Jesuits in China


Manuel Teixeira*


In Guangzhou there was a tomb with the following epitaph:

PREVIOUS PAGE: Ornamental bordure. In: LUCENA, João de, Historia da Vida do Padre Francisco Xavier E do que fizerão na India os mais Religiosos da Companhia de Ie∫u / composta pelo Padre Ioam de Lucena da mesma Companhia [...], Lisboa, Pedro Crasbeack, 1600, title page - detail.

This is the translation:

"Here lies Fr. Giuseppe Provana, professed priest of the Society of Jesus and China's missionary, who was sent to Europe as an Ambassador [Legatus] by Kangxi, Emperor of China. On his return, he died near the Cape of Good Hope, as the 7th of February 1720; at the age of 62 and for 24 years was dedicated to the Society and, by order of the Emperor, was buried at this site on the 17th of December 1722".


In Fr. Provana's mausoleum there was also a Chinese epitaph, inscribed by the Kangxi Emperor's representative at the funeral, which read as follows:

"Going back to the origin of venerable master Giuseppe Provana, we believe he was Italian by birth and, according to his various occupations, must have ascended from an illustrious family. With knowledge above his age and filled with Heavenly blessings, still young, he renounced his inheritance and the expectations of the century in order to consecrate himself to God by choosing a voluntary celibacy and the promise to spread His Holy name throughout the remotest nations. Thus, he joined a pious community of Holy priests and, soon after, impelled by the desire to fulfil his pledges, he left his country and sailed to far-away lands, to preach and convert other peoples to his religion.

Arriving at Guangdong's Province coastland, he travelled to the capital of the Empire', where he arrived in the fourtieth year and the tenth month of Kangxi's reign [KX 14:10] and there he remained for a period of five years, completely dedicated to his noble ministry.

Sent to Europe as the Emperor's Ambassador to the reigning Pope1 and to the King of France, Louis XIV, to deal with religious matters, he had to cross over the seas and was stricken with a serious and long illness which kept him away for thirteen years, that is, till the fifty-eighth year and ninth month of Kangxi's reign.

The Pope, aware that his hazardous state of health would require a longer stay in Europe, made plans to send another Ambassador on his behalf. However, such plans were far from pleasing to the unselfish missionary.

Most grateful for all the Emperor's kindnesses and faithful to the accomplishment of his duties, neither his poor health, nor the dangers of the sea could break his courage. He sailed once again, and en route through the great Atlantic Ocean, arriving at the Cape of Good Hope, after a terrible storm, he was taken violently ill and suffering the fate destined to all mortals, he passed away.

Though filled with the merits of a whole life of virtues and achievements, one can say that he reached the summit through this act of devotion and that Heaven undoubtedly wished to reward him for such a noble sacrifice by summoning him to the Almighty. So, he departed this World in the fifty-ninth year and sixth month of Kangxi's reign. His body was taken to the City of Guangzhou and entrusted to the Temple of the White Clouds; it remained there for the next two years awaiting the Emperor's decision as to the grave's location.

By order of His Majesty, a plot2 of land was granted for his burial as well as other resources in order to maintain this place with honour and decorum.

There, now rest the mortal remains of this great master, perpetuating for all time the memory of his merits and virtues.

As for myself, who was chosen by the Emperor to carry out this important mission, I see no better way to accomplish this task than to remember the merits of this illustrious Doctor of the Church and engrave them on stone. And You, Great Master, already enjoying eternal happiness, seated on the throne of Your Glory, be kind enough to listen favourably to our prayers and show a heart full of mercy and goodness to all who came to this City and this place to pay homage to your memory and seek courage in the recollection of your virtues.

Made in the sixtieth year, eleventh month, tenth day of Kangxi Emperor's reign [KX 6011:10]".3


His name was Antonio Francesco Giuseppe Provana and he came from an illustrious Savoy family.

He was born in Nice, Piemonte, on the 23rd of October 1662 and entered the Society in Milan, on the 15th of February 1678.

