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The Saint

Simon Templar (Val Kilmer) -- who is not really named Simon Templar -- is THE SAINT, a man of countless disguises whose modus operandi is to use a different saint's name in each new identity. He is also a thief who never fails to elude authorities all over the globe. But when he is asked by an ambitious former-Communist-turned-energy-industry-billionaire named Ivan Treitak (Rade Serbedzija) to steal the secret plans explaining how to create cold fusion as an energy source in the midst of an energy crisis Treitak himself created, he more than meets his match when he makes the acquaintance of one Emma Russell (Elisabeth Shue), the brilliant scientist who developed the cold-fusion formula. Through the magic of disguises ranging from a nerdy physicist to a Byronesque artiste, Templar manages to win the confidence of Russell, steals the cold-fusion documents, but also finds himself falling for her at the same time. Russell manages to track Templar to Moscow, where they both must escape the clutches of both the Russian government and Treitak and his Russian mob goons, prevent another Russian revolution instigated by Treitak, and prove to the Russian people that Treitak is both a fraud and a traitor. Templar must also find it in his heart to give in to his affection for Russell.

The Saint

The Portuguese Jesuit de Britto, who moved into the Ramnad kingdom in 1685, missionized amid such turbulent politics. Regarded as a political or military threat by the Cetupati, he was arrested later that same year allegedly after interception of correspondence with a missionary linked to the Dutch (Nevett 1980, 1969-70). He was imprisoned and tortured, first at the temple town of Kalaiyarkovil and then at Ramnad before being deported. Much about de Britto remains contested and in need of further research, but the emphasis in the various hagiographic narratives of the saint's life is then focused on his return to Maravar country as a fugitive in 1691. He lives in the forests and is protected by pāḷaiyakkārars opposed to the Cetupati. One of these, Tadaiya Tevar of Siruvalli and rival to the throne, converts to Christianity in 1692 after a miraculous cure. Conversions follow among his retinue and dependents and en masse in the villages of his domain. Britto insists that on being baptized Tadaiya Tevar keep only his first wife, divorcing all others including Kadalai, his youngest spouse and Kilavan Cetupati's niece. Enraged by this dishonor to his kin, Kilavan rearrests Britto and banishes him to the frontier fort of Oriyur with execution instructions, sealed to avoid the uprising that the preacher's public death might provoke among the considerable Christian population. De Britto was indeed beheaded on 4 February 1693 and his body impaled on a stake-like his Lord, tortured and murdered as a political criminal.

The martyr became incorporated into the regional pantheon as a warrior embattled with the demonic in a way that overflows this political analysis (see chapter 2), and Britto would likely have seen his own vocation within the contemporaneous Jesuit narrative of mission as suffering on distant shores for the salvation of others' souls, and through martyrdom winning the prize of sainthood (Wright 2004, 73). The Brahmans meanwhile considered the Christian practice Britto was propagating as socially and ritually degrading as well as politically dangerous. As competing "professional ideology makers" (Županov 1999, 20), they offered intense opposition, spreading suspicion of Christians' unclean association with Parangis, accusing them of the heinous act of trading cows for slaughter and advising the ostracism of converts to cēris (untouchable settlements) (Nevett 1980, 151; Manickam 2001, 197-98, 200-201). 041b061a72


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