Rougemont, François

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Jesuit missionary to China; b. Maastricht, April 2, 1624; d. T'ai Ts'ang, Nov. 4 or 9, 1676. He entered the Society of Jesus at Malines on Sept. 28, 1641, taught humanities and rhetoric for six years in Belgium, and made his priestly studies at Louvain. He left for China in 1656 and traveled through much of India on foot, arriving in China in 1659. Except for the years 1665 to 1671, when he was imprisoned and then exiled to Canton, he labored continuously in the missions around Shanghai. Aided by devoted and frequently highly educated catechists, he established and ministered several missions in the canal districts. He composed a series of pastoral books in Chinese, including catechisms for neophytes, refutations of paganism, the essentials for entering into the Church, and songbooks. His principal work is Historia Tartaro-Sinica nova (166066), written during exile in Canton. It relates the last phase of the Manchu takeover in China and the persecution by the four regents up until the expulsion of the missionaries (166068). In 1667 Rougemont addressed a memorial to Father Paul Oliva, General of the Jesuits, in favor of an indigenous Chinese clergy who would be permitted to read the Breviary and say Mass in Chinese. He also collaborated with the Jesuit Prospero intorcetta and others in a biography of Confucius and a tractate on his doctrines.

Bibliography: l. pfister, Notices biographiques et bibliographiques sur les Jésuites de l'ancienne mission de Chine 15521773, 2 v. (Shanghai 193234) 1:333338.

[j. h. campana]