Luo Wenzao

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The Most Reverend

Luó Wénzǎo [1]
Bishop of Nanjing
ChurchCatholic Church
In office1685 — 1691 (as bishop)
PredecessorMost Rev. Ignace Cotolendi
SuccessorMost Rev. Alessandro Ciceri
by Bishop Bernardino della Chiesa, O.F.M.
Personal details
Fu'an, Fujian Province, China
DiedFebruary 27, 1691
Previous postTitular bishop of Basilinopolis

Luo Wenzao (alternately: Lou Wenzao, Lo Wen-Tsao, Lo Wenzao, simplified Chinese: 罗文藻; traditional Chinese: 羅文藻; pinyin: Luó Wénzǎo) (1616 – February 27, 1691) became the first Chinese priest in 1656 and the first Chinese Bishop in 1685.[2] He was also known as Gregory Lopez (Spanish: Gregorio Lopez) in the Philippines.


Luo Wenzao was born in Fu'an, in the province of Fujian. In 1633 Luo was baptized and converted to Catholicism. After studying theology in Manila, he returned to Xiamen. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1654 and thereafter baptized over two thousand converts. [3] In 1673, Pope Clement X made him Bishop but he refused. Then in 1679 Pope Innocent XI appointed him a second time and he was forced to accept. After his consecration in 1685, the provinces Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan were under him. It has been argued that Christianity in China was transformed due to his presence as a missionary and pastor.[4] He is the namesake of Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages in Taiwan.


  1. ^ "Bishop Gregory Lou Wen-tsao, O.P." The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
  2. ^ Anderson, Gerard A. (1998). "Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions". Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  3. ^ Yan, Keijia. "Chapter One: Catholic Church in China in the Ming and Qing Dynasties". Catholic Church in China (中国天主教英). Chen, Shujie (trans.). 五洲传播出版社. p. 37. ISBN 9787508505992. External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ Miguel Angel San Roman (2001). "Luo Wenzao: A unique role in the seventeenth century church of China". In Ku, Wei-ying (ed.). Missionary approaches and linguistics in mainland China and Taiwan. Leuven: Leuven University Press. ISBN 9789058671615.

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