1890  — 1963

Pasquale d'Elia

Jesuit missionary in China, and missiologist.

native of Pietracatella, Italy, d’Elia entered the Society of Jesus in 1904. He studied philosophy on the Island of Jersey and was in Zikawei (Xujiahui), near Shanghai, China, from 1913 to 1917, after which he completed his theological education at Woodstock, Maryland, and Hastings, England. Returning to China in 1923, he was a professor of English and philosophy at Aurora University in Shanghai until 1930. He later was a researcher and writer at the Jesuit center at Zikawei. He became a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome in 1933, where he instituted a chair of missiology. He is best known for his publications about Matteo Ricci.


This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright (c) 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of The Gale Group; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Pasquale d’Elia, The Triple Demism of Sun Yat-sen (1931), Il mappamondo cinese del P Matteo Ricci, S.I. (1938), Fonti Ricciane, 3 vols. (1942-1949), and Il Lontano confino e la tragic morte del P. Joao Mourao, S.I., Missionario in Cina (1681-1726) (1963). The latter includes a list of d’Elia’s publications up to 1959 (pp. 554-581). Johannes Beckmann, “Pasquale d’Elia, S.J.,” NZM 20 (l964): 146-147.

About the Author

John W. Witek

Associate Professor of East Asian History, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA