Copies With Souls: The Late Seventeenth-century Marianas Martyrs, Francis Xavier, and the Question of Clerical Reproduction

in Journal of Jesuit Studies

Although Ignatius created the template for Jesuit manhood, the task of modeling missionary masculinity for future generations fell to Francis Xavier as the first member to venture beyond Europe. This essay focuses on two late seventeenth-century followers of Xavier in the Marianas mission, Diego Luis de Sanvitores and Augustin Strobach, whom contemporaries characterized as virtual “copies” of Xavier with a twist: while the original Xavier longed for martyrdom in vain, Sanvitores and Strobach were able to shed blood for the faith. Their stories are set against the backdrop of the post-Trent revival of martyrdom and the Society’s need to keep generating new Christians as well as new missionaries to extend its reach across space and time. Print technology, which circulated images and stories of saintly exemplars worldwide and offered a cultural template for mimetic copying, was crucial in facilitating such clerical reproduction across the much greater distances involved in early modern evangelization.

Abstract

Although Ignatius created the template for Jesuit manhood, the task of modeling missionary masculinity for future generations fell to Francis Xavier as the first member to venture beyond Europe. This essay focuses on two late seventeenth-century followers of Xavier in the Marianas mission, Diego Luis de Sanvitores and Augustin Strobach, whom contemporaries characterized as virtual “copies” of Xavier with a twist: while the original Xavier longed for martyrdom in vain, Sanvitores and Strobach were able to shed blood for the faith. Their stories are set against the backdrop of the post-Trent revival of martyrdom and the Society’s need to keep generating new Christians as well as new missionaries to extend its reach across space and time. Print technology, which circulated images and stories of saintly exemplars worldwide and offered a cultural template for mimetic copying, was crucial in facilitating such clerical reproduction across the much greater distances involved in early modern evangelization.

Sanguine fundata est Ecclesia, sanguine crevit, sanguine proficiet, sanguine finis erit.

Emmanuel de Boye, Vita et obitus Venerabilis Patris Augustini Strobach.1

He was one of a very select few among German Jesuits,2 the envy of many others who had felt the same calling but ended up elsewhere in the Indies or remained stuck in Europe. In 1681, Augustin Strobach of Bohemia (1646–1684) at long last arrived at what his obituary named “the center of all his desires”: the Marianas Islands in the Spanish-controlled Pacific.3 It had taken years of thoughtful preparation and dogged determination for Strobach to reach the coveted archipelago. Few German Jesuit applicants landed an assignment in the Spanish Indies, and even fewer in the much-coveted Marianas, due to restrictions on the admission of non-Iberians and fierce competition for the available slots.4

The Marianas marked a fairly recent and particularly dangerous missionary frontier, and a place where martyrs were still being made. The Spanish Jesuit Diego Luis de Sanvitores (1627–1672) had launched the island mission in 1668, when he arrived with a small band of missionaries, a few lay helpers, and some thirty soldiers to save the souls of the local Chamorro population. A few months into the mission, some Chamorros violently opposed these efforts, inaugurating decades of resistance to the outsiders. In spring of 1672, Sanvitores himself died after an islander named Matå’pang (d. 1680) thrust a lance of human bone into his chest. He was immediately hailed as a martyr.5

Sanvitores’s martyrdom inspired Strobach to dedicate himself to the Marianas mission. That the life of a Spanish Jesuit, whom he had never met, became the biographical blueprint for this German, propelling him from Bohemia towards a Pacific archipelago, testifies to the Society of Jesus’s tremendous reach and its power to replicate itself. The long-term success of the Jesuit order manifested itself not only in its ability to keep generating new Christians but new missionaries as well. Martyrdom had a particular role to play in this process. The earliest Christians had understood the blood of martyrs as the seed that spawned new Christians, and the Society of Jesus had revitalized the idea in print and practice during the early modern phase of global Christianization. Martyrdom promised both a rich harvest of new Christians and new missionaries. As the most heroic form of death, it engendered moral exemplars whose redemptive suffering in faraway lands drew other men into the missions, thus extending the reach of the order’s corporate body in space and time. Given its dual effects, martyrdom may have been the most potent means of successful clerical reproduction.

But the problem with martyrdom was that the dying had to be just right. Here the demise of Antonio Criminali (1520–1549), Francis Xavier’s (1506–1552) successor on the Fishery Coast of India, at the hand of a Badaga soldier offered a cautionary tale of missionary waste. After it transpired that Criminali willingly ran into the arms of the enemy, the Jesuit hierarchy downgraded his death from an alleged martyrdom to a regretful and reckless quasi-suicidal act, and reiterated the importance of seeking the “white martyrdoms” of more quotidian suffering to the success of a mission.6 For the Society of Jesus, which did not operate within a stable parish framework, but embraced a male missionary model of always being on the move, the premature, useless deaths of its members threatened to turn a new mission into a mere flash in the pan. Proper institutional reproduction required an effusive type of missionary who was unrestrained, even restless, and ever ready to spill generative blood. Yet it equally strongly demanded that members direct these effusive impulses towards long-term objectives.

How not to be like Criminali, then? The stories of Strobach and Sanvitores suggest that one answer lay in turning oneself into a version of Francis Xavier instead. While Ignatius had created the template for Jesuit manhood, in the end the founding father never left Europe.7 Thus the task of modeling for overseas missionaries fell to Francis Xavier. His breathless (“More, more, more”), mobile missions were not altogether uncontroversial in the beginning, but his peripatetic effusiveness eventually proved to generate new converts and more missionaries, transforming him into a saintly figure of inspiration for generations of Jesuits.

This essay explores how mimesis of Xavier played itself out in the lives of two Jesuits, Sanvitores and Strobach, who sought to emulate the “Apostle of the Indies” in the Marianas, long after his death and canonization. Xavier’s writings, stories told about him, and his iconographic legacy furnished these late seventeenth-century Jesuits with scripts of missionary manhood to be enacted by aspiring saints and recognized by others as marks of holiness. Like all scripts, those about Xavier were open to elaboration. He inspired by what he did as much as by what he failed to do. For both missionaries to the Marianas, it was not so much Xavier’s thwarted desire to reach China but his unfulfilled wish to have his blood spilled as a martyr that proved inspirational.8

Saints of course inspired emulation long before the early modern period, and different models of sanctity always elicited different types of behavior. Gregory of Tours (c. 538–c. 594) in his sixth-century Life of the Fathers could already contemplate the distinct types of sanctity embodied and encouraged by, say, confessor saints or martyrs. Gregory viewed these differences as variations of the same holy life in Christ, which explains the use of the singular “Life” instead of “Lives” in the title.9 For Sanvitores and Strobach, resemblance took on an altogether new quality. Contemporaries of Sanvitores and Strobach reported that the two men integrated Xavier into all aspects of their being, becoming—to borrow a phrase of Sanvitores’s biographer—“a copy with a soul.” Xavier in turn resembled not Christ but Saint Paul, the epitome of apostolic mobility.10

Such faithful reproduction of an apostolic type, I argue, speaks to the urgencies of the early modern missionary enterprise, which spun out across much greater distances and involved encounters much less familiar to European Christians than the medieval missionary undertakings. It further seems inseparable from the availability of the reproductive technology of print, which circulated the images and stories of saintly exemplars worldwide and provided a template for mimetic copying in the flesh.11 The miracles of missionary reproduction went hand-in-hand with the marvel of their multiplication in print. Long after their death, the holy could thus continue to act through the medium of print in a wide variety of geographical contexts and at a moment of aggressive evangelization, in a manner that at once paralleled and outpaced the ways in which saints supposedly acted through their bodily remains. Saintly relics had long been multiplied through splitting or contact and circulated to spread supernatural power and create bonds between believers, especially in newly-Christianized areas.12 If relics were very reproducible, print was yet more so; and even in cases where there were no material remains of saintly figures available, there were stories about them to be distributed on the printed page.

