Hong Kong: Catholic Truth Society, 1941. First edition. Octavo, original red brocade silk boards with gilt titling, sewn spine, printed on double-folded leaves, bindery sticker and C.T.S. sticker to bottom of front pastedown. Tiny nick to the top edge of the binding, gentle toning to the edges of front board, else a fresh and bright, nearly-fine copy. Item #465
"THE LITTLE FLOWER CLINGS TO CHRIST WITH A SINGLE-HEARTED TENACITY" First edition of this splendidly-bound devotional study of Thèrése of Lisieux, written by an influential Chinese convert to Roman Catholicism. John Ching Hsiung Wu was educated in the United States and Europe and he had become a respected author and jurist when he converted from Protestantism in 1937 after reading Story of a Soul. Wu saw his tribute to the beloved Carmelite saint as a Catholic debut of sorts, as evidenced by his Dedication: "To the Holy Trinity, to Whom I owe everything, this first confession of my Faith is dedicated with filial gratitude and love." Wu and his family resided in Rome in the late 1940s while he represented the Chinese government at the Holy See in the years before the Communist Revolution in 1949.
The dedication is followed by Wu's Paraphrase which concludes: "The Little Flower is a facsimile of the Kingdom of Heaven. In the words of the Chinese Sage Lao Tze: 'Small in its primordial simplicity, the Tao is inferior to nothing in the world. It only a ruler would keep to it, everything would render homage unto him.' Christ is THE TAO Incarnated, and anyone who clings to Him becomes one with Him. The little Flower clings to Christ with single-hearted tenacity, and that is why she has grown into an evergreen in whose branches even the Angels of Heaven can make their nests." The Science of Love was published by the Catholic Truth Society of Hong Kong with a short Introduction by N. Maestrini, who also granted the Nihil Obstat. The text concludes with an advertisement for a catalogue of Catholic Books printed by the C.T.S. in Hong Kong and an appeal for donations to the "Catholic Literature Distribution Fund" to further the spread of Catholic literature in Chinese. The book was printed by the Nazareth Press and bound by the Corona Printing Press, both in Hong Kong. Approbations.