1837  — 1905

Pierre-Marie Alphonse Favier

Missionary pastor and vicar apostolic of Beijing (Peking).

Born at Marsanny-la-Cote (Cote d’Or), France, Favier entered the Congregation de la Mission (Lazarists, also known as Vincentians) in 1858. Ordained a priest in 1861, he arrived in Peking (Beijing) in July 1862, where he had an active pastoral ministry. In 1897 he became coadjutor to the vicar apostolic, whom he succeeded two years later. He obtained an imperial decree placing Catholic bishops on a par with the Chinese governors and governors general, an unpopular move with a number of Catholics, Protestant and the Chinese. Living through the month-long siege of the Beitang (North Church) during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he condemned the international relief expedition’s excessive use of force against the Chinese rebels. He wrote many articles in mission journals, an account of the Boxer Rebellion, and a general history of Peking. He died in Peking.


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.


  • Pierre-Marie Favier, Peking: Histoire et Description (1897; repr. 1900) and The Heart of Peking: Bishop A. Favier’s Diary of the Siege (1901). See also Robert Streit, ed., Annales de la Congregatian de la Mission 70 (1905): 339-350.

About the Author

John W. Witek

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