Nanjing is the city where Paul Xu Guangqi met Matteo Ricci for the first time in the year 1600.
It was a meeting that changed China and created an indestructible base for the growth of the Catholic Church in China.
Shanghai is the city where Paul Xu Guangqi was born into a family of poor farmers. He rose to be the top Minister of the last Ming Dynasty Emperor – the most powerful and influential office in the land.
In addition to accomplishing a great number of significant breakthroughs in agriculture, mathematics, astronomy, and military technology, Paul Xu Guangqi remained throughout his life an exemplary Catholic and close friend and supporter of the Jesuits to whom he owed his conversion to the Catholic faith.
Even after the death of Matteo Ricci, his beloved spiritual father and mentor, Xu protected the Church and the Jesuits from attacks and harassment-often at the risk of his own life. Each time accusations against the Jesuits were brought before the Emperor, Paul Xu defended them with an official memorial to the Emperor.
In each memorial, Xu stated that if the Jesuits were convicted of wrongdoing, he wished to share the same punishment. Thanks to Xu’s reputation in the Imperial Court for unquestionable moral character and honesty, the Jesuits were always acquitted.