Padre Matteo Ricci

The greatness of Matteo Ricci


Convinced that Christianity had to adapt and had to be disseminated through contacts with Stoic moral and Confucianism, the biggest problem which Father Ricci compares with is that, first of all, establish a cultural bridge between West and China, countries far apart between them: culture was his tool, introducing European science and technology in China and contributing to the spread of Chinese culture in West.


His mission is based on two pivots: first, on the great study of Chinese literature, of scientific doctrines and the exercise of Christian charity; second on the respect and the link with his own country and culture that novices had to maintain in their approach to Christianity, thinking that the God revelation improves also what that the Chinese culture had already found and practiced. But the real "power" of evangelization of Father Ricci was his being Chinese among Chinese people adopting a multilevel exchange, with the social, cultural and religious reality of that country.


Figure of outstanding importance in China and abroad so as to be considered by Life magazine among the 100 most important personalities of the second millennium, Matteo Ricci has built the largest Catholic church survived to the Chinese Cultural Revolution and he was included with other few foreigners in the National Encyclopedia of China, but despite this, in Italy, the knowledge of the position of this Jesuit priest, first link between the European Renaissance and Chinese culture, is limited to a few experts and connoisseurs.


The centenary is an opportunity to define the traits of this character in the light of the studies, of researches and discoveries through a series of events of high scientific level.


Pope John Paul II said of him, "... Father Matteo Ricci was rightly convinced that faith in God not only not had   damaged   Chinese culture, but would have enriched and improved it ... the figure and the work of Father Matteo Ricci nowadays seem to be of   a great actuality for the Chinese people that it is in a process of modernization and progress".

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