Instructiones ad munera apostolica rite obeunda perutiles: missionibus Chinae, Tunchini, Cochinchinae, atq[ue] Siami accomodatae. François / LAMBERT DE LA MOTTE PALLU, Pierre.
Instructiones ad munera apostolica rite obeunda perutiles: missionibus Chinae, Tunchini, Cochinchinae, atq[ue] Siami accomodatae
How To Run An Asian Mission
[SOUTHEAST ASIA].
Rome, Zacharia Domenicus Acsamiket … linguarum Orientalium, 1669.

Instructiones ad munera apostolica rite obeunda perutiles: missionibus Chinae, Tunchini, Cochinchinae, atq[ue] Siami accomodatae.

8vo., (15) ff., 260 pp., including woodcut of the seal of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of Faith on verso of title page and full-page woodcut of the Coronation of the Virgin by the Trinity bound as last of the preliminary leaves. Bound in contemporary vellum, title and shelf mark written on spine. Illegible name on title page of Jesuit College whose library it entered January 1, 1677. An excellent copy.

First edition of a rare and fundamental handbook for seventeenth-century missionaries to Indochina.  The volume is a formative document by François Pallu (d. 1684) and Pierre Lambert de la Motte (d. 1679), founding members of the Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris and driving forces behind the establishment in 1665 of the Seminary of St. Joseph, the kernel of what would become The College General, an interdiocesan seminary still active (now in Penang, Malaysia).  Pallu and Lambert de la Motte were two of 17 missionaries who undertook an overland journey from France to Siam (8 died in transit) during the early 1660s. In 1665 they established their mission in Juthia, Siam (now Ayutthaya, Thailand), a thriving city known as “The Venice of the East” and by 1700 boasting more than 1 million inhabitants.

The Paris Foreign Missions Society’s mandate was to “recruit, educate, and ordain qualified young native men and notify the Propoganda of any who seemed worthy of the episcopate […] to adapt themselves to the local customs and communicate regularly […] their problems, successes and failures” (D. Lach, p. 232).  This first edition of the Instructiones ad munera apostolica rite obeunda perutiles was written in 1669 by Pallu and Lambert as a summation of such preliminary missionary experiences in China, Tonkin, Cochinchina and Siam.  The two men saw their text as following those of the foundational missionaries Francis Xavier (d. 1552) and José de Acosta (d. 1600).  Offering practical and spiritual guidelines for seeding the Christian faith in the East, the Instructiones advocates a tightly reasoned model of conversion, rejecting previous missionary strategies that either expected natives to accept Christianity without complaint as if handed from an oracle (p. 76) or resorted to extra-Christian means – “astrology, math, painting, the mechanical arts” – to seduce converts (p. 54):  Pallu and Lambert show great confidence in the conversion power of a patient, correct communication of Catholic orthodoxy.  In these pages we learn how to combat idolatry (chapter 6.IV) and to expect a different culture of bathing and tobacco consumption (p. 9).

OCLC lists only 2 U.S. copies: Berkeley Law and U. of Minnesota.

Price: $2,850.00

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