The essay develops my overarching claims in two sections. Section i focuses on the beginnings of the Marianas mission and the figure of Diego Luis de Sanvitores. It links the imaginary feminization of the island space by Sanvitores to his fashioning of himself as a new Francis Xavier. Section ii hones in on Strobach’s attempts to follow in Sanvitores’s footsteps and become a German Xavier and martyr. It is set against the backdrop of new understandings of martyrdom as a quintessentially male death in the wake of the Council of Trent.

A Spanish Xavier: Diego Luis de Sanvitores and the Beginnings of the Marianas Mission

The evangelization of the Marianas did not commence until more than a century and a half after the first European sighting of what is now Guam. Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480–1521) chanced upon the archipelago in 1521 during his quest to seize the riches of the Spice Islands for the Spanish crown. After the Chamorros seized a European rowboat (in keeping with their logic of gift exchanges among strangers), Magellan, who followed rather different rules of engagement, dubbed the archipelago “Islands of Thieves” (Islas de los Ladrones). Twenty-four years later, Miguel López de Legazpi (c. 1502–1572) formally claimed the Ladrones for Spain en route to the Philippines, where he then founded Manila. Soon thereafter, the Ladrones became a vital point-of-orientation and stopover for the Manila galleon trade that fused the economies of Asia, the Americas, and Europe into a global circuit for the first time in history. Spain did not set up a colonial government, because the crown felt the islands did not warrant the expense, given their poverty.13

The same lack of material wealth caught Sanvitores’s attention. The Iberian Jesuit sighted the Chamorro people in 1662 during the customary stopover of the Manila galleon: “And realizing that their poverty and that of their forlorn aspect, he cried, with tears streaming down his face, that there were those who sought gold in the world, while here were the richest mines of all, souls purchased by the blood of Christ.”14 Like his later followers, Sanvitores pitted a material against a spiritual economy that had Christ’s blood sacrifice as its major currency, and identified the islands as an especially fertile mission field. The encounter left him with a sense of a vocation to launch a mission from Manila.

While Jesuits called the city “the warehouse of the faith,” colonial authorities in Manila calculated in hard currency rather than souls.15 After years of fruitless lobbying, Sanvitores resolved that a better approach consisted of dealing with the court in Madrid, the city of his birth, where he could rely on family networks alongside those of the Society of Jesus. He pitched his mission to both King Philip iv (r. 1621–1665) and Queen Mariana of Austria (1634–1696; m. 1649–1665), yet in distinctly gendered ways. As regards the queen, Sanvitores worked in the time-honored Jesuit tradition of providing powerful women with spiritual guidance in exchange for financial and political support.16 He also employed a tactic other Jesuits had used successfully with female patrons by evoking the plight of the poor pagan infants in the Ladrones.17 Sanvitores enlisted the help of the queen’s Jesuit confessor, Johann Nidhart, whose deep influence on Mariana was controversial at court.18

Sanvitores’s appeal to the queen’s maternal feelings contrasted starkly with his approach to King Philip. Sanvitores recruited his father in Madrid to deliver a memorial to the king. The text contained stern reminders of a Christian monarch’s duties and warned King Philip of impending death. Sanvitores wrote the text in the authoritative voice of Francis Xavier.19 Perhaps Sanvitores took a cue from the playbook of the Philippine Jesuit Francisco Colin (1592–1660). Colin’s account of Evangelical Labour in the Islands of the Philippines, first presented to the king in 1658 and then published in Madrid in 1663, placed missionary activity in this part of world under the aegis of Francis Xavier. The frontispiece is dominated by an over-sized Xavier, who stands at the center of an archipelago in the Pacific, his hands extended across and towards smaller islands with church buildings, while ships approach the towering figure from front and back. Xavier’s visual hyper-presence in a book that narrated the life histories of those who lived a century later apparently perturbed the inquisitorial examiner of the publication, who noted the mismatch in his authorization.20

Sanvitores, to be sure, did not perceive such a disjuncture between Xavier’s time and his own, or, for that matter, between the saint’s identity and his own. The daring ventriloquism of the memorial was no isolated incident. Rather, the sources suggest that Sanvitores in word and deed rather self-consciously scripted himself as another Xavier, and that those around him came to believe that he indeed was a late seventeenth-century version of the apostle of the Indies—a Spanish avatar of the saint, as it were. Sanvitores’s first printed biography tells the story of the embodied resemblances between Sanvitores and Xavier. Written by Francisco García (1641–1685) and published in Madrid in 1683, Vida y martyrio de el Venerable Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores was composed with an eye towards canonization, and hence García’s portrayal of Sanvitores as another Xavier served the transparent rhetorical purpose of presenting him as a bona fide saint.21 Still, García worked from other materials that pointed to Sanvitores’s deliberate enactment of a Xaverian narrative and his companions’ ready attribution of a Xaverian identity to him. A striking passage from the vita notes the agreed-upon likeness and offers a series of explanations for it:

To gauge the greatness of the sanctity of this servant of God it is enough to know is that he is a second Xavier. This is the name that all who interacted and communicated with him gave him, and no attribution is repeated more often in the reports and letters. And nothing was said more often in all of our histories then that no-one seemed to resemble Saint Francis Xavier more than this admirable man; and it seems that God has consoled those which did not merit to see the great Apostle of the Indies, by giving us a copy of his spirit, just as he consoled the world, which did not know Paul by giving it Xavier; and even if a copy always loses something compared to the original and also the copy that one makes of the same image, and hence I do not pretend that the Venerable Padre San Vitores is the same as Saint Francis Xavier, just like Saint Francis Xavier is not the same as Saint Paul, nor could anyone deny that the second Apostle of the people resembled the first in his virtues, and gifts, it seems that the third resembled the second in the same perfections and prerogatives.22

García here carefully eschews a direct equation between his protégée Sanvitores and the canonized Xavier (“I do not pretend”), yet he simultaneously puts the embodied resemblance between the two Jesuit beyond question (“nor could anyone deny”). In fact, the passage opens with the assertion that the historical record (“nothing was said more often”) fully warrants characterizing Sanvitores as “a second Xavier.” Later in the book, García uses the memorable characterization of Sanvitores as “a copy with a soul.”23 Images of animated copies and visual reproduction also abound in this passage. They bespeak the early modern cultural fascination with the power of images not merely to represent but to make present the sacred, with extraordinary transformations or even transmutations, as well as the notion that the human body could manifest holiness physically.24 García casts God as the originator of a generative process that instantiates as an apostolic lineage running from Saint Paul to Saint Francis Xavier to the saintly Sanvitores. It is an entirely patrilineal mode of generation, which bypasses women and sexual reproduction, and is accomplished instead through the infusion of spirit—a form of pneumatic life-giving which in Aristotelian medical theory was seen as a quality of semen.25 “A copy with a soul” was an animated life form.

