Missionaries and Redemption
Chapter 4 takes the concern with Chinese infanticide to its widest global audience, that of nineteenth-century Euro-American Catholic schoolchildren, who were galvanized in humanitarian action by the pontifical charity the Oeuvre de la Sainte-Enfance (Holy Childhood Association). The charity, which was originally established in 1843 to support overseas missionaries in their rescue and redemption of heathen Chinese children through the sacrament of baptism, enjoined Catholic children around the world to make regular contributions to aid this cause, deploying images and texts that promoted the idea of widespread infanticide in China. The Sainte-Enfance’s annual tally of infant souls saved was an important marker of the growing worldwide success of the organization.
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