Matteo Ricci

Servant of God
Matteo Ricci
A 1610 Chinese portrait of Ricci
ReligionRoman Catholic
OrderSociety of Jesus
Born(1552-10-06)6 October 1552
Macerata, Papal States
Died11 May 1610(1610-05-11) (aged 57)
Beijing, Ming Empire
Resting placeZhalan cemetery
Senior posting
TitleSuperior General of the China mission
Period in office1597–1610
SuccessorNicolò Longobardo
Reason for exitHis death
RankSuperior General
Religious career
WorksKunyu Wanguo Quantu
Matteo Ricci
Macau - panoramio (81).jpg
The statue of Ricci in downtown Macao, unveiled on 7 August 2010, the anniversary of his arrival on the island
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Courtesy Name: Xitai
Traditional Chinese西
Simplified Chinese西

Matteo Ricci, S.J. (Italian pronunciation: [matˈtɛːo ˈrittʃi]; Latin: Mattheus Riccius Maceratensis; 6 October 1552 – 11 May 1610), was an Italian Jesuit priest and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions. His 1602 map of the world in Chinese characters introduced the findings of European exploration to East Asia. He is considered a Servant of God in Roman Catholicism.

Ricci arrived at the Portuguese settlement of Macau in 1582 where he began his missionary work in China. He became the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing in 1601 when invited by the Wanli Emperor, who sought his selected services in matters such as court astronomy and calendrical science. He converted several prominent Chinese officials to Catholicism, such as his colleague Xu Guangqi, who aided in translating Euclid's Elements into Chinese as well as the Confucian classics into Latin for the first time.

Early life

Ricci was born 6 October 1552, in Macerata, part of the Papal States, and today a city in the Italian region of Marche. He made his classical studies in his native town and studied law at Rome for two years. He entered the Society of Jesus in April 1571 at the Roman College. While there, in addition to philosophy and theology, he also studied mathematics, cosmology, and astronomy under the direction of Father Christopher Clavius. In 1577, he applied for a missionary expedition to the Far East. He sailed from Lisbon, Portugal in March 1578 and arrived in Goa, a Portuguese Colony, the following September. Ricci remained there employed in teaching and the ministry until the end of Lent, 1582, when he was summoned to Macau to prepare to enter China. Ricci arrived at Macau in the early part of August.[1]

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贛語: 利瑪竇
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文言: 利瑪竇
吴语: 利玛窦
粵語: 利瑪竇
中文: 利玛窦