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Immaculate Conception

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Grail Lord
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« on: December 05, 2007, 10:49:06 pm »



Matteo Ricci

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, as a foundation, dates back to 1605, in the thirty-third year of the reign of the Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. When the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci arrived in Beijing, the Emperor permitted him a residence slightly to the west of the site of the current cathedral, in the Xuanwumen district. Attached to this residence was a small chapel, in Chinese style, with only the presence of a cross atop the entrance to distinguish it as a church. This was at the time referred to as the Xuanwumen Chapel (宣武门礼拜堂).

In 1650, in the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty, under the leadership of the German Jesuit Johann Adam Schall von Bell, work on a new church building was begun on the site of the Xuanwumen Chapel. Construction of was complete in two years, and the new church received the honour of a Ceremonial gateway with the words 钦宗天道 (Respect the Teachings of the Way of Heaven).

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