The Devout Communicant could refer to any one of three works with this title. The one by the English Franciscan Friar Pacificus Baker (1695-1774) is noted for its lush, pious language and could have influenced the boy's couching his sexual feelings for the girl in pious images. William York Tindall, one of the pioneers of Joyce studies in the United States, held that the work Joyce had in mind was one by Abednego Sellar, as the author's name reinforces the materialistic themes of "Araby." Joyce's anti-clerical views also support this choice, as Abednego was a Protestant clergyman -- as was James Ford, the author of a third book by this title in print at the time. More important than specifically identifying which work Joyce had in mind here is the fact of the influence of the devoutly pious language of any of these works on the young boy's vocabulary and outlook.