Verbiest, Ferdinand a Belgians missionary and astronomer, was born at Pitthem, West Flanders, Oct. 9, 1623. He studied at Coutrai and Louvain, and graduated at Seville in 1655. Having entered the Order of the Jesuits, he studied astronomy under Tarquet and Schall, and. then set out to preach in China in 1657. There he underwent various fortunes, traveling and writing astronomical and other works, chiefly employed by the Chinese emperor, until his death, at Pekin, Jan. 23, 1688. See. Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.