Fr Matteo Chu, who gave the gifts to the Holy Father, was born in the mainland. He is a Jesuit priest who spent 27 years in forced labour. After his release, he went to the United States with Card Gong Pinmei, then to Taipei, Taiwan.
During the audience with the Pope, he was accompanied by another Chinese priest, Fr Gu Guangzhong.
Father Matteo has close ties to the Church of Shanghai, which sent the two gifts for the Pontiff. He is in Rome on a pilgrimage to mark the end of the Year for Priests (see his article, “From Shanghai to Rome, the joy of being a priest in the Year for Priests”, in AsiaNews, 15 June 2010)
He told AsiaNews that he asked the Pope for a special blessing for the Church in China; he also told the Holy Father about the wish of the Church of Shanghai to start the process of beatification of Matteo Ricci and his scientist friend, mandarin Paul Xu Guangqi.