Staff and interns of The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, the only Jesuit education program in Mainland China, visited the tomb of the Venerable Matteo Ricci, S.J., and honored him on the 413th anniversary of his death.
Matteo Ricci was a scientist, cartographer, linguist, teacher and missionary in the 16th century, who made considerable strides in international relations and set an example with his integration into Chinese society. He was the first Westerner to be allowed entry into the Forbidden City and the first to be buried within Beijing city limits. He founded churches, expanded the capabilities of astronomical and scientific advancement, published essays and truly built a bridge between China and the West like no one had ever done before. The Beijing Center was founded in 1998, following his legacy to emphasize that China is the classroom and friendship is the greatest teacher.
Now on the grounds of a school, it’s an honor and privilege to be located in the same city where Matteo Ricci spent most of his years. Reflecting on his actions, we are reminded that interpersonal connections, heart, and a willingness to be open to understanding can make all the difference.