In 1693, he sailed from Lisbon to China but the ship was forced into harbour by stormy weather. He took advantage of this incident and visited the Diocese of Évora, preaching with much success.

In 1694, he embarked again, reaching Macao on the 4th of October 1695.

In 1696-1697, he baptised more than two-thousand people in Jiangzhou, Shanxi. In 1699-1701, he preached the gospel in the Provinces of Henan, Shaanxi and Shanxi. At Kaifenfu (Kaifen) he founded a Church, built by the Austrian Jesuit Christian Wolfgang Herdtrich, which was closed by order of the Mandarin. This Mandarin had terrorised the entire mission, but Provana reopened it and, in a short time, baptised over three-hundred people; five leagues from there he baptised yet another three hundred and, right after that, twenty families living within a short distance. Improvising as architect, he built a Church for these Christians.

From Kaifenfu (Kaifen) he went to Taiyuenfu, the capital of Shanxi, where he rebuilt a Church which had been erected by the Belgian Jesuit Nicolas Trigault and there he converted many people.

Boero states that Provana: "was always moving around, making long journeys on foot through the mountains, crossing rivers, fearless of neither rain or cold, nor the attacks of pirates, or the raids of soldiers, making very successful conversions of souls wherever he went."4

Kangxi Emperor. An Engraving by Martinet after a Drawing by Panzi. In: DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste, S. J., A Description of the empire of China and Chinese Tartary [...], 2 vols., London, Printed by T. Gardner for Edward Cave, 1738-1741, vol.1, fly page - detail.

On the outskirts of Shanxi a rich pagan priest had built a Temple much to the liking of his Gods and employed a Bonze to serve him, but, having converted himself, he gave the Temple to Fr. Provana and dismissed the Bonze. Furious at his master's decision, the Bonze exposed the novice to the Mandarins, who banished him and sold the Temple to the disciple of Fó. 5 As soon as Fr. Provana was informed of what happened, he immediately went to see the Province's main Magistrates and spoke to them in such a courageous and convincing manner, that they called the novice from his exile, banished the Bonze once again and returned the Temple, which was then converted into a Church.

In 1702, Provana travelled to Beijing, where he worked for five years.


That same year of 1702, Clemente XI sent his Legate a latere Card. Charles Thomas Maillard de Tournon (Patriarch of Antioch), to China, to discusss the Controversy over the Chinese Rites. He was rather radical and instructed the missionaries to pay attention to the Bull [Cum Deus Optimus] issued by the Holy Office, dated the 20th of November 1704, forbidding all Chinese Christians to attend or perform celebrations in honour of Confucius and His ancestors.

The Emperor retaliated by banishing from China all missionaries who complied with this Bull and so, in 1707, Tournon and eighteen of his followers were banished to Macao.

At the same time the Emperor decided to send several Ambassadors to Rome in order to dissuade the Pope from his disapproval of the Rites.

In that same year of 1707 Kangxi sent two Ambassadors to Lisbon and Rome: Frs. António de Barros6 and Antoine de Beauvollier, 7 but on the 2nd of January 1708, they both perished in a shipwreck at the passage of the Ancora River, in Caminha.

These two priests were the bearers of copies of written records by Charles Maillard de Tournon as well as the Kangxi Emperor Decrees, questions and answers, every item drawn out from the Imperial Palace archives and translated, to be handed over to the Pope, from whom the Emperor demanded satisfaction for the abuses perpetrated by the Patriarch, and also that Rome should make no changes whatsoever in so far as the Chinese Rites were concerned.

All these documents were lost at sea.


Rome was inflexible regarding the Rites Controversy. Pope Clemente XI was surrounded by Counsellors who were against the Rites and the Portuguese Ecclesiastical Patronage. Instead of listening attentively to what each party had to say and show some consideration not only to Kangxi, a very good friend of the missionaries and a much learned Emperor, but also to the magnanimous and most devoted Portuguese King Dom João V, he totally rejected all the appeals made by these two rulers. The consequences were tragic for the China mission.

