5 April 2016
XAVIER, Francis, Saint (1506-1552). Lettres de S. Francis Xavier, de la compagnie de Iesus, Apostre du Iapon. Translated by Louis Abelly (1604-1699). Paris: George Josse, 1660.
8° (176 x 116 mm). Contemporary gilt-paneled full red morocco, edges gilt (joints and spine ends discreetly repaired).
First Edition of Abelly’s translation. The Basque Jesuit missionary, Xavier, called the Apostle to the Indies, was born in Spanish Navarre to noble parents. “He studied in Paris (1525–34), where he became an associate of St. Ignatius of Loyola, with whom he and five others took the vow in Montmartre that made them the nucleus of the Society of Jesus... At Goa he immediately began to preach and was very successful... Meanwhile more Jesuits were coming to India, and St. Francis assigned them to missions he had started. In 1549 he set sail for Japan and landed at Kagoshima. He and his companions remained in Japan for more than two years and set up many Christian communities. He went back to Goa (1552) and set out for China with a Portuguese embassy. On his way he died on the island of Changchuen (St. John). He is buried at Goa” (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001–07). VERY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current no copy has appeared at auction in at least forty years.
De Backer & Sommervogel VIII, 1331; see Streit V: 301, 425, 453-54, 557, 611. See biography by J. M. Langlois-Berthelot.
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