|Caogao 草稿 / [Yan Mo zhu 嚴謨著].|
JapSin I, (38/42) 41/2a
By Yan Mo 嚴謨and five other Christians from Zhangzhou 漳州 (Fujian).
Handwritten copy, one folio and one and one-half line (Arabic numbers: 1–2). Chinese bamboo paper. 22.9 x 14.4 cm.
The cover bears the title in Chinese and a Latin inscription: “Scriptum Yen Pauli.”This letter of Paul Yan Mo (biography, see Jap-Sin I, [38/42] 40/2), Petrus Cai 蔡伯多綠, Laurentius Jiang 江老楞佐, Theophilus Cai 蔡德阿費祿, Alexis You 游亞肋叔 and Ludovicus Cai 蔡類斯 is a reply to a letter of José Monteiro, which Yan Mo says he received during the first decade of the ninth month (without specifying the day or year). However, from the following number (Jap-Sin I, [38/42] 41/2b) it is clear that the letter was received in 1695 (Kangxi 34). It was a great consolation for the faithful after the severe blow they had received from the consequent dispute about the Chinese Rites.
From this letter we know that on Easter Sunday when the faithful gathered together at the church, Ma laoshi 馬老師 (i.e., Ma Xi’nuo 馬西諾, Magino Ventallol O.P., 1647–1732) made the announcement that Charles Maigrot, the bishop in Fujian, had persisted in forbidding the Chinese Rites and had refused the sacraments to Christians who would not yield to his mandate. The letter that Yan Mo wrote to Maigrot was considered an offence to the bishop. Michael, a nephew of Yan Mo, who was ill and was eager to go to confession, was refused the sacraments until he had promised to write against the writing of Yan Mo, which Michael had helped to copy. Yan Mo then goes on to say that he had been able to read some of Michael’s clarifications on the Bianji of Francisco Varo, altogether over twenty paragraphs. He then writes in his own defense “lest people may think that there is disagreement between uncle and nephew and thus lessen my authority.” He laments the absence of the Jesuits and is afraid that in case of illness there will be no priests who will give sacraments to the sick. He eagerly hopes for the return of Monteiro.
Source: Albert Chan, SJ, Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 64-65.