Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

". . . Nelle Indie Di Quaggiù": San Francesco De Geronimo E I Processi Di Evangelizzazione Nel Mezzogiorno Moderno: Atti del Convegno Di Studio (Grottaglie, 6 E 7 Maggio 2005)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

". . . Nelle Indie Di Quaggiù": San Francesco De Geronimo E I Processi Di Evangelizzazione Nel Mezzogiorno Moderno: Atti del Convegno Di Studio (Grottaglie, 6 E 7 Maggio 2005)

Article excerpt

". . . nelle Indie di quaggiù": San Francesco de Geronimo e i processi di evangelizzazione nel Mezzogiorno moderno: Atti del Convegno di Studio (Grottaglie, 6 e 7 maggio 2005). Edited by Mario Spedicato. [Cultura e Storia: Collana dellia Società di Storia Patria, Sezione di Lecce, 12.] (Galatina, Lecce: Edizioni Panico. 2006. Pp. 383. paperback. ISBN 88-88156-40-2,)

The highly descriptive letters of Francis Xavier and those of other Jesuits from the Indies-a term that was synonymous with the general missionary effort outside of Europe-became such an alluring force that countless Jesuits petitioned the superior general to be sent to work and possibly die a martyr's death in the Indies. So strong was this pull to the Indies that Jesuit superiors had to remind their charges that working in rural areas or among the poor in Europe had equal merit since it was inhabited by those equally ignorant of the faith. Thus the rural and urban areas of southern Italy known as the Mezzogiorno became known as 'Our Indies" or 'Our Indies down here." The great Jesuit missionary who worked in the "Indies down here" was St. Francis de Geronimo (1642-1716). In commemoration of the two hundredth anniversary of his beatification (1806), a congress and the subsequent published acts explored the various aspects of the work of Francis de Geronimo and the Society of Jesus in the Mezzogiorno.

The first essay by Mario Spedicato, examines how historians have understood de Geronimo's activities and how historiography has changed reflecting various concerns of each age. Dino Levante's contribution entails a most thorough bibliography of both the saint's own writings and articles and books concerning his life and work. Giuseppe Orlandi explores the differences between the mentality and lifestyle of the itinerant Jesuit missionary and his more stayat-home confreres living in a college. Since missionary Jesuits were frequently assigned to a specific college for their temporal support and a place to hang their cassock, there were frequently some differences in ways of looking at the world between the missionary and the academician. Differences occurred between Jesuit and Jesuit (no surprise there) and likewise differences in ways of evangelizing the Mezzogiorno occurred between the different orders who labored in Italy's Indies. …

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