Notably, Xavier is at once a special person and a mere link in this patrilineal chain. He alone is the new Paul, resuscitating the spirit of the apostle and ushering in a new age of global evangelization that has the Society of Jesus as its vanguard. At the same time, Xavier serves as a simple relay between early Christianity and global Christianity in making the Pauline model available to other Jesuits like Sanvitores, who then infuse it with new life. In García’s scheme of things, Xavier’s position is structurally similar to what Arnold Davidson has described for the place of Saint Francis in paving the way for the somatic expression of mystical experiences through his unique, miraculous stigmatization. Francis had to physically morph into Christ for those that came after him to morph into a form of Francis, and in his uniqueness he set an ultimately unachievable benchmark for later mystics.26 Similarly, García’s Xavier becomes the measure for all who aspire to the Pauline model, but who will inevitably fall short of Xavier’s reanimation of Paul. García measures this distance by talking about the difference between a copy and an original. As a copy of the original, Xavier is essentially like but already no longer the same as Paul. As a copy of the copy, Sanvitores, is like but not the same as Xavier and even less like Paul.

García’s analogy was no mere metaphor. Long after the rise of representational art, early modern culture continued to ascribe to religious images a capacity that went far beyond pure mimicry. Seen as conduits of the sacred, images were thought capable of transmitting the transcendent to the beholder and thereby enabling spiritual transformation in the flesh, or an animated, embodied mimesis of the holy in those who knew how to tap into the potency of images.27 The same was said of saints themselves. In his Flos sanctorum, one of the most influential hagiographic texts of the period, Alonso de Villega (1534–1615) declared that the church’s saints operated like “living portraits,” giving life to what would otherwise remain bloodless biblical truths. Published in 1583, the text breathes Tridentine doctrine, including the Council of Trent’s proclamation that religious education demanded visual representation of the church’s saints.28

If saints were “living portraits” and visual media of the holy, artistic portraits of saints served to extend the saints’ presence across time and space, linking together expanding networks of devotees and believers. Precisely because they were animated, images could fill the gap that arose when direct physical contact was impossible. When Sanvitores arrived in Mexico City on his journey to the Ladrones—an arrival his followers likened to that of Saint Francis in Goa—the Spaniard first embarked upon the task of revitalizing the local sodality of the “Apostle of Asia.” Before Sanvitores departed, the congregation begged him to sit for a portrait. They hung the painted image of the Spaniard in view of their painting of Francis Xavier, the “Apostle of Asia” eyeing the Pacific-bound aspiring holy man, and the congregation gazing at the sacred images to transpose models of holiness into their lives in New Spain. On a later return trip to Mexico City, Sanvitores again posed for a painting, and the congregation hired a renowned paint to produce a better likeness.29 The greater the verisimilitude, this suggests, the more efficacious the image.

Sanvitores’s willingness to sit for portrait twice for his devotees points to the element of self-stylization in his becoming a “second Xavier.” Xavier himself sat for two portraits during his lifetime—one for Goa, one for Rome—to serve as prototypes of this kind.30 Sanvitores’s biographer García reports other, quotidian enactments of Xaverian scripts:

[Sanvitores] so much dedicated himself altogether to the salvation of souls, as I said, tried to be Xavier in his actions and his sayings; and he constantly petitioned the saintly apostle, and solicited him with constant prayers; therefore he read every day, without skipping a single one, a chapter from his vita, or a part of his epistles, or instructions; and this man attained this so perfectly, that one of his companions affirmed that there was not a bit of difference in his actions from those of the holy apostle, he let himself be guided by what he found in his apostolic life; and to read the vita of Saint Francis Xavier, it seems, is to read the life of the Father Sanvitores.31

Sanvitores, this suggests, strove to channel Xavier by mimicking his every deed and speech acts. Devotion and mimesis went hand in hand: Sanvitores prayed to, petitioned, and solicited the saint; every day (“without skipping”) he read writings about and by Xavier to imitate the saint perfectly and thereby transform himself from the admirer into the protagonist of a Xaverian apostolic life. This was an effort at embodied resuscitation, a quest for corporeal conformity, as Sanvitores behaved and spoke just like Xavier down to the detail: “there was not a bit of difference.”

It stands to reason that the body would take on added importance as a means of expressing identity for members of a religious order that eschewed a standardized dress code at the very moment in time when European culture at large experienced the invention of fashion.32 The Society’s dress regulations only stipulated that attire be appropriate to the vow of poverty and local sartorial norms.33 Anti-Jesuitical literature’s trope of the order’s shifting, deceptive guises suggests this was no trivial matter. Sanvitores freely availed himself of the possibilities: upon landing in the Ladrones, he cast off his robes to don a new island garb of palm leaves. The less stable the sartorial regime, one could argue, the more regulated bodily comportment needed to be if one wished to be recognized as “a living portrait” or saint. Or inversely, the more fully one embodied and enacted the holy, the less one needed to worry about outer layers of identity. Francis Xavier wore low-key clothing. Sanvitores fashioned a palm garment that the local Chamorros apparently found quite peculiar and laughable.34 Yet believers still recognized him as a Xavier; the right body made the credible saint.

Of course, comparatively few people encountered aspiring saints in the flesh, and hence the texts that transported their stories to those who lived elsewhere or thereafter bore much of the burden of establishing proof of their sainthood. Thanks to early modern print technology, stories of the holy could be reproduced more easily and travel much greater distances than in the Middle Ages. The availability of mimetic reproduction and multiplication via print helps us understand more fully why García’s description talked about original and copies in his lengthy rumination on the resemblance between Sanvitores and Xavier, and why he chose the punch line: “To read the Vida of San Francis Xavier, it seems, is to read the life of the Father Sanvitores.” Reading, writing, copying, and printing: these were mimetic operations and technologies for producing new saints for the Society in a global age. Ignatius, himself transformed by the reading of saints’ lives and aware of the importance of Xavier’s model, pushed hard for Xavier’s writings to become available in print so others could read and copy the first overseas missionary. Sanvitores took this to heart and read to transform himself into another Xavier. For García, to write his vita so that readers could recognize the second Xavier and be inspired by him was to close the circle. The technical reproduction of the vita in print served to underpin the reproduction of saintly men. Book five of García’s biography was dedicated to the Jesuits who followed in Sanvitores’s footstep after his violent death and “in whom he left his spirit, multiplied without doubt.”35 A susceptible reader could imagine his own story added to a future print edition.

Even if his Xaverian spirit lived on, the story of Sanvitores’s physical body ended with his killing on the Marianas. Sources suggest he hoped and prepared for just this outcome long before he reached the archipelago. From García we learn that Sanvitores took a special liking to the Neapolitan Jesuit Marcello Mastrilli (1603–1637). When Marcello lay sick of the plague of 1634, a portrait of Xavier was moved next to him, and the saint appeared to him. Marcello promised to become a missionary to Asia, and the saint healed him. Marcello died as a martyr in Nagasaki in 1637.36 García wrote that Sanvitores felt great love for Marcello for his success in conversion and achieving the martyrdom that Xavier had long for in vain.37 He took Marcello as a second special patron alongside Xavier and credited both for having put him on the path to the Marianas mission.38

From a material point of view, he had to credit Queen Mariana, and the gendered tactics he used to win her support. After the death of Philip iv, Mariana acted as regent of the Spanish Empire, and she provided Sanvitores with the necessary funds, boat, and military protection to set up a Jesuit mission on the Ladrones. When he was able to baptize the first Chamorro in 1668, an infant girl, he named her Mariana, and he christened the entire archipelago “Marianas” in recognition of the queen’s patronage.39 Sanvitores was an ardent devotee of the Virgin Mary and perceived the archipelago’s shape to be a “fitting pedestal for Mary.”40 Thus the Islands of Thieves became the Marianas, a feminization of space that suggested a very different relationship between Europeans and islanders than the earlier designation of Ladrones.41 Feminizing the island space helped invite the masculine project of planting the seed of Christ by becoming a martyr (fig. 1).