If Pope Clemente XI "dug their common grave", Clemente XVI, in his Brief dated the 21st of June 1773, Dominus ac Redemptor, the Pope extinguished the Society, "throwing into that grave" the founders and followers of the China missions.


Consequently, Fr. Provana's mission was doomed to failure and this failure, eventually, killed him.

After the deaths of Barros and Beauvollier, Kangxi decided to appoint another two Jesuits to go to Rome to intercede in the Rites Controversy: the Spaniards José Ramón Arxó8 (or Arjó) and Provana.

On the 14th of January 1708, they sailed from Macao accompanied by the Chinese cathechist Louis Fan Shouyi who, in 1709, had entered the Society's Noviciate, in Rome, being there ordained, in 1717.

It was this humble catechist who was to be Fr. Provana's inseparable companion, considering the fact that Arxó returned to Spain, where he died.

Referring to Fr. Provana's mission, King Dom João V wrote a letter, dated the 3rd of April 1709, to his Viceroy of India, Dom Rodrigo da Costa:

"Father Provana, from the Society of Jesus, has arrived aboard a ship bound from Solor and Timor. He was sent by the Emperor of China to state to His Holiness the legitimate motives of his complaint about the irregular conduct of the Patriarch of Antiochy (Maillard de Tournon) in the Empire, asking for a most urgent explanation, and expecting that I would take a personal interest in the matter. And, as the documents brought by the aforesaid Father and those sent by the Bishop and the Governor of Macao made it quite clear that the Patriarch not only proved to be an enemy of the Portuguese nation, by provoking disunity between the Emperor and his Ministers, but also violating the exclusive rights behoving to my Royal Patronage [...] I decided to sent to Rome, as soon as possible, the Marquis of Fontes, my Extraordinary Ambassador, to explain to His Holiness the considerable prejudice caused to the Catholic Church in China by the mentioned Patriarch with the decree issued by him condemning the Chinese Rites, which had been approved by Popes Gregorio XIV and Alessandro VI, so strongly displeasing the Emperor, that he had banished the said Patriarch from his domains, sending him to Macao9 and forbidding all missionaries from preaching the Catholic Religion [...] and this being such a serious matter, I would expect His Holiness to promptly agree to giving satisfaction to the mentioned Emperor as well as to this Crown. And because the aforesaid Fr. Provana was in a hurry to go to Rome, prior to the Ambassador, I have instructed my Envoy at that Curia to talk to His Holiness about this most delicate matter before the Ambassador arrives and herewith enclose this Father's exhibits."10

What were those exhibits?

They are mentioned in the Missionaries Catalogue, drawn out from the Books of the Society of Jesus, printed in China, reading as follows:

1. "During his stay in Rome, he presented at least five Papers to the Holy See about the matters in dispute over the Rites; the answers came from Maillard de Tournon's defenders."

2. "Libellus supplex P. Provana, nomine Patrum Societalis Clemente XI, anno 1709, oblatus."


It is clear that the Pope did not read any of this.

Likewise all démarches made by King Dom João V's Extraordinary Ambassador to the Holy See, Dom Rodrigo Annes de Sá Almeida e Meneses, were of no avail.

Empereur de la Chine (Emperor of China). In: DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste, S. J., Description Geographique, Historique, Chronologique, Politique, Et Physique, De L'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise, 4 vols., Haye, Chez Henri Scheurleer, 1736, vo1. 2, p.96 -- detail.

And why? Because the Pope gave ear to two tenacious enemies of the Rites Controversy, of the [Portuguese] Patronage and of the Jesuits, Bp. Charles Maigrot, M. E. P. 11and Bp. Giovanni Francesco Nicolai, a Franciscan, 12 who received what he wanted from Rome and made suggestions to the Pope on how to deal with Fr. Provana. When Provana arrived in Rome he was already doomed by the a letter written on the 10th of October 1717, by Francesco Nicolai to Pope Clemente XI. The Pope followed to the letter Nicolai's directions, making a 'clean sweep' of the Ambassadorial priviliges that Provana had been invested with.

