Notable Missionaries


Michel Benoist is most noted for the waterworks he constructed for the emperor.


Michał Piotr Boym was one of the first individuals of Western origin to reach the Chinese mainland, and the author of many extensive works regarding Asian fauna, flora and geography.


François Xavier d’Entrecolles discovered the Chinese technique of manufacturing porcelain.


Auguste Chapdelaine was a Jesuit that was preaching China illegally – as a result, he was imprisoned, tortured and killed. Dubbed the “Father Chapdelaine Incident” it became the pretext for the French military intervention in the Second Opium War.


Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, see: Important People, Jean Joseph Marie Amiot..


Michele Ruggieri was one of the founding fathers of the Jesuit China missions, and a co-author of the first Portuguese-Chinese dictionary. Many would call him the first European sinologist.


Prospero Intorcetta published several books about confucius and confucianism.


Hyacinth (Bichurin) was one of the founding fathers of Sinology.


Matteo Ripa worked as a painter and copper-engraver at the Manchu court of the Kangxi Emperor. He also brought 4 young Chinese christians back to Europe.


Michael Shen Fu-Tsung, see: Important People, Michael Shen Fu-Tsung.


Karel Slavíček was the first Czech sinologist and author of the first precise map of Beijing.


Antoine Thomas replaced Ferdinand Verbiest (see: Important People, Ferdinand Verbiest.) after his death. For the next twenty years, he became an advisor of the emperor, who asked him many questions, from the scientific to the moral or religious. For twenty years he was then a close adviser to the emperor Kangxi who, beyond scientific questions, consulted him also on moral and religious matters. It was Thomas who, In 1692, obtained the “Edict of Tolerance.”


Ferdinand Verbiest, see: Important People, Ferdinand Verbiest.


Johann Adam Schall von Bell was an adviser to the Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing dynasty. He was one of the individuals sent to interpret at the Treaty of Nerchinsk.


Arcadio Huang pivotal to the teaching of the Chinese language in France, he wrote the first Chinese-French lexicon, and the first Chinese grammar of the Chinese.


Athanasius Kircher: see: Important People, Athanasius Kircher.

Giuseppe Castiglione: see Important People, Giuseppe Castiglione.