Figure 1

Download Figure

Figure 1

Map of the Marianas from Histoire des isles Marianes, nouvellement converties à la religion chrestienne… (Paris: N. Pepie, 1700).

Citation: Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, 4 (2015) ; 10.1163/22141332-00204002

courtesy of special collections & archives, uc san diego library

Sanvitores desired martyrdom, but did not rush into it. In a letter of 1663, he had assured his superior general: “Swords and martyrdom are not soon found here [i.e. the Marianas], nor should we expose ourselves to them until the Lord should place us under them, and we should pray that these happen after we have brought him many souls in heaven.”42 At first, Sanvitores’s main strategy of converting islanders was to toss out so-called ejaculaciones or holy teachings. These perfectly-honed phrases were meant to strike to the heart of the Chamorro and “plant the seed of the Gospel.”43 Fecund words seemed to multiply converts in the first months. Yet once Sanvitores’s band of missionaries tried to expand their work from their base in Agaña on Guam to the northern islands, they encountered violent resistance that soon devolved into open warfare (fig. 2).44 Words no longer sufficed, Sanvitores resolved; further evangelization demanded the spilling of his own blood instead.45 Across the Pacific in Mexico City, an ominous sign of what was to come reportedly appeared on a painting of Francis Xavier: sweat broke out on his face.46

Figure 2

Download Figure

Figure 2

Map of Guam including Jesuit headquarters of Agaña from Histoire des isles Marianes.

Citation: Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, 4 (2015) ; 10.1163/22141332-00204002

courtesy of special collections & archives, uc san diego library

A German Xavier: From Bohemia to the Marianas and Back

The escalation of violence in the Pacific set two larger trends in motion: first, in the Marianas themselves, the formal “reduction” and precipitous decline of the Chamorro population. Spurred on by the missionaries, Spanish troops embarked upon punitive campaigns and the resettlement of the inhabitants of the northern islands to Guam. By 1700, population levels dropped to about 8,000, and plummeted to levels near extinction by 1750.47

These mass deaths of the indigenous peoples were not commemorated until much later. By contrast, the death of the Spaniard Sanvitores quickly made waves around the world. Within two decades, church-sponsored inquiries into his alleged martyrdom took place in Guam, Manila, Mexico, and Spain.48 Sanvitores’s fame also reached the Holy Roman Empire and sparked a virtual run for the Mariana missions. In 1680, Eusebio Kino (1645–1711) commented on this trend and his own disappointment in being sent to New Spain in a letter to the duchess of Aveiro:

In Germany, the Jesuits have the highest regard for the Mariana missions, and long to be sent to convert their inhabitants. More than two hundred aspirants are seeking entrance in the Upper German Province alone. All of us missionaries residing the past two years in Seville would have considered it a special blessing had our superiors sent us to the Marianas. Obedience alone could lessen the disappointment which some of us experienced when assigned to New Spain.49

Augustin Strobach was among those waiting in Seville. Born in Iglau in Moravia in 1646 Strobach had joined the Society in Brno in 1667 at the age of twenty-one. He said that the order drew him because of its “penetrating even the last reaches of the world through the profusion of blood and life, towards which I have always felt the most ardent wishes.”50 These words reveal an early longing for martyrdom to which the Jesuit order spoke very effectively by upholding its own martyrs for admiration and emulation in various media. 51

Matthias Tanner’s (1630–1692) Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitae profusionem militans exemplifies such purposeful commemoration of Jesuit martyrs. Published in 1675 with lavish illustrations, Tanner’s multi-volume martyrology appeared in a number of editions. Tanner paraded the Society’s dead missionaries in a tour of four continents, from Europe and Africa to Asia and the Americas, featuring detailed descriptions and graphic images of the killing of each man.52 The work also contains a particularly vivid illustration of the reproductive power associated with martyrdom in the form of an engraving by Melchior Küsel (1626–1684) (fig. 3). The image depicts a garden in an exoticized landscape, an illusion to the vineyard of the Lord. Angels hold a banner across the top that reads: “sanguis martyrum, semen Christianorum,” while angelic figures irrigate the land with blood marked with the ihs monogram. The efficacy is beyond question: crosses are shooting up from the ground and surrounding trees.53

Figure 3

Download Figure

Figure 3

Garden image from Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitae profusionem militans… auctore R. Patre Mathia Tanner è Societate Jesu… ([Prague]: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandeae, in Collegio Societatis Jesu ad S. Clementem, per Joannem Nicolaum Hampel factorem, 1675).

Citation: Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, 4 (2015) ; 10.1163/22141332-00204002

courtesy of saint louis university libraries special collections

Although this image plays on the equation of the martyr’s blood and the seed for new Christians that already characterized ancient martyrdom, a new cultural understanding of martyrdom as a quintessentially male heroic death, personified most fully by the Jesuit missionary-cum-martyr, provides significant context for the image and Tanner’s text.54 Early Christians understood martyrdom as masculine, but believed that women of exceptional fortitude could be martyrs. The new context increasingly excluded women from martyrdom. The same Council of Trent that underwrote the Jesuit apostolic model pushed women religious behind the cloister and eroded the legitimacy of older charismatic modes of female holiness, which had accorded women at least a mystical death or imaginary reliving of Christ’s passion.55 Although some women did manage to join in Catholicism’s evangelization drive overseas, they did so by taking the cloister with them. It was not for lack of fortitude that Marie de l’Incarnation (1599–1672), Ursuline foundress of the first Québec convent, never became a Jean de Brébeuf (1593–1649), celebrated Jesuit martyr of New France.56

If the early modern Catholic martyr was by definition a man, he was also a truly potent man.57 “Sanguis martyrum, semen Christianorum” took on added meaning in a culture that deemed not the possession of a penis or sexual reproduction but rather the very ability to generate and disseminate seed the defining criteria of the male sex.58 According to early modern medical theory, the body concocted semen from blood, and hence, just like sexually active men, celibate clerics too could prove their manhood by transforming their blood into the “semen Christianorum” and spawning new believers. The image of the garden, itself a metaphor of fertility, in Tanner’s compendium of killing sites is evocative of such ideas about the male sex in its depiction of the angelic figures: the martyrs’ blood they distribute flows from pouches held at such an angle that it appears as if the “semen Christianorum” is projecting directly from the figures’ penises (fig. 3a).

Figure 3a

Download Figure

Figure 3a

Garden image from Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis, detail.

