|Jiaoyao jielüe 教要解略 / Wang Fengsu 王豐肅 [Alfonso Vagnone (early period, later Gao Yizhi 高一志.]|
In: Yesuhui Luoma dang'anguan Ming-Qing Tianzhujiao wenxian 耶穌會羅馬檔案館明清天主教文獻 / Edited by Nicolas Standaert [鐘鳴旦] [and] Adrian Dudink [杜鼎克]. See main entry.
Citation source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 101-103.
Jap-Sin I, 57
Jiaoyao jielüe 教要解略
By Wang Fengsu 王豐肅 (Alfonso Vagnone).
Two juan, one volume. Chinese bamboo paper. Third edition engraved by the Shenxiutang 慎修堂第三刻.
The cover bears a label with the title and a Latin inscription:
The title page bears the title in Chinese with the number of the juan, together with the name of the author 西海王豐肅述 and the place of publication: 慎修堂.
"Brevis | Declaratio Christianae doctrinae (Couplet) | Liber sinicus editus à Patribus | Soctis Jesu. | Pater, Ave, Decalogus, symbolum, | Deus trinus et unus, 7 sacramenta, opera | spiritualia, octo beatitudines, | 7 peccata capitalia, 7 virtutes capitales, | 3 virtutes capitales | 3 virtutes theologali, 4 cardinales, 4 | sensus, 3 potentia. | scriptus a laico [these three words are penciled out] Wong Fong sieou | Tempore Ricci [these two words are also penciled out]. Compendia ex eodem opere extant sub: Jap Sin I, 57a & Jap Sin I, 126."
At the back of folio 2 there is a label with the inscription: “Wong Fong sieou non è un laico, ma il P. Alfonso Vagnoni S.J. Non è vero che è del tempo del Ricci ma poco dopo (1615). P. D’Elia.”
There is a preface (three folios) by Vagnone, dated Wanli 43 (1615, 乙卯). The main text of the first juan consists of fifty-eight folios and the second juan of thirty-three folios. Each half folio contains seven columns with fifteen large characters in each column. Annotations are given in double lines with fourteen small characters in each line. The upper middle of each folio bears the title, followed by the number of the juan and of the folio. At the end of both juan the Chinese character zhong 終 marks the end of the juan.
Shortly before da Rocha’s catechism (Tianzhu shengjiao qimeng, 1619), cf. Jap-Sin I, 43a) Vagnone’s Tianzhu jiaoyao jielüe (Comprehensive exposition of the doctrine of the Heavenly Lord) was published in two volumes. According to D’Elia (FR 2:291–292 note) this book follows the Dottrina Christiana of Ricci (Tianzhu jiaoyao 天主教要, cf. Jap-Sin I, 57a) closely both in order and in content. Couplet thought that it was modelled on the text of da Rocha (Margiotti, p. 278). Be that as it may, Vagnone’s book was published in Jiangzhou 絳州 (Shanxi) and very soon circulated widely both inside and outside Shanxi. The reason was that this book was written for the common people as well as for the educated class. Ricci himself seems to have realized that the catechism (as he called it), Tianzhu shiyi (cf. Jap-Sin I, 44–47, 53 A), which he had published was too difficult for the ordinary people and he had the idea of writing a simple one with fuller explanations. In 1610, Diego de Pantoja had started to compile such a catechism. D’Elia thought that Vagnone’s book was probably a remodelling of de Pantoja’s original work (FR 2:292 note).
In fact, one finds the same titles as in Ricci’s Dottrina, but the subjects are more fully developed: the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Decalogue, the Creed, the sign of the Cross, the works of mercy, the beatitudes, the seven capital sins, the theological virtues, the cardinal virtues, the three faculties, and the sacraments. The only relevant change was that the Sacraments were put immediately after the sign of the Cross.
