Joining the Society of Jesus at age 17, Aroccia left for India in 1586, studying philosophy and theology in Goa and Macau, respectively. In 1597, when Lazzaro Gattaneo temporarily returned to Macau for medical treatment, Aroccia was instructed to look after the residence in Shaozhou and was granted permission to remain in Shaozhou after Cattaneo’s return. He then began his preaching career in inland China.
After Matteo Ricci had established residences in Nanchang and Nanjing, Aroccia was first called to Nanchang, and then to Nanjing, where he stayed for nine years. In 1603, he baptized Xu Guangqi. He also baptized Qu Taisu, who had given much help to Ricci. In 1609, Ricci ordered his return to Nanchang. Following an incident in which Chinese officials brought an accusation against missionaries in 1616, Aroccia went into hiding at a convert’s home in Jianchang, Jiangxi. He later went to Zhangzhou, Fujian, and Jiading, Jiangsu, to continue preaching. In 1622, he succeeded Longobardo as the third leader of the Inland China Jesuit missionaries’ organization in inland China. He died in Hangzhou.
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.