FRANÇOIS-MARIE DE TOURS

FRANÇOIS-MARIE DE TOURS (Francesco Maria Da Tours, Franciscus M. Turonensis). 16?? — Patna ?.5.1709. Father. French Capuchin Missionary in India and Tibet. Came from Tours and joined the order in Italy. Worked first as Capuchin Missionary in Diarbekir, Turkey, came to India in 1680. Worked in Pondicherry and Surat, in 1701 left for Europe. Arrived in France 1702, 1703-04 in Rome preparing the Tibet mission. In 1706 from India to Kathmandu, in 1707 arrived at Lhasa with Giuseppe da Ascoli (1673–1710). Wessels claims to Lhasa already in 1704.Together they founded the Capuchin Mission there and prepared in 1708 the Latin–Tibetan dictionary, which was then brought to Europe by —> Domenico da Fano (manuscript in Rome, abridged version in Paris). In India he was a vehement critic of Jesuit mission.

Publications: Manuscript Lexicon Linguae Indianae (quoted under slightly different titles, also as lingua Mogalana, the Mughal language, i.e. Hindūstānī, but using Moṛī Devanāgarī) together with Grammatica Linguae Indianae Vulgaris sive Mogolanae in 2 vols. prepared in Surat in 1702-04, apparently revised by Cassiano da Macerata and then kept in the library of Propaganda Fide in Rome. Now the dictionary (424 p.) is in Paris and the grammar (74 p.) in Rome.

Questions proposées à la sacrée congregation de la propaganda sur les ceremonies payennes que certains missionaires permettent aux Chrétiens Malabares dans les Indes Orientales. 85 p. Liège 1704.

Sources: R. Kaschewsky, “The Role of François Marie de Tours in the Capuchin Mission in India and Tibet”, Or. Suecana 69, 2020, 29-41; U. Nardella, La conoscenza dell’ Asia 3, 1989, 10f.; N.W. Wessler, “Indian and Universal? The Significance of F.-M. de T. for the Case of Hindi”, Fs. R.P. Das. Heidelberg 2020, 469-491

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