Noli Me Tangere is Latin for "touch me not, " an allusion to the Gospel of St. John where Jesus says to Mary Magdelene: "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father." In this modern classic of Filipino literature, Jose P. Rizal exposes "matters...so delicate that they cannot be touched by anybody, " unfolding an epic history of the Philippines that has made it the most influential political novel in that country in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The popularity of this novel is grounded in its reflection of the turbulent times in which it was written. Its influence on Filipino political thinking, as well as on contemporary fiction, drama, opera, dance, and film, has been and continues to be enormous. The vivid characters and the harsh situations depicted still ring true today.