21 January 2018
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  • » 04/21/2015, 00.00


    First Mass in honour of Matteo Ricci

    The cause of beatification for the great Jesuit missionary is underway. Four choirs, three soloists, an organ, and brass instruments under composer Aurelio Porfiri will perform pieces and songs at St Joseph’s Seminary, an ancient place of training for missionaries in the Far East. The composer is also working on an oratorio dedicated to Ricci, with a libretto by Fr Gianni Criveller, PIME missionary in Hong Kong.

    Macau (AsiaNews) – Next Sunday, 26 April, the Missa in honorem Matthaei Ricci will be performed for the first time in Macau’s historic St Joseph Seminary to commemorate the great Jesuit missionary (1552-1610) who was one of the foreign missionaries who lived and died at China’s Imperial Court, in Beijing.

    Matteo Ricci is not yet a saint. The gathering of documents for the cause of his beatification ended only a few months ago. However, such a Mass – performed in a concert – is a prayer that illustrates the desire for the canonisation one of the Church’s greatest figures, someone who built “a bridge” between East and West, to quote John Paul II.

    The place where the premiere will take part is significant because for at least two centuries, St Joseph’s Seminary (Seminário de São José) in Macau trained the missionaries sent to China, Japan and the Far East.

    The Mass in honour of Matteo Ricci is the work of Aurelio Porfiri, an Italian composer who has lived in Macau for several years. His Mass "for assembly, female choir, brass and organ" includes four choirs, as well as soloists Lily Li, Mario Xia, and Dian Paramita.

    "Obviously, we cannot speak of an actual liturgy since the Church has not officially decided on the beatification of the Jesuit missionary,” Maestro Porfiri told AsiaNews. However, “One can say that it is a Mass to honour him in Macao where he lived for a time, before going to the Chinese mainland. It is a Mass that includes the singing of the assembly enriched by the polyphonic choir and by the solemnity of the brass and organ. "

    This is not the first time that Aurelio Porfiri has been involved with Matteo Ricci. For some time, he has been working on another project, an oratorio dedicated to the great Italian missionary from Macerata, combining his music with the libretto by Fr Gianni Criveller, PIME.

    Porfiri hopes to complete this work by the end of 2015.

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    See also

    28/04/2015 MACAU - CHINA
    A “memorable” concert Mass in honour of Matteo Ricci
    Macau’s bishop, Mgr José Lai, was present at the event, featuring Latin songs, choirs and the solemnity of the liturgy. Composer Aurelio Porfiri is now writing a Mass in Chinese.

    09/02/2005 CHINA - ITALY
    The exhibit 'Matteo Ricci: Europe at the Ming Court' opens at Rome's Vittoriano Museum Complex
    After Rome, the exhibit travels to Berlin and Beijing.

    26/04/2010 CHINA - ITALY
    International Symposium on Matteo Ricci and today’s China
    The conference is scheduled for 4 pm 29 April in Rome’s Campidoglio Square. Matteo Ricci was first and foremost a missionary, not a neutral cultural mediator. China and the West should engage in a dialogue based on spiritual values and religious freedom. The list of speakers includes Mgr Robert Sarah, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Hong Kong-based Savio Hon SDB, from the International Theological Commission; Prof Giuseppe Jing, director of the 'Centro culturale Cina-Europa’; Prof Zhuo Xinping, director of the Institute of World Religions and a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; and Fr Bernardo Cervellera editor of AsiaNews.

    02/01/2015 CHINA - ITALY
    Macerata and Shanghai exchange bronze busts of Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi
    The bust of the Chinese official, a great scientist and close friend of Ricci, will be unveiled on 24 January. Ricci's bust has already been placed in Xu's garden-mausoleum, a short walk from Shanghai's St Ignatius Cathedral. Many in China and around the world would like to see Ricci and Xu beatified at the same time. However, in Shanghai the Church is facing problems.

    15/05/2010 CHINA
    Xu-Ricci Institute of Dialogue opens in Shanghai
    Created to encourage dialogue between East and West, the structure - which combines the name of the Jesuit who died 400 years ago with that of his Chinese best friend - seeks to be a bridge between two worlds. Shanghai also launches the largest Sino-French dictionary, the "Grand Ricci".

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