He said that with the persistence of the Portuguese Ambassador Dom Rodrigo de Sá Almeida, Marquis of Fontes, Provana would soon arrive in Rome, on his return to China.

Nicolai severely chastised him and offered suggestions to the Pope on how to receive Provana. 13

His suggestions were as follows.

In a Report written by Nicolai about the events that occurred during the Pope's audiences, he said that, on the 14th of January 1718, His Holiness received the Ambassador Dom Rodrigo de Sá.

That same day he also saw Frs. Provana and Fan, in the presence of Nicolai, a sworn enemy of the Jesuits. Both priests, then and there, had to render total and unconditional obedience to the Bule Ex Illa Die, dated the 19th of March 1715, which condemned the Rites.

After that and by order of the Pope, they immediately went to see Cardinal Pietro Luigi Carafa (Archbishop of Larissa), secretary of the Propaganda Fide's Congregation and there they signed an oath (as established by the Bule Ex Illa Die) against the Rites at the high oratory of the Propaganda's College, before a notary and witnesses. Provana was not even given the chance to explain the reasons for his visit.

And so, with broken hearts, Provana and Fan Shouyi left Rome and returned to Portugal.

However, the oath they had taken was still not enough. On the 30th of January, at an audience given by the Pope to Nicolai, Clemente XI declared that the two Jesuits would have to renew that oath, in Lisbon, before the Society of Jesus Superior and a copy of this document was to be sent, at once, to the Curia, in Rome. 14


Poor Provana! In the 14th of January 1708, he had left Macao for a meeting with the Pope as Kangxi's Ambassador. He had achieved absolutely nothing at that meeting, and only eight years later was he able to return home. Rather than physical, his moral sufferings must have been dreadful and they were surely responsible for his death.

His companion, Fan Shouyi, with no major responsibilities in the whole matter, arrived in Macao with his master's corpse.

On the 15th of May 1719, they had both sailed from Lisbon on board the Crown's vessel S. Francisco Xavier, under the command of Captain Jean Larivière.

On the 15th of March 1720, Fr. Provana died, near the Cape of Good Hope.

On the 30th of June 1720, the ship arrived in Macao's port. In December 1720, the Macao Senate informed the Viceroy of India:

"The vessel S. Francisco Xavier arrived from Lisbon, in July, having taken fourteen months on its voyage, and has brought Father Provana's dead body. Aware of the reasons which had taken him to the Court, his death has deeply grieved this City." [...]


In 1721, Fr. João Mourão, S. J., 15 had accompanied Emperor Kangxi, to Jehol. However, such a stay in Manchuria had been the cause of a paralysis in his arms, so he asked the Emperor's permission to come to Macao for treatment.

Kangxi took this opportunity to intrust him with Fr. Provana's funeral and burial rites.

Mourão considered himself the representative of the King of Portugal next to Kangxi, of whom he was a very close friend. This time, coming to Guangzhou as the Emperor's Delegate, he had about him a rather pompous escort: "a Mandarin from Tartary who was his secretary responsible for his correspondence to the Emperor; an Italian surgeon, Dionisio Gagliardi, who had arrived with the Papal Legate Carolo Ambrogio Melchior Mezzabarba -- who remained at the Emperor's service, in Beijing -and a retinue of approximately one-hundred persons."

On the 18th of May 1722, Mourão left Beijing arriving in Guangzhou on the 30th of July of the same year, staying in that town for another month to attend to the funeral rites.

Let us examine what Fr. Arcangelo Miralta said to Fr. Giuseppe Cerú in his letter, dated the 29th of November 1722, from Guangzhou:

"On the 30th day of the aforesaid month, three Daren [Tajin or Tay-Yan]16 arrived in Guangzhou from Beijing, as well as a Tartar and two Europeans, Fr. Moraon [Mourão] and Gagliardi, who came to live with me in a gungguan. 17 When they left the House, each one was accompanied by important Mandarins, 18 with mounts, announcements shouts, big fans, whips, chairs, batons, streamers, big chairs with four bearers, [...] Father Mourão's manners are very pleasant and noble. And his coming to Guangzhou has been very favourable to the Europeans."19