Citation: Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, 4 (2015) ; 10.1163/22141332-00204002

Such compelling images of martyrdom stemmed right from the heart of the Society’s Bohemian province, which the Prague-based Tanner headed for over half a decade and which Augustin Strobach joined with the intention of dying overseas. Later on, Strobach became part of Tanner’s correspondence network, supplying him with heroic stories from afar. Perhaps he also hoped that his life history would end up in future installments of Tanner’s martyrology, where accounts and images of the first Marianas martyrs such as Diego Sanvitores began to appear.59

As much as Sanvitores, “the second Xavier” or “copy with a soul” inspired Strobach, such inspiration paled in comparison to Strobach’s relationship to Francis Xavier himself. Xavier enjoyed great popularity among German Jesuits, not least because in some of his letters he declared Germans especially suitable for the missions, an endorsement that German applicants for the overseas missions were happy to cite.60 But while many German Jesuits displayed a deep devotion to the apostle of Asia, Strobach took Xavier’s influence to a qualitatively different level. His biographer, Bohemian provincial Emmanuel de Boye (1639–1700), relates of Strobach:

He was given the baptismal name Ignatius. But as he grew into a man, he became so focused on Francis Xavier and going to the Indies that he began calling himself Carolus Xavier. He was said to have resembled Xavier no less in his thinking than physically. He was believed to bring him to life in his appearance from facial expression, skin color, and hair growth to the exact tall height.61

Strobach’s obsessive focus on “going to the Indies” appears inseparable from an obsessive identification with Xavier. Like the Spaniard Sanvitores, the German consciously styled himself after Francis Xavier by adopting his name: Ignatius alone—nomen est omen—would not do for an overseas missionary. If name changes often signify changes in social destiny, Strobach’s act of taking Xavier’s name allegedly ushered in a new state of being as well. Strobach—“as he grew into a man”—developed into Xavier’s very mental and physical form, and “brought him to life in his appearance.” Differently put, he became yet another animated copy of the apostle of Asia.

The wealth of physical depictions and descriptions of Xavier, which circulated back and forth through the Society’s networks, were fundamental in imagining the very possibility of such spiritual cloning. One of the earliest descriptions of Xavier’s looks gives the same biomarkers, albeit in greater detail, than those listed by de Boye in discussing Strobach’s physiognomy:

Father and master Francis was tall rather than short. His face was well proportioned, white and colored, joyful and graceful. His eyes were between brown and black, his forehead spacious, his hair and beard black.62

Height, facial shape, hair, and eyes define the saint’s body. Likewise, de Boye’s frontispiece, an engraving of Strobach, plays on Xaverian physical and iconographic attributes (fig. 4). A full-length Strobach stands at the center of the image, taller than the three Chamorros that surround him and seem to stand slightly uphill from him. The image captures the moment right before Strobach’s violent death. One islander is taking aim with his lance while another has grabbed Strobach’s crucifix.

Figure 4

Download Figure

Figure 4

Image of Augustinus Strobach from Vita et obitus Venerabilis Patris Augustini Strobach è Societate Jesu… Conscripta à P. Emmanuele de Boye (Olomuc: Kylian, 1691).

Citation: Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, 4 (2015) ; 10.1163/22141332-00204002

copyright universitätsbibliothek tübingen

The square hairline, untrimmed beard, shadowy eyes, and the Jesuit’s gaze towards the sky borrow from the iconographic lexicon of Xavier’s engravings. The crucifix in the image references an attribute of the saint, particularly as its tip points towards Strobach’s heart, the organ at the locus of Xavier’s uncontainable impulses to bring Christianity to distant shores. Like Sanvitores, however, Strobach is an avatar of Xavier with a twist: he is about to suffer the martyrdom that eluded the apostle of Asia.

Little wonder then that Strobach set his eyes on an assignment to the Marianas. He had just spent a month carrying out the spiritual exercises when the encyclical of Superior General Oliva (1600–1681) arrived inviting missionaries to Mexico, the Philippines, and the Marianas. It happened to be the feast day of Francis Xavier. Although Strobach was initially not among those chosen for the Indies in response to Oliva’s call, he took it to be the voice of God,63 and did not shy away from advancing the divine agenda. After he learned that superiors were concerned about the ill health of one the men designated for the mission, Strobach let it be known that he would make for a better choice. His insistence won him the spot.64

Strobach was similarly quick to sense an opportunity once he found out about the “martyrdom” of Sebastian de Monroy (1649–1676) that took place in 1676 in the Marianas. That news reached Strobach in Seville, apparently right between signing and posting a letter to his future biographer, Emmanuel de Boye. The signature under the letter reads “your unworthy son, and missionary to the Philippines.” The postscript that follows reveals that Strobach reopened the letter after receiving the news about “the glorious death” of de Monroy. “Therefore, there is once again a vacancy for a missionary in the Marianas!” Strobach concluded: “O, how I wish to be worthy of this mission of Christ!”65 Soon he began signing his letters as “missionary to the Marianas.”

It was not until he reached the shores of Guam in June 1681 that Strobach was actually assigned to the mission. Although he later credited the Virgin Mary and Francis Xavier with his assignment in the Marianas, he did his part as well. When the galleon stopped in Guam, he kept pleading with the mission procurator and superior to let him stay amidst the Chamorro. Their permission aroused “unspeakable consolation” in Strobach.66 He set foot on the islands on the same day of the year as Sanvitores back in 1668, or so Strobach and others later remembered in interpreting his spiritual journey.67

It was Strobach’s worldly status as a non-Spaniard that shaped his more immediate destiny. Per general policy, the Spanish Jesuits, who formed the majority of missionaries, had their posts on the main island of Guam, the more stable and developed of the mission sites. Agaña was the largest settlement, and there the Jesuits had their headquarters and ran schools for Chamorro boys and girls, all the while enjoying the protection of the Spanish garrison. By contrast, Germans (and other Northern Europeans) had to work in the mission stations often by themselves on the smaller, more remote, and unstable islands. After a training period, Strobach was thus put to work on the island of Rota north of Guam, a well-known hideout for the Chamorro resistance where Sanvitores’s murderers still lived in hiding.68

Having reached the place of his longing, Strobach’s thoughts turned to martyrdom in newly concrete ways. A year after his arrival, he wrote a lengthy report about the geography, inhabitants, and missionary work of the island, which included a discussion of the indigenous Chamorros’ custom of carving the arm and leg bones of dead enemies into weapons for war. Strobach elaborated how longer bones made for better lances and “therefore these barbarians feel much incited to kill men of great height.” The German Xavier was a tall man and at this point in the text, missionary ethnography drifted into personal reflection. Strobach wrote of his desire to die for the right purpose and his fear that things could go terribly wrong:

I however would not want to be killed for the sake of their lances but rather spill my life and blood well in the name of Christ. I would not want that these [barbarians] preserve my bones—that others are killed with them—but that God more powerfully preserves them.69

In these lines, Strobach parsed the consequential difference between being murdered and being martyred. Would he be able to die the right kind of death? The general risk for aspiring martyrs that only the right death would spawn new Christians had become a very particular predicament for Strobach. Where else in the world but on the Marianas would a missionary have to worry in 1682 about having his bones carved into lances—accommodation gone completely awry? This was precisely what had happened to Sanvitores’s companion Luis Medina (1637–1670), the very first Jesuit to die on the islands in January 1670. His corpse was found with the extremities removed.70 It seems telling that Medina’s printed vita of 1673, in an act of imaginary restoration to wholeness, included an upper-body portrait of the Jesuit holding a crucifix in his arms (fig. 5). A spear tip of human bone piercing Medina’s chest aims directly at the face of Christ on the cross while also indexing Medina’s fate as a victim of—and, more uncannily, raw material for—a Chamorro weapon. The caption “pierced with lances on the Marianas for the faith” asserted that Medina’s death had indeed served the purpose of this island mission. The text replaced the missing remains, a print proxy of a relic, as it were.71

Figure 5

Download Figure

Figure 5

Exemplar vida, y gloriosa muerte por Christo del fervoroso P. Luis de Medina de la Compañía de Jesús… (Seville: Juan Francisco de Blas, 1673).

