Intorcetta, Prosper

Intorcetta, Prosper a Roman Catholic Sicilian who went to China as a Jesuit missionary, was born at Piazza in 1625. He had first studied law, but, believing it to be his duty to serve the Church, he joined the order of the Jesuits, and prepared for the missionary field in China.: Here he encountered many obstacles, but, notwithstanding, succeeded in making many converts. Persecuted by the Chinese, he courageously pushed his work forward, and became one of the greatest of the Jesuitical missionaries to that country. He died Oct. 3, 1696. His works evince a careful and continued study of the language of the country in which he aimed to establish his peculiar religious creed; and it might be well for Protestant missionaries sent to Asiatic and other heathen fields of missionary work to imitate the great zeal which has animated so many of the missionaries of the Romish Church, and which has secured them oftentimes greater prominence than the Protestant laborers. He wrote Taihio (or "the great study of Confucius and of his disciple Tseu- sse"), edited, with a Latin translation, by Father Ignace de Costa (1662): — Tchoung-young (or "Invariability in the intermediate course"); one of the four books of Confucianism, preceded by a life of Confucius: Conjitcii Vita (Goa, 1669, small fol).): — Lunyu ("the book of Confucius's philosophical discussions") (without place or date, 1 vol. small fol.): — Testimonium de Cultu Sinensi (Lyon, 1700, 8vo): — Compendiosa Narrat. dello Stato della Missione Chinese, coniciando dall' anno 1581, sino al 1669 (Rome, 1671 or 1672, 8vo). There also remains still in MS. a complete paraphrase of-the four books of Confucius. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé 25, 931.

Intrepidity is a term used to designate a disposition of mind unaffected with fear at the approach of danger. Resolution either banishes fear or surmounts it, and is firm on all occasions. Courage is impatient to attack, undertakes boldly, and is not lessened by difficulty. Valor acts with vigor, gives no way to resistance, but pursues an enterprise in spite of opposition. Bravery knows no fear; it runs nobly into danger, and prefers honor to life itself. Intrepidity encounters the greatest perils with the utmost coolness, and dares even present death. This is especially the case with the martyrs of Christianity. No persecution, however great, did they fear to encounter for the sake of their religious belief, and death was welcomed as the crowning victory over error and superstition.

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