Abstract

This article examines the body of Francis Xavier, preserved whole since its exhumation in 1553, through the lens of material history. It traces the corpse’s translation from the China coast to the Malay peninsula and onward to its final resting place in Goa. Historical sources relating to the many examinations of the body are discussed, as well as the devotional traditions that emerged as a result of the miraculous preservation of the body in the tropic heat of Western India. Testimony from late-sixteenth- and seventeenth-century visitors sheds light on how early-modern Asian Catholics understood the relic.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 41-64
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-01
Open Access
No
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