Citation: Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, 4 (2015) ; 10.1163/22141332-00204002

copyright the newberry library

To die a meaningful death demanded spiritual aid. Strobach turned to his Bohemian home province for support in the quest to die a true martyr. He posted a letter to Provincial de Boye in May of 1683 from the island of Rota, in which he explained how the island lacked even the most basic resources, like sufficient water and fertile land for planting rice (“they live off roots”), but promised a great yield of new Christians: “To my great consolation, I myself have already baptized with my own hand a hundred adults and countless children and married 170 couples.” He credited Sanvitores with having plowed and fertilized the ground before him. Using imagery reminiscent of the garden in Tanner’s bloody martyrology, Strobach described the Spaniard as “the first to bring Christ’s name to the Marianas, plant the vineyard of the Lord, and also have properly watered with his sweat and blood in order to produce, as can be seen now, great fruit of Christianity.” From Sanvitores’s martyrdom Strobach circled via Francis Xavier to his own hoped-for, meaningful death. Invoking words that the “great Apostle of the Indies” had spoken with regards to China, he presented the Marianas as a place of even greater urgency for divine help and grace. He asked his Bohemian brothers for their prayers and sacrifices, promising to repay if it so pleased God, “with the profusion of life and blood for God and the salvation of souls.”72

In August 1684, Strobach finally had his wish. Anti-Spanish Chamorros marshaled one last rebellion against colonial rule. The capital, Agaña, was on fire. Strobach learned of these occurrences on approach to the capital and rushed off to alert the central Spanish military commander José Quiroga (d. 1720), who was fighting the insurrection on islands to the north. Rebels captured the Jesuit en route and delivered him to a chief on the island of Saypan. They took his breviary and crucifix before beating him to death.73 Did Strobach die the right kind of death then? Missionary superior Gerard Bouwens certainly spoke of “martyrdom” in the obituary notice he composed in May of 1685. Such textual remains were quickly incorporated in new print publications and linked to other Marianas martyrs, above all to Sanvitores. Merely a year later, Strobach’s story appeared in Naples in an Italian version of García’s Vida y martyrio de el Venerable Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores. Produced by Ambrosio Ortiz (1638–1718), this work represents a reframed and augmented version of the original. Unlike García, who chose to include a portrait of a scholarly Sanvitores with owl-like eyeglasses, Ortiz selected for his frontispiece an image that depicts Sanvitores being pierced with a lance by Matå’pang while another Chamorro swings his sword above the Jesuit’s head. Ortiz also chose a broader title that focused on the conversion of the Marianas recounted through a series of “glorious deaths,” starting with Sanvitores’s and updated with the most recent killings, including Strobach’s.74 Thus the Spanish and the German Xavier, who never directly crossed paths but were inspired by the same masculine script, were united between the covers of a book designed to inspire yet other men. Once again, copies of holy men and print copies multiplied together.

Strobach’s material remains by comparison were fewer, and their fate more unusual. In a final, postmortem enactment of a bodily practice associated with Francis Xavier, whose body was partitioned in Goa for partial shipment to Rome, Strobach’s remains were divided between the Marianas and Europe.75 His skull journeyed across oceans and continents to be laid to rest in Prague, going the opposite way of the myriad of relics flowing outward from Europe in the age of global evangelization.76 Yet the arms and legs of the German Xavier stayed in the Marianas. There, they became not objects of veneration but part of the Chamorro arsenal.77 Both Strobach’s greatest wish and his greatest fear came true in the end.

I wish to thank Frank Biess, Nancy Caciola, Renate Dürr, Florence Hsia, and Michelle Molina for their extremely helpful feedback and informed suggestions for improving this article, and Kate Epstein for editorial input. My thanks also go to Dana Murillo and Lor Wood for expert advice on the Spanish translations, to Charles and Jean Parker, Heather Smedberg, and John Powell for expediting the acquisition of images, and to Sky Johnston for his competent help with the proof-reading and formatting.

1 Emmanuel de Boye, Vita et obitus Venerabilis Patris Augustini Strobach e Societate Jesu, ex Provincia Bohemiae pro Insulis Marianis electi missionarii et a rebellibus sanctae fidei in iisdem insulis barbare trucidati anno 1684 (Olomuc: Kylian, 1691), 131.

2 A note on terminology: "German" is a slippery concept for the early modern period. In Jesuit sources and Spanish colonial sources about Jesuits the term covers a range of meanings: from belonging to the Holy Roman Empire to speaking German and, most importantly, to being a member of the German Jesuit assistancy. Augustin Strobach was and can thus be labeled a German for multiple reasons.

3 From the obituary notice written by the mission superior Gerard Bouwens, "De vita, virtutibus, et gloriosa morte pro Christo V.P. Augustinus Stobac [sic], cbac [[s Stobac [V.P. Augustinus," Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu [hereafter arsi], Philipp. 20, 336–37v, here 336v.

4 Only about eleven to twenty-two percent of German applicants were successful. My calculation is based on samples from various provinces: Johannes Meier, ‘Totus mundus nostra fit habitatio’: Jesuiten aus dem deutschen Sprachraum in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2007), 14–15.

5 Foundational works on the Marianas missions: Francis X. Hezel, "From Conversion to Conquest: The Early Spanish Mission in the Marianas," Journal of Pacific History 17, no. 3 (1982): 115–37; Francis X. Hezel, From Conquest to Colonization: Spain in the Mariana Islands 1690 to 1740 (Saipan: Division of Historical Preservation, 1989); Vincent M. Diaz, Repositioning the Missionary: Rewriting the Histories of Colonialism, Native Catholicism, and Indigeneity in Guam (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2010); Robert F. Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall: A History of Guam (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1995), especially 41–73; Scott Russel, Tiempon i Manmofo’na: Ancient Chamorro Culture and the History of the Northern Marianas (Saipan: Division of Historic Preservation, 1998), especially 291–321. Alexandre Coello de la Rosa, Jesuits at the Margins: Missions and Missionaries in the Marianas (1668–1769) (London-New York: Routledge, 2016).

6 On Criminali and the order’s latent ambivalence about martyrdom, see Ines G. Županov, Missionary Tropics: The Catholic Frontier in India (16th–17thCenturies) (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005), 147–71.

7 Ulrike Strasser, "‘The First Form and Grace’: Ignatius of Loyola and the Reformation of Masculinity," in Masculinity in the Reformation Era, ed. Scott H. Hendrix and Susan C. Karant-Nunn (Kirksville, mo: Truman State University Press, 2008), 45–70. On the importance of Ignatius as an ideal form and of form in general in the making of the Society see Evonne Levy, "Jesuit Identity, Identifiable Jesuit? Jesuit Dress in Theory and Image," in Le monde est une peinture: Jesuitische Identität und die Rolle der Bilder, ed. Elisabeth Oy-Marra and Volker R. Remmert (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2011), 127–52.

8 Orazio Torsellino reports in his biography of Xavier: "One thing only there was which did a little grieve him, to wit, that he should dye a natural and ordinary death in his bed, and be deprived of the crown of Martyrdom, which he had so vehemently desired." Cited in Rose Marie San Juan, Vertiginous Mirrors: The Animation of the Visual Image and Early Modern Travel (Manchester-New York: Manchester University Press, 2011), 16–19.

9 Gregory of Tours, Life of the Fathers, trans. Edward James (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1991), xiv.

10 By contrast, imitatio Christi defined Ignatian manhood. Levy, "Jesuit Identity, Identifiable Jesuits," especially 131–34.

