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Favier, Alphonse


Missionary bishop in China; b. Marsonnay-la-Cote, near Dijon, France, Sept. 22, 1837; d. Beijing, China, April 3, 1905. After joining the vincentians (1858) Favier went to the Province of Chihli (now Hebei) in northern China (1862), where he remained until 1870 when he was sent to Beijing. In 1897 he became auxiliary bishop of Beijing, and in 1899 vicar apostolic of North Chihli. Favier, who was a good diplomat and linguist, was active in defense of the French protectorate of Chinese Catholic missions. He was largely responsible for the imperial decree (1899) that gave bishops equal rank with mandarins. During the Boxer Rebellion (1900) he inspired 3,500 Christians to withstand a two-month siege in Beijing's Northern Church (Beitang). Afterward he played an important role as mediator between China and the Western powers. Favier's most important writing was Pékin, Histoire et Déscription (Lille 1900).

Bibliography: g. goyau, La France missionnaire dans les cinq parties du monde, v.2 (Paris 1948) 120124.

[j. krahl]

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