Matteo Ripa availed at himself of the opportunity to mock Fr. Mourão by saying that the Portuguese Jesuit performed the funeral rites "with the most [...] solemn pomp" paying no respect neither to Pope Clemente XI's Bule Ex Illa Die nor to Mezzabarba's pastoral letter. 20


After the funeral, Mourão made a short visit to Macao. Fr. Pasquale D'Elia reported the occasion:

"On the 29th of September, Father Mourão, accompanied by his own escort, the Tartar, and Dr. Gagliardi, came to Macao, where the Portuguese, his compatriots, wanted to honour him with a grandiose reception. He was offered valuable presents, not only from the Colony's authorities, 21but from individuals as well."22

Let us understand that Mourão did not leave Guangzhou on the 29th September.

In fact, on the 17th of September, the Senate's Councillor of the Month, Leandro Tomé Pereira, said that: "[...] there are three Daren in this City, one of them the Reverend Father João Mourão from the Society of Jesus. He recommends that a present be offered to the Emperor and another to the Daren. Also, that the Senate should appoint two or three people to ask Father Mourão to advise the Emperor of matters concerning Sino-navigation and other details, which may be of interest to Macao."23

Or, according to the account of Artur Ley Gomes:

"Awaiting the arrival of Father João Mourão, Superior of the Jesuits in Beijing, who is to come accompanied by some Mandarins, to the Senate [Leal Senado], on its meeting dated the 13th of August, has decided to prepare a sumptuous reception in his honour, as a token of gratitude for the many services he has rendered to the City, through his influence upon the Emperor."24

When Fr. Giuseppe di Gèsu Maria read in the Macao Archives that three Daren were arriving and, not knowing what it was all about, suspected they were coming with sinister intentions, which is absolutely false, he stated: "In this year [1722] three Daren have arrived, by order of the Emperor, to investigate this City's forces and the state of affairs. The Senate's Procurator took care in preparing gifts for them, as was the custom, and by the decision of the same Senate, a delicate gift was arranged to be delivered by them for the Emperor, whilst at the same time letting it be known that the Territory, this year, has experienced great losses in merchandise and in ships."25

On the 3rd of October, Fr. Mourão and his attendants were back in Guangzhou.

On the 1st of January 1723, Mourão left Guangzhou being informed of Kangxi's death only toward the end of that month or the first days of February and having arrived on the 10th of March of the same year, in Beijing.


In 1875, Mgr. Zéphyrin Guillemin, Bishop of Cybista and Apostolic Prefect of Guangzhou, sent a report regarding Fr. Provana's tomb to the Superiors of the Society of Jesus, which read as follows:

"About a league northwest form the City of Guangzhou, there is an ancient tomb, remarkable for the uniqueness of its style and the glorious memories it evokes.

It is the tomb of Father Provana, Italian Jesuit, from the family of the Marquis of Provana of Turin and once sent by the Kangxi Emperor as his Ambassador, to Pope Clemente XI and King Louis XIV [of France]. 26

After accomplishing his mission, on his return to China, when the ship had already crossed the Cape of Good Hope, he had to face terrible storms and, tormented by serious illness and much suffering, he met the fate of all common men and ended his mortal career.

His body, taken to Guangzhou, was entrusted to the Chapel of the White Clouds, 27 where it has remained, waiting for the Emperor's order as to the location of his grave.

Touched by the devotion of his faithful Ambassador, His Majesty sent a Delegate to Guangzhou, 28 who was to choose, on the outskirts of the City, the ground for Provana's burial and to erect a mausoleum at the expense of the Imperial Treasury.

These matters were promptly carried out with the diligence and sumptuosity demanded by the Sovereign's deliberation.29 At a certain distance from the City some elevated ground was chosen, with a view facing nearby mountains, on one side and waterfalls, on the other.

The tomb was surrounded by beautiful trees and in the centre of this vast enclosure a magnificent granite mausoleum was built, Omega-shaped and with three steps suggesting an amphitheatre, all this encircled by pillars and sculptures, representing different symbols.

