“By offering holy pictures, all my desire is that they serve you for a long life, for an unspoilt prosperity, the protection of heaven upon the kingdom and for the prosperity of the people. I humbly beg the Emperor to have compassion on me who has come to subordinate himself sincerely under his rule.”
M. Ricci, Supplication to the Emperor, 1621
Father Matteo Ricci SJ (1552-1610), a member of the second Jesuit generation to arrive in China, was the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing. Of Italian origin, Ricci was trained in the practice of science and philosophy. Coming to China as a messenger of the Gospel, he sought to develop such a mission as to evangelise the Chinese people without rejecting their culture. Declining to impose an imported religious discourse, he let himself being transformed by the customs of his hosts.
With Ricci, Christianity, for the first time in its history, faced a civilization older than herself, in a country whose population was greater than that of Europe. Ricci gained the respect of his hosts not by force of arms, but by a profound openness to the cultural, spiritual and philosophical wealth of the Chinese Empire.
On the occasion of 4th centenary of the death of Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit European Office and the Chapel of the Resurrection invite you to a round table expert conference :
Henri Madelin SJ, Professor at Institut d’études politiques de Paris
Ricci today - his relevance, his inheritance
Isaia Iannaccone, Novelist and sinologist, Observatoire Astronomique Paris
The Introduction of the discoveries of Galileo and of European technology to China
Nicolas Standaert SJ, Professor of Sinology at KU Leuven
Matteo Ricci shaped by the Chinese
- Ricci (Former Jesuit College Ingolstadt)