11 San Juan, Vertiginous Mirrors, explores the nexus between printing, traveling images, and their effects on different users. I am especially interested in how images and stories that circulate reproduced the same type of missionary body.

12 Peter Brown, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980 [20142]); Patrick Geary, "Sacred Commodities: the Circulation of Medieval Relics," in The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, ed. Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 169–91.

13 Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 5–20.

14 "First Printed Biography of Fr. Sanvitores, by Fr. García, with a history of the Marianas up to 1681," in History of Micronesia: A Collection of Source Documents, vol. 7, ed. Rodrigue Lévesque (Québéc: Lévesque, 1996), 377.

15 Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 18.

16 Olwen Hufton, "Altruism and Reciprocity: The Early Jesuits and Their Female Patrons," Renaissance Studies 15 (2001): 328–53.

17 Ronnie Po-chia Hsia, ed., Noble Patronage and Jesuit Missions: Maria Theresia von Fugger-Wellenburg (1690–1792) and the Jesuit Missionaries in China and Vietnam (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2006).

18 Diaz also comments on Sanvitores’s gendered approach, Repositioning the Missionary, 171.

19 "First printed biography," 379.

20 San Juan, Vertiginous Mirrors, 12 (image) and 13.

21 Francisco García, Vida y martyrio de el Diego Luis de Sanvitores de la Compañia de Jesus, Primer apostol de las islas Marianas, y sucessos de estas islas, desde el año de mil seiscientos y sesenta y ocho, hasta el de mil seiscientos y ochenta y uno (Madrid: J. García Infanzón, 1683).

22 García, Vida y martyrio, 308.

23 García, Vida y martyrio, 339.

24 William R. Newman, Promethean Ambitions: Alchemy and the Quest to Perfect Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). Alchemists were frequently criticized as usurpers of power that belongs to God the creator alone.

25 According to Aristotle biological reproduction still required a man and a woman, but early modern interpreters of Aristotle used his claims about the miraculous powers of sperm to theorize about the possibilities of artificial life. See Newman, Promethean Ambitions, 170–71.

26 Arnold I. Davidson, "Miracles of Bodily Transformation, or How St. Francis Received the Stigmata," Critical Inquiry 35, no. 3 (2009): 451–80.

27 San Juan, Vertiginous Mirrors, contains many examples. On the reevaluation of Hans Belting’s notion of a shift from "imago" to "art" within visual studies at large, see ibid., 5.

28 Massimo Leone, Saints and Signs: A Semiotic Reading of Conversion in Early Modern Catholicism (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010) 3–4, 7.

29 García, Vida et martyrio, 185.

30 Leone, Saints and Signs, 403.

31 García, Vida et martyrio, 308.

32 Ulinka Rublack, Dressing Up. Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

33 See also Levy, "Jesuit Identity, Identifiable Jesuits."

34 Díaz, Repositioning the Missionary, 165–66.

35 García, Vida et martyrio, 379.

36 San Juan, Vertiginous Mirrors, 56–85. On Mastrilli’s self-fashioning as a martyr and his being labeled "a second Xavier," see Ines Županov, "Passage to India: Jesuit Spiritual Economy between Martyrdom and Profit in the Seventeenth Century," Journal of Early Modern History 16 (2012): 121–59.

37 García, Vida et martyrio, 339.

38 Ibid., 295.

39 Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 46–47.

40 Quoted in Diaz, Repositioning the Missionary, 126.

41 Ibid., 178–79.

42 Cited in ibid., 50.

43 Cited in ibid., 32.

44 Russell, Tiempon i Manmofo’na, 295–300.

45 Diaz, Repositioning the Missionary, 70.

46 García, Vida et martyrio, 273–74.

47 Estimates of the Chamorros population and the causes behind the dramatic decline vary. Some argue that population decline began before Spanish arrival and that disease rather than outright Spanish violence hastened it. See Richard J. Shell, "The Marianas Population Decline: 17th-century Estimates," The Journal of Pacific History 34, no. 3 (1999): 291–305. Hezel, Conquest to Colonization.

48 Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 56.

49 Eusebio Francisco Kino, Kino Writes to the Duchess. Letters of Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J., to the Duchess of Aveiro, ed. Ernest J. Burrus (Rome: Jesuit Historical Institute, 1965), 75.

50 Cited in de Boye, Vita et obitus, 13.

51 Peter Burschel, Sterben und Unsterblichkeit: Zur Kultur des Martyriums in der frühen Neuzeit (Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 2004), especially 229–88, here 262.

52 Matthias Tanner, Societatis Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitae profusionem militans (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandeae, 1675).

53 Ibid., 270.

54 Peter Burschel, "Männliche Tode–weibliche Tode. Zur Anthropologie des Martyriums in der frühen Neuzeit," Saeculum 50, no. 1 (1999): 75–97. On the cult of martyrdom in general, see Brad Gregory, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), 250–314.

55 Burschel, "Männliche Tode–weibliche Tode," 75–97, especially 76–79; Burschel, "Einleitung," in Vorbild Inbild Abbild: Religiöse Lebensmodelle in geschlechtergeschichtlicher Perspektive, ed. Peter Burschel and Anne Conrad (Freiburg im Breisgau: Rombach, 2003), 9–15, especially 14.

56 On Marie de L’Incarnation as a femme forte, see Natalie Zemon Davis, Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-century Lives (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 1995), 63–139. Also Jean de Brébeuf, "Important Advice to Those Whom It Shall Please God to Call to New France, Especially the Country of the Hurons," in Jesuit Writings of the Early Modern Period 1540–1640, ed. and transl. by John Patrick Donnelly (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2006), 121–30.

57 Although individual Protestant and Anabaptist women were venerated as martyrs in their confessional circles, there was no publicly sanctioned model for women. Protestant elites directed women towards other forms of religious witnessing. Burschel, "Männliche Tode–weibliche Tode," 83–84.

58 Patricia Simons, The Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

59 They appeared in the German edition of 1683 if not before. Matthias Tanner, Die Gesellschaft Jesu bis zur Vergießung ihres Blutes (Prague: Gedruckt in der Carolo-Ferdinandeischen Universität Buchdruckerey, 1683).

60 Luke Clossey, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 120–21, here 139. Christoph Nebgen, "dahin zillet mein verlangen und begierd," in Sendung-Eroberung-Begegnung. Franz Xavier, die Gesellschaft Jesu und die katholische Weltkirche im Zeitalter des Barock, ed. Johannes Meier (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005), 67–97, especially 82–88.

61 De Boye, Vita et obitus. A second edition appeared in 1703 as reported in Lévesque, History of Micronesia 7:371, 4–5.

62 Manoel Texeira’s description also shaped the iconography, particularly the early engravings. Cited in Leone, Saints and Signs, 404.

63 De Boye, Vita et obitus, 28–29.

64 Francis Xavier also substituted for a sick brother, supposedly stating: "Splendid, I am ready." Julius Oswald, "Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier," ahsi 71 (2002): 231–47, here 239.

65 Lévesque, History of Micronesia, 7:176 and 179.

66 Eulogy published in Italian by Fr. Ortiz, in Lévesque, History of Micronesia, 8:449 and 456.

67 Ex Insulis Marianis 25. Junii 1681, in Pavel Zavadil, "Bohemia Jesuitica in Indiis Occidentalibus. Latinská korespondence českých jezuitů z Ameriky, Filipín a Marián v českých a moravských archivech" (PhD diss., Charles University, Prague, 2012), 565; de Boye, Vita et obitus, f. 75.

