnone-TZSJ Shengren xingshi.pdf]