At last, and in order to convey to the monument its authenticity, two great marble plaques were placed at either side with an inscription each: one, in Latin, engraved with the missionary' s name, his native country and the date of his death; the other, in Chinese, with his commendation and recalling what the Emperor himself had done to honour his memory.

Kangxi. "The Chinese Solomon" (° 1663-† 1722); he encouraged the development of Mathematics, Cartography and Astronomy.

In: DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste, S. J., Description Geographique, Historique, Chronologique, Politique, Et Physique, De L'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise, 4 vols., Haye, Chez Henri Scheurleer, 1736, vol. 1, p.1 -- detail

It was clearly one the most wonderful and unusual monuments in the region, respected by the Mandarins and by the population; and there was not a single foreigner coming to Guangzhou who would not feel compelled to visit the place.

Unfortunately, when in the years 1852-1853 the rebels devastated the City, taking a barbaric pleasure in destroying whatever they found in their path, the tomb did not escape their fury. The beautiful trees surrounding the mausoleum were cut down, its pillars demolished, its stonework and cornices broken, a part of the grand [stone] avenue sold or turned into plough land and all that was saved of this magnificent monument were the two inscriptions, which the rebels did not dare to touch, for the fear these people have regarding respect for the dead.

No matter how much sadness such devastation might have caused, the monument itself is too important, too honourable to the Christian name, not only for the Chinese but also for the Europeans coming to this part of the country, that I must endeavour to restore this mausoleum to its original condition.

Obséques des chinois (Chinese Mourning Rites).

In: DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste, S. J., Description Geographique, Historique, Chronologique, Politique, Et Physique, De L'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise, 4 vols., Haye, Chez Henri Scheurleer, 1736,, vol. 2, p.149 -- detail.

At the time of the war in China, in 1858, I paid a visit to the Viceroy, in the company of our French Captains and as the name of our illustrious deceased came up during our conversation, I thought it to be the ideal moment to express to His Excellency that it would be to my utmost satisfaction if the mausoleum, erected in memory of this compatriot, 30 this Doctor of our Sacred Religion, this man I could consider a brother and master, could be handed over to us for proper care, which was the most simple and natural thing to do, considering the fact that it was, at the moment, under the supervision of a Bonze community.

His Excellency praised my respect for the dead and graciously told me that, after meeting his Council, should there be no opposition to my request on the following day, he would send two Mandarins to escort me to the place and hand over the land, the object of my most fair and natural wish.

In fact, on the following day, two Mandarins arrived in palanquins, followed by another two on horseback, who delivered a large envelope sent by the Viceroy [of Guangdong] and in which I was informed that His Excellency has approved my request and was sending two Commissaries to hand over to me the monument in question and that, henceforth, I could consider myself the rightful and sole owner.

God knows how joyful a missionary's heart feels when he can so "pluck a thorn" from paganism to make with it a monument and a sanctuary of Christianity.

After establishing the boundaries of the land, my first preoccupation was to level it, protect it with a strong fence, replace the trees that had been cut down, erect new pillars and give the tomb's enclosure a clean and decent look, showing the religious care [...] had put into it. I [...] immediately spend two-hundred francs, partly provided by the Province's missionaries and partly by a group of Europeans from Guangzhou, all eager to share their joy in contributing to this lucky concession.

On my return to France, at the end of the Council [Vatican I] and passing through the City of Turin, I had the opportunity to meet the illustrious Marquis of Provana's family who were so happy with the restoration I had suggested, that they immediately gave me the sum of one-thousand francs towards it.

So, here we have another support sent by Providence and, if not sufficient to bring it back to its [the mausoleum] original splendour, at least we have enough to make it worthy of its significance and confer the honour and consideration it deserves.

