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I leave you an open door

· As the publication of his opera omnia goes forward, there more and more exhibits, conferences and studies on Matter Ricci, the Jesuit from the 1500's who captivated China ·

The great missionary's last words to his brothers

Interest in the person of Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit who at the end of the 1500's opened to Europe the path to China, shows no sign of diminishing. Until a decade ago his works were accessible only to scholars or in editions edited by Pietro Tacchi Venturi at the start of last century ( Opere storiche del P. Matteo Ricci , 2 volumes, Macerata, 1911-1913), and the large three volume collection of Fonti Ricciane , published between 1942 and 1949 under the patronage of the Academia d'Italia as "Edizione nazionale delle opere edite e inedite di Matteo Ricci, SJ" edited by Pasquale D'Elia, renowned sinologist. These two collections are at the origin of the rediscovery of the Jesuit and remain an inescapable point of reference.

However, a complete corpus of Ricci's work was eventually necessary – D'Elia was unable to complete the fourth volume that should have contained his letters – constructed using the modern philological criteria, which are not always traceable in the work of Tacchi Venturi, who didn't know Chinese. The initiative was taken up by the publisher Quodlibet of Macerata, which is now editing the opera omnia of Ricci in philologically flawless volumes, with the original text and translation, glossaries and indexes that help the reading and comprehension of texts which are by no means easy. Up to this point, five volumes have come out: of his entering the Society of Jesus and the introduction of Christianity into China, Letters, of Friendship, Ten Chapters of a foreign man, and the Description of China.

To this Enterprise one should add – limiting ourselves to what has been done in Italy alone – three important exhibits, together with the publication of catalogues to them, which have widened interest surrounding the adventure of the man from Macerata, even contextualizing him in the China of that time.




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 20, 2020