The wise man from the west….
“Not only was Matteo Ricci willing to go to China to preach the Gospel of Christ, but he was willing to be transformed by the people he befriended there.” So said Antoni Üçerler SJ, speaking at the Church in China conference in Gonzaga, Saturday 8 May, to commemorate the Jesuit missionary’s death. According to Üçerler, Ricci learnt Chinese, adopted their dress, studied their thinkers, and wrote books which greatly impressed the literati, who called him ‘the wise man from the west’. He added that Ricci’s missionary style of inserting himself with respect into the culture of the people, drawing out Christian concepts from their insights and beliefs, was very much rooted in the tradition and style of St Paul. After the conference he elaborated on aspects of Ricci’s life in an interview with Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre. Listen to the podcast here.