Category Archives: Chinese History

#288 – The Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism

The Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism – Xǔ Guāngqǐ, Lǐ Zhīzǎo, and Yáng Tíngyún worked with Jesuit missionaries such as Fr. Matteo Ricci, SJ to bring the knowledge of Western science and Catholic faith into China. However, for these Three Pillars, adoption of Christianity was not seen as something new – rather it was seen as a return to the Chinese traditions of the past.

Links for Xǔ Guāngqǐ:
Video of Xǔ Guāngqǐ’s Tomb
Video presentation on the relationship of Matteo Ricci and Xǔ Guāngqǐ
Video documentary on Xǔ Guāngqǐ – trailer, part 2/4 of the full documentary

Image of statue and painting of Xǔ Guāngqǐ
Image and statue of Matteo Ricci and Xǔ Guāngqǐ

Articles on Xǔ Guāngqǐ can be found here and here

Links for Lǐ Zhīzǎo:
Article on Lǐ Zhīzǎo can be found here
The map of the world made by Matteo Ricci, SJ and Lǐ Zhīzǎo

Links for Yáng Tíngyún
Article on Yáng Tíngyún can be found here

Fontana, Michela. Matteo Ricci: A Jesuit in the Ming Court. Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.
Standaert, N. Yang Tingyun, Confucian and Christian in Late Ming China: His Life and Thought. BRILL, 1988.
Wang, Xiaochao. Christianity and Imperial Culture: Chinese Christian Apologetics in the Seventeenth Century
and Their Latin Patristic Equivalent
. Studies in Christian Mission v. 20. Leiden ; Boston: Brill, 1998.

Photo of Church built by Lǐ Zhīzǎo and Yáng Tíngyún

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podcasticon#288 – The Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism”


Today in Catholic History – The Arrest of Bishop Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei

On 8 September 1955, more than 200 Chinese Catholics including the Bishop of Shanghai Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei were arrested for their refusal to accept the “Three Autonomies” movement to separate the Catholic Church of China from the Holy See and Bishop Kung’s steadfast defense of the Catholic faith. Despite government opposition, Bishop Kung organized the establishment of the Legion of Mary and declared 1952 to be a Marian Year in Shanghai. Indeed, it was for participation in the Legion of Mary that most of the Chinese Catholics were arrested.

After his arrest, the Chinese authorities will try to get Bishop Kung to publicly confess his “crimes” at a stadium in Shanghai, instead the Bishop will shout out “Long live Christ the King! Long live the Pope!”. He will be sentenced to life imprisonment. Pope John Paul II would make him a cardinal in pectore in 1979 but Cardinal Kung would not learn this until 1988 after he had been released by the Chinese government. Cardinal Kung died on 12 March 2000 in Stamford, Connecticut.

An account of one priest who was arrested along with Cardinal Kung

#216 – Matteo Ricci and the Wonderful Clock

Next year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Fr. Matteo Ricci, SJ who became a model of Catholic evangelization. If he had advice for the evangelizers of today, it might be to bring a clock.

Journey to the East – Book on the Jesuit Missions to China
“Weaving a profound dialogue between East and West” from Ignatius Press
“How Rome Went To China” – the missionary work of Matteo Ricci and the Society of Jesus from the Library of Congress
The Clocks of Matteo Ricci – includes very interesting video of a clock that writes in Chinese
Chinese songs written by Matteo Ricci
The Map of Matteo Ricci

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podcasticon#216 – Matteo Ricci and the Wonderful Clock