This work of Vagnone can be regarded as the first manual of catechism in Chinese. It exposes accurately the doctrine of the Sacraments and the dogma of the Redemption. According to Martino Martini the book contains a full and well informed explanation of the entire Catechism of the Roman Church (totum Romanae Ecclesiae Catechismum fusè ac doctè explicat), but especially of the doctrine of the Incarnation and of the Lord’s passion (cf. Margiotti, p. 278).
It is to be noted that the prayers in this book vary somewhat from those used by the church in China at a later period. Thus, the phrase 願爾名見聖 (Hallowed be Thy Name) in the Our Father is written 願爾名名顯, the phrase 滿被聖寵者 (full of grace) in the Hail Mary is written 滿被額辣濟亞(gratia). Then, the Apostles’ Creed is translated 十二亞玻斯多羅性薄錄 (apostolicos simbolos). For the Holy Trinity, God the Father is translated 天主罷德肋 (Pater), the Son 費略 (Filio) and the Holy Spirit 斯彼利多三多 (Spiritu santo). All these are transliterations. The church was then new in China and it was not easy to find equivalents for the proper terms used by the Church. It was thought, therefore, that transliteration might be the best in order to avoid misunderstanding.
Hsü Tsung-tse (Xu Zongze) does not deal directly with this book. He only mentions the title (1949, p. 538 under the name Gao Yizhi) and states that the book was published in Jiangzhou in the year 1626 and reprinted in 1914 in T’ou se we, Shanghai. This information seems to have been copied directly from Pfister (p. 91).
The Roman Jesuit Archive possesses three copies of the Jiaoyao jilüe . Two of them (Jap-Sin I, 57 and 61) are Shenxiutang third re-engraved editions, without date. The third copy (Jap-Sin I, 123) is a reprint by the Jingjiaotang 景教堂 in Fujian. It too, bears no date. The formats of these three copies are similar, except that the folio numbering of the first juan of the Fujian edition is different from that of the other two (for details, see Jap-Sin I, 61 and I, 123. Since none of them bears a date of publication it is hard to ascertain which of them saw the light first.
Alfonso Vagnone was born in Trafarello, near Turin in Italy in the year of 1568 or 1569 (according to Dehergne; Pfister has 1566). He came to China in 1604 and took the name Wang Fengsu, or Yiyuan 一元¸ (zi Taiwen 泰穩). In 1625 after the Nanjing persecution, he changed his name to Gao Yizhi 高一志 (zi Zesheng 則聖). For his biography and works, see Pfister, pp. 85–95; DMB 2:1332–1334; Margiotti, pp. 269–270 note 10; Couplet p. 11; BR, p. XXXI; JWC 1:147–155.
Cf. Pfister, p. 91; Courant 6855.
JapSin I, 61
Jiaoyao jielüe 教要解略.
By Wang Fengsu 王豐肅 (Alfonso Vagnone).
Two juan, Chinese bamboo paper in two volumes (three + fifty-eight and thirty-three folios). Shenxiutang 慎修堂 third re-engraved edition.
The covers of both volumes bear a Latin inscription: “P. Alphonsi Vagnoni, S.J. | Doctrinae christianae explicatio | Tom. 1o et 2o.” At the back of folio 2 there is a red label with this Latin inscription: “P. Alphonsi Vanhoni | S.J. | Doctrinae Christia | nae explicatio | Tom. 1o.”The format of this book, of which the title page is missing, is identical with that of Jap-Sin I, 57.
There are two columns of European handwriting in folio 3 (before the preface): on the right side is, written vertically, the romanization of the first line of the preface and on the left is an explanation word by word in Latin. After folio 1 of the preface a sheet is attached with European handwriting in eight columns with Arabic numbers on each column. This is, written vertically, a romanization and explanation in Latin of the Our Father, found in folio 1 of the first volume. The original Chinese text of the Our Father is marked with Arabic numbers. Probably this copy was to be sent to Europe and the romanizations and translations were to satisfy the curiosity of their European readers.
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 103-104.