Koffler, John

Koffler, John, a Roman Catholic missionary to Cochin China. We have no details of his life until after he departed for that country in 1740. He remained there fourteen years, and, being made physician to the king, availed himself of this position to further his missionary purposes. The persecution of the Christians in China led, however, to similar measures in Cochin China, and, with the exception of Koffler, whom the king prized highly on account of his medical knowledge, all the missionaries were arrested and shipped to Macao Aug. 27, 1750. The same fate also overtook Koffler in 1755. Arriving at Macao, he was arrested, and sent with his colleagues to Portugal, where they were imprisoned as having encroached upon the monopoly granted to the Portuguese government by the Holy See, and which it claimed gave that nation the exclusive right of evangelizing the East Indies. Koffler was finally released through the intervention of the empress Maria Theresa in 1765, and was sent on a mission to Transylvania, where he labored until his death in 1780. While in prison he wrote a memoir of his travels, which was published by Eckart, and reprinted by De Murr, under the title, Joannis Koffler historica Cochinchinm Descriptio in epitome redacta ab J. F. Eckart, edente De Murar (1805, 8vo). See Migne, Biog. Chratienne et Antichrdtienene; De Monteron et Esteve, Mission de la Cochchihine et du Tonkin, 1858.-Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Genesis 27:28. (J. N. P.)

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