Sunday, 31 October 2010

More copies of the Khristapurana

The last week has been particularly fertile in terms of unearthing traces of copies of Thomas Stephens' Khristapurana.

Fr Angelo Monteiro who teaches at the Rachol Seminary, Goa, told me that the current Rector of the Seminary is in contact with two people who have manuscripts of the Khristapurana, one in Mapusa, the other in Arambol. Both are, for the present, unwilling to part with or even allow copies to be made of their manuscripts. [News as of 31 January 2011: According to Fr Michael Mascarenhas, SDB, the Arambol copy has been acquired by Fr Pratap Naik, SJ, Director of the Thomas Stephens Koknni Kendr, Alto Porvorim, Goa.]

Fr Michael Mascarenhas pointed out to me yesterday that Jacome Goncalves, famous follower of Jose Vaz, had carried the Khristapurana to Sri Lanka, and had made a translation of it into Singalese, under the title Deva Veda Puranaya. Some indications are in Fr Michael's book, Storm and Tempest: Life of Jose Vaz. So Sri Lanka becomes another field of search!

"The term [purana] was also used by Thomas Stephen [sic], a missionary from England, in the title of his book Christ Purana, written in Konkani language. This important work consists [sic] 10,962 verses, and undoubtedly it influenced Fr Gonsalves' Deva Veda Puranaya." (A. Fernandopulle, Father Jacome Gonsalves: Sinhala Christian Literary Hero [Colombo: St Peter's College, 2000] 14)