1574  — 1659

Emmanuel Diaz

Portuguese Jesuit missionary to China in the late Ming period.

Diaz arrived in Macau in 1605 and entered China in 1611. He was among the people deported to Macau following a complaint filed against the missionaries by a Chinese magistrate in 1616. He reentered China in 1621, residing in Beijing. When Jean de Rocha died, Diaz succeeded him in directing the Jesuit mission in China. In the following years, Diaz visited Nanjing, Songjiang, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. In 1638, Diaz visited Fuzhou, which was in upheaval. When the missionaries were expelled from China, Diaz took temporary refuge in Macau and later returned to Fujian Province. When the Qing government sent troops into Fujian Province, Diaz and Julio Aleni fled to the mountain region of Yan Ping. In 1648, Diaz did mission work in Yan Ping and devoted himself to writing. He translated into Chinese Contemptus Mundi, or De Imitatione Christi. This and another book, Bible Exegesis, were quite popular among the Catholics. Diaz also wrote Nestorian Tablet Explained.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Treadgold, Donald W., The West in Russia and China: China, 1582-1949 (1973).
  • Vath, Alfons, Johann Adam Schall von Bell S.J. (1592-1666) (1991).
  • Goodrich, L. Carrington, Dictionary of Ming Biography, 1386-1644 (1976).

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