1852  — 1918

João Paulino de Azevedo e Castro

Bishop of Macau (1902-18) who guided the church through the fall of the Chinese Empire and World War I.

Born in Lages do Pico, Azores, Portugal. After his theological formation at the University of Coimbra, de Azevedo e Castro was ordained a priest in 1879 and lectured at the seminary of Angra, becoming its rector in 1888. Consecrated as bishop of Macau in 1902, he arrived in June 1903 with a seminarian, Jose da Costa Nunes (1880-1976), who late succeeded him as bishop.

Soon after his arrival in Macau, de Azevedo e Castro founded the official diocesan bulletin, Boletim do Governo Ecclesiastico da Diocese de Macau. In 1904, he began a pastoral visit of the diocese, first to the Singapore Mission (laying the foundation stone of St. Joseph’s Church on 1 Aug) and then to the Timor Mission in 1905.

De Azevedo e Castro welcomed the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary (1903) and the Salesian Fathers (1906) to work in the diocese. In 1908, he traded Hainan Island with the ecclesiastical authorities of Guangzhou for Zhaoqing and entrusted the northern part of Zhaoqing to the care of the Jesuits in 1913. In 1917, he published the book Os Bens das Missoes Portuguesas in China.

Originally buried in the Church of Our Lady da Penha, de Azevedo e Castro’s remains were later transferred to his homeland in the Azores.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Texeira, M., (1940).

About the Author

Sergio Ticozzi

Spiritual Director, P.I.M.E. International Theological Seminary, Cavite, Philippines