Therefore, it is in good faith and absolute confidence that I make this report to all people and communities concerned, in the hope that with everyone's help, no matter how small, we may finish the restoration of this monument, that despite being located at the farthest corner of the World, is a real honour not only to the missionary who rests there, under the shade of the Cross and to the illustrious Society to which he belonged, but also to the French name31and in particular to our Sacred Religion, of which he is a glory, and that by maintaining and supporting it much is to be gained in the eyes of the pagans, so much so that this testimony of respect, far from discrediting anyone, will surely meet with the most profound respect and cordial sympathy among our Chinese people."32


1 Clemente XI (elec. 1700-†1721).

2 PLOT - Ancient agrarian measure, used by the Gauls and adapted by the Romans, corresponding approximately, 30 to 50 ares, according to each region.

3 Kangxi reigned for sixty-one years (r.1661-†1722). Fr. Provana's mausoleum was built in 1722.

4 BOERO, Giuseppe, Menologio di pie memorie d'alcuni religiosi della Compagnia de Gesù [...] I vol. I Mese idi Gennaio / vol. II Mesi di Febbraio, 2 vols., Roma, Tipi della Civiltà Cattolica, 1859 vol.2 - 7th of February.

5 or FAT - Buddha. The three FÓ, Fat or Precious are: Shijia mourifu (Sek Káu Mau Lei Fat, or Saquiamuni), Emituofuo (o mei Tó Fat or Amida) and Milifuo (Mei Lak Fat or Mitrela).

6 On the 21st of October 1664, António Barros was born in Arcos de Valdevez, Diocese of Braga, Portugal. In 1681, he entered the Society of Jesus and embarked in 1694, arriving in Goa the same year. In 1697, he went to Beijing

7 On the 3rd of July 1657, Antoine de Beauvollier was born, in Blaye, France. In 1672, he entered the Society of Jesus. In November 1699, arrived at Guangzhou aboard an English ship and came to Beijing soon after. On the 17th October 1706, he left Beijing with Fr. Barros arriving in Guangzhou on the 4th of January 1707. They both sailed on a clipper en route to Rio de Janeiro but never reached their destination having perished in a shipwreck along the coast of Portugal, on the 2nd of January 1708.

See: DEHERGNE, Joseph, S. J., Répertoire de Jésuites de Chine, de 1552 a 1800, Roma, Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, (37) 1973.

8 On the 6th of June 1663, José Ramón Arxó was born, in Benasque, Province of Huesca, in Spain. In 1677, he entered the Society of Jesus and embarked to Far East in 1684, with his compatriot Juan Antonio Arnedo, S. J.. He preached the gospel in Guangzhou, Shanxi, Huguang and Guilin. He was Visitor to China and Japan (1706-1708). In 1707, was sent by Kangxi, to Rome. He returned to Spain, dying in Alicante, Province of Aragon, on the 29th of July 1711. Fortunately, he was to be spared the grievances endured in Rome, by his companion Fr. Provana.

9 The Bp. was João de Casal (°1690-† 1735); the Governor was Diogo de Pinho Teixeira (°1706-†1710). Notice the difference between he clergyman and the civilian. The Bishop for forty-five years; the Governor only forty-one.

10 TEIXEIRA, Manuel, Macau e a sua Diocese, 16 vols., Macau, Tipografia do Orfanato Salesiano et al, 1940-1979, vol. 13, pp. 206-207.

11 In 1652, Charles Maigrot, M. E. P., was born, in Paris. In 1680, he left for the Far East Missions being appointed Administrator to the China mission by Bp. François Pallu, M. E. P. In 1687, he was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Fujian, some years later proclaiming the famous Decree against the Chinese Rites. In 1707, he was banished by Kangxi, from China, returning to Rome, from where he pursued the fight against the Rites until his death, on the 28th of February 1730.

