Allen Thrasher athr at
Mon Apr 14 13:54:37 UTC 1997

Re St. Napoleon:

There is one, though I am doing reference duty at the Asian RR desk and
can't check Butler's Lives of the Saints.  How do you think Buonaparte got
his Christian name?  Napoleon the Emperor encouraged the spread of the
cult of Napoleon the Saint, without much permanent success, obviously. 

I asked my late colleague Dr. Sam Iftikhar, a Pakistani (Punjabi) 
Christian (Presbyterian), once, why S. Asian Christians sometimes had for
personal names English family names.  He said they were the names of
specially respected missionaries.  Which implies that it was not thought
that every European name and only European names were suitable for

My impression is that S. Asian Christian females are more likely to have
'Indian' (large scare quotes) names in addition to or instead of a saint's
name than males.

Allen W. Thrasher

The opinions expressed do not represent those of my employer.

On Sat, 12 Apr 1997, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> >
> >Dear Philp. Patrick and Olivelle,
> >
> >I have a niece in Bangalore whose name is Melanie. Her friends write it in
> >all possible ways: Malini, Melleny, Melony.... You know there are about 17
> >million christians in India and we were until some years ago forced to have
> >an European saint's name at our baptism. I was for example baptised with
> >the name "Boniface" which I changed to "Anand" when I was adult. The
> >European missionaries just couldn't believe us when we said that we were
> >going to be the first christian  saints with names like "Krishnamoorthy"
> >Ramagopalachari" "Janadhana" and so forth. And so were forced to have
> >ghastly names like Victor, Caesar and Napoleon... 
> I never heard about a Christian saint called Napoleon!! And saint Caesar is
> new to me, too. Or did the missionaries simply believe that all Europeans
> should be regarded as saints?
> Best regards,
> Lars Martin Fosse

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