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Rare map showing the Catholic Missions in China.

The map includes topographical details, locations of Missionaries, locations of Christian populations, an the limits of the regions served by the Missionaries. The elaborate table identifies the different affiliations of the missionaries in China (Franciscan, Congregation de la Mission, Jesuit, Missions-Etrangeres de Paris, Dominicans, etc.), the location of each Mission, population details, churchas, missionaries, and a host of other details.

Adrien Launay was a French Missionary and later chronicler of the history of the French Missions in Indo-China at end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries. His work became a primary reference for many future historians.

The Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (Society of Foreign Missions of Paris) is a Roman Catholic missionary organization of secular priests and lay persons dedicated to missionary work in foreign lands. The Society of Foreign Missions of Paris was established 1658-63. In 1659, the instructions for the establishment of the Paris Foreign Missions Society were given by Rome's Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, and marked the creation of a missionary institution that did not depend on the control of the traditional missionary and colonial powers of Spain or Portugal. In the 350 years since its foundation, the institution has sent more than 4.200 missionary priests to Asia and North America, with the mission of adapting to local customs, establishing a native clergy, and keeping close contacts with Rome.

In the 19th century, the local persecutions of missionary priests of the Societe was often a pretext for French military intervention in Asia. In Vietnam, the persecutions were used by the French government to justify the armed interventions of Jean-Baptiste Cécille and Rigault de Genouilly. In China, the murder of Father Auguste Chapdelaine became the cause for the French involvement in the Second Opium War in 1856. In Korea, persecutions were used to justify the 1866 French campaign against Korea.