Intorcetta, Prospero

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Jesuit missionary in China; b. Piazza, Sicily, Aug. 28, 1625; d. Hangchow, Oct. 3, 1696. He arrived in China in 1657. His work in Kiangsi was interrupted by persecution. He was arrested in 1665, sent to Peking and then to Canton. In 1670 a Jesuit took his place in prison, and he left for Rome in 1672 to defend the Jesuits in the chinese rites controversy. He returned to China in 1674 and was appointed visitor to the missions of China and Japan (167684). In 1679 and in 1688 he experienced persecution. He translated the Exercises of St. Ignatius and the Rules of the Society of Jesus into Chinese. With several other Jesuits he published in Latin one of the first Western studies of Confucius' life and thought. His main work, on Chinese politics and ethics (Goa 1667), is in Chinese and Latin.

Bibliography: l. pfister, Notices biographiques et bibliographiques, 2 v. (Shanghai 193234). a. mercati and a. pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico 2:461. j. schÜtte, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 5:737.

[b. lahiff]