XAVIER, Jerónimo (J. Javier, Hieronymus Xaverius, Jerónimo de Ezpeleta y Goñi). Buro, Diocese of Pamplona, Navarra 1549 — Goa 27.6.1617. S.J. Spanish Missionary in India. Grand-nephew of —> Francisco X., son of Miguel de Ezpeleta. Joined S.J. in Alcalá in 1568, studied there and in Toledo. Ordained priest 1575. In 1581 came to India. Worked eight years as Rector of Colleges in Bassein and Cochin, then two years as Superior in Goa and one year as Master of novices. In 1594 he was sent, together with —> Bento de Góis and Emmanuel Pinheiro to the Mughal Court in Lahore and worked 23 years there, alternatingly in favour and in prison, trying to convert Akbar and Jahangir in long religious discussions. In court he associated with Persian scholars and learned well the language. In 1615 he returned to Goa and became Rector of St.Paul College, but died soon as Archbishop elect of Cranganore.
Publications: Wrote Christian works in Persian, some then published with Latin translation by L. de Dieu (1590–1642) in Leiden.
– Uncertain is the authorship (J.X. or Pinheiro) of the manuscript edited by J. Flores, The Mughal “Padshah”: A Jesuit Treatise on Emperor Jahangir’s Court and Household. 12+182 p. Leiden 2016.
– H. Hosten, “Some Letters of Fr. J.X., SJ, to his Family (1593-1612)”, JASB N.S. 23, 1927, 131-136.
Sources: H. Beveridge, “Father J.X.”, JASB 57:1, 1888, 33-39; Father Felix, “Jesuit Mission in Lahore”, JPHS 5, 1916 (1918), 55–99 (esp. p. 75); *Y. Martini, Akbar e i Gesuiti. Missionari cristiani alla corte del Gran Moghul. Trapani 2018; Wikipedia; portrait in JRAS-MalBr 9, 1931, pl. xxix.
On his Persian works see Beveridge (above); A. Camps, “Persian works of J.X., a Jesuit at the Mughal Court”, Camps, Studies in Asian Mission History, 1959-1998. Leiden 2000, 33-45; *H. Hosten, “Fr. J.X.’s Persian Lives of the Apostles”, JASB N.S. 19, 1914, 65-84.
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