12 Comp. WYNGAERT et al, Anastasius van den, Sinica Franciscana, 8 vols., Firenze - Roma, Barbèra - M. Pisani, 1929-1975, vol. 3, p.577, n.5 - On the 17th May 1656, Giovanni Francesco Nicolai was born, in Leonissa. In 1671, he entered the Franciscan Order. In 1684, he went to China with Bp. Bernardino della Chiesa, O. F. M.; was appointed Pro-Vicar of the various Provinces supervised by the Chinese Bp. Dom Gregório Loh. When the Bishop died, he took the supervision of those Provinces till his return to Rome, in 1697. In 1696, he was appointed Bp. of Berito and Apostolic Vicar of Huguang. Around 1706, he was appointed Archbp. of Mira and Perpetual Vicar of the S. Peter's Basilica, in Rome. On the 27th December 1737, he died, in Rome,

13 Comp. WYNGAERT et al, Anastasius van den, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 363.

14 Ibidem., vol. 6, pp. 364-65.

15 On the 2nd of August 1681, Fr. João Mourão was born, in Chaves. On the 22nd of January 1698, e entered the Society of Jesus, in Lisbon. In 1699, still a scholar, he embarked to the Far East arriving in Macao, in 1700. In 1712, he moved to Beijing. In 1721, he accompanied the Kangxi Emperor, to Jehol, where he was taken ill with a paralysis, going to Macao for treatment. In 1722, he returned once again to Macao, returning to Beijing on the 10th of March 1723. On the 5th of April, he was exiled to Xining by the new Yongzheng Emperor, being condemned to death on the 21st of July 1726. On the 24th August of the same year, he was executed, in Xining, Tartary.

16 DAREN - TAJIN or TAY-YAN (Cantonese) - important persons; such were Mourão, his secretary and his surgeon. Da/Tai=great; ren/yan=person.

17 GUNGGUAN-KUN KUAN (Cantonese)-here Gungguan means public room or inn. Gung/Kun=official, guan=public.

18 Mandarins from Guangzhou.

19 D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., Illontano confino e la tragica morte del Pe. Joáo Mourão, S. J., missionário in China (1681-1726), Lisboa, Agência Geral do Ultramar, 1963, pp. 296-298.

20 Ibidem., p.64.

21 This does not refer to Governor Dom Cristovão de Severim Manuel (1722-1724), but to the Senate, that was responsible for the administration of Macao.

22 D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., op. cit., p. 66.

23 TEIXEIRA, Manuel, op. cit., 1984, p. 246.

24 GOMES, Artur Levy, Esboço da História de Macau, Macau, Soi Sang Printing Press, 1975, p.246. Note that the Superior, in Beijing, was Fr. José Soares, S. J., and not Mourão.

25 TEIXEIRA, Manuel, op. cit., p.247.

26 Louis XIV had nothing to do with that Embassy's mission. Provana had been sent to Rome and had passed through Lisbon, where he was recommended to the Pope by King Dom João V, who sent him an Extraordinary Ambassador, to Rome.

27 The White Clouds was a Buddhist pagoda or a Temple, and not a Catholic chapel.

28 Fr. Joao Mourão, S. J..

29 The Jesuit Mourão omitted nothing so as to hold in honour another Jesuit.

30 Antonio Francesco Giuseppe Provana was born in 1662, in Nice, when the City was still integrated in Kingdom of Piemonte. In 1865, the Bishop could have well referred to his compatriot Provana, who was, in fact, also Italian. Nice was only annexed to France, in 1860.

31 Provana was Piemontese. Among the various adversaries he had to face -- who were in turn the Pope's Counsellors -- one who caused him much suffering was the French Bp. Charles Maigrot, M. E. P., banished by Kangxi, from China, for his strong opposition to the Rites; the other member was Italian Bp. Giovanni Francesco Nicolai, O. F. M..

32 COLOMBAN, Eudore de, Zéphyrin Guillement - Evêque de Cybistra, Prêfet Apostolique de Canton (1814-1886), in: "Hommes et Choses d'Extrême-Orient", 2 vols., Macao, Imprimerie de 1'Orphelinat de L' Immaculée Conception, 1919, vol.2, ser. I, pp. 378-380.

* Mgr. Manuel Teixeira. Historian and researcher on the Portuguese Expansion and the Christian Church, in the Orient. Autor of numerous articles and publications on related topics. Member of the Portuguese Academy of History, the International Association of Historians on Asia and other Institutions.

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