68 "Account of the events in the Mariana Islands, by Fr. Angelis," in Lévesque, History of Micronesia, 7:609.

69 Augustinus Strobach, "Relatio rerum notabilium in Marianis," in Zavadil, "Bohemia Jesuitica in Indiis Occidentalibus," 571–84, here 575. De Boye included only the ethnographic information but omitted this piece of personal reflection, Vita et obitus, 81.

70 Medina was killed together with his Filipino catechist, Hipólito de la Cruz, one of many Filipinos involved in the Spanish enterprise in the Marianas. Augusto V. de Viana, In the Far Islands: The Role of Natives from the Philippines in the Conquest, Colonization and Repopulation of the Mariana Islands, 1668–1903 (Manila: University of Santo Tomas, 2004), 25–26 and 51 endnote 55.

71 Francisco de Florencia, Exemplar vida y gloriosa muerte por Christo del fervoroso P. Luis Medina […] sacada de las Noticias que el Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores, superior de las missiones Marianas, dio al R. Padre Provincial de las Filipinas (Seville: Juan Francisco de Blas, 1673). Florencia, the procurator of the Indies, dedicated the book to Queen Mariana.

72 Zavadil, "Bohemia Jesuitica in Indiis Occidentalibus."

73 Bowens, "De vita, virtutibus, et gloriosa morte," 337v; Russell, Tiempon i Manmofo’na, 308–10.

74 Ambrosio Ortiz, Istoria della conversione alla nostra santa fede dell’Isole Mariane, dette prima de’ Ladroni, nella vita, predicatione, e morte gloriosa per Christo del Venerabile P. Diego Luigi di Sanvitores, e d’altri suoi compagni della Compagnia di Giesu. Tradotta nell’ italiano con l’acrescimento di notitie (Naples: Camillo Cavallo and Michele Luigi Mutii, 1686).

75 Županov, Missionary Tropics, ch. 1, "The Sacred Body. Francis Xavier, the Apostle, the Pilgrim, the Relic."

76 A. Katie Harris, "Gift, Sale, and Theft: Juan de Ribera and the Sacred Economy of Relics in the Early Modern Mediterranean," Journal of Early Modern History 18 (2014): 193–226, especially 195–96 and 218–26; Clossey, Salvation and Globalization, 74. Alexandra Walsham, ed. Relics and Remains, Past & Present 206, suppl. 5 (2010).

77 Lévesque, History of Micronesia, 7:602.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Copies With Souls: The Late Seventeenth-century Marianas Martyrs, Francis Xavier, and the Question of Clerical Reproduction

in Journal of Jesuit Studies

Sections

References

1

Emmanuel de BoyeVita et obitus Venerabilis Patris Augustini Strobach e Societate Jesu ex Provincia Bohemiae pro Insulis Marianis electi missionarii et a rebellibus sanctae fidei in iisdem insulis barbare trucidati anno 1684 (Olomuc: Kylian1691) 131.

13

RogersDestiny’s Landfall5–20.

15

RogersDestiny’s Landfall18.

17

Ronnie Po-chia Hsia ed.Noble Patronage and Jesuit Missions: Maria Theresia von Fugger-Wellenburg (1690–1792) and the Jesuit Missionaries in China and Vietnam (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu2006).

21

Francisco GarcíaVida y martyrio de el Diego Luis de Sanvitores de la Compañia de Jesus Primer apostol de las islas Marianas y sucessos de estas islas desde el año de mil seiscientos y sesenta y ocho hasta el de mil seiscientos y ochenta y uno (Madrid: J. García Infanzón1683).

22

GarcíaVida y martyrio308.

23

GarcíaVida y martyrio339.

24

William R. NewmanPromethean Ambitions: Alchemy and the Quest to Perfect Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press2004). Alchemists were frequently criticized as usurpers of power that belongs to God the creator alone.

28

Massimo LeoneSaints and Signs: A Semiotic Reading of Conversion in Early Modern Catholicism (Berlin: De Gruyter2010) 3–4 7.

29

GarcíaVida et martyrio185.

30

LeoneSaints and Signs403.

31

GarcíaVida et martyrio308.

32

Ulinka RublackDressing Up. Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press2010).

34

DíazRepositioning the Missionary165–66.

35

GarcíaVida et martyrio379.

36

San JuanVertiginous Mirrors56–85. On Mastrilli’s self-fashioning as a martyr and his being labeled "a second Xavier" see Ines Županov "Passage to India: Jesuit Spiritual Economy between Martyrdom and Profit in the Seventeenth Century" Journal of Early Modern History 16 (2012): 121–59.

37

GarcíaVida et martyrio339.

39

RogersDestiny’s Landfall46–47.

40

 Quoted in DiazRepositioning the Missionary126.

44

RussellTiempon i Manmofo’na295–300.

45

DiazRepositioning the Missionary70.

46

GarcíaVida et martyrio273–74.

48

RogersDestiny’s Landfall56.

50

Cited in de BoyeVita et obitus13.

51

Peter BurschelSterben und Unsterblichkeit: Zur Kultur des Martyriums in der frühen Neuzeit (Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag2004) especially 229–88 here 262.

52

Matthias TannerSocietatis Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitae profusionem militans (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandeae1675).

58

Patricia SimonsThe Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2011).

60

Luke ClosseySalvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2008) 120–21 here 139. Christoph Nebgen "dahin zillet mein verlangen und begierd" in Sendung-Eroberung-Begegnung. Franz Xavier die Gesellschaft Jesu und die katholische Weltkirche im Zeitalter des Barock ed. Johannes Meier (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2005) 67–97 especially 82–88.

63

De BoyeVita et obitus28–29.

71

Francisco de FlorenciaExemplar vida y gloriosa muerte por Christo del fervoroso P. Luis Medina […] sacada de las Noticias que el Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores superior de las missiones Marianas dio al R. Padre Provincial de las Filipinas (Seville: Juan Francisco de Blas1673). Florencia the procurator of the Indies dedicated the book to Queen Mariana.

74

Ambrosio OrtizIstoria della conversione alla nostra santa fede dell’Isole Mariane dette prima de’ Ladroni nella vita predicatione e morte gloriosa per Christo del Venerabile P. Diego Luigi di Sanvitores e d’altri suoi compagni della Compagnia di Giesu. Tradotta nell’ italiano con l’acrescimento di notitie (Naples: Camillo Cavallo and Michele Luigi Mutii1686).

77

LévesqueHistory of Micronesia7:602.

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Map of the Marianas from Histoire des isles Marianes, nouvellement converties à la religion chrestienne… (Paris: N. Pepie, 1700).

  • View in gallery

    Map of Guam including Jesuit headquarters of Agaña from Histoire des isles Marianes.

  • View in gallery

    Garden image from Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitae profusionem militans… auctore R. Patre Mathia Tanner è Societate Jesu… ([Prague]: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandeae, in Collegio Societatis Jesu ad S. Clementem, per Joannem Nicolaum Hampel factorem, 1675).

  • View in gallery

    Garden image from Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis, detail.

  • View in gallery

    Image of Augustinus Strobach from Vita et obitus Venerabilis Patris Augustini Strobach è Societate Jesu… Conscripta à P. Emmanuele de Boye (Olomuc: Kylian, 1691).

  • View in gallery

    Exemplar vida, y gloriosa muerte por Christo del fervoroso P. Luis de Medina de la Compañía de Jesús… (Seville: Juan Francisco de Blas, 1673).

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 26 26 20
PDF Downloads 8 8 6
EPUB Downloads 1 1 1