1754  — 1801

Nicolas Joseph Raux

French Vincentian missionary (CM) who went to China during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty.

In 1773, following the dissolution of the Society of Jesus, the French king, Louis XVI, sent Raux and two other missionaries to China. They departed France on 25 Aug 1783, arriving in Guangzhou on 29 Aug 1784. They traveled north on 7 Feb 1785, arriving in Beijing on 29 Apr. The emperor met them and assigned Raux, who devoted his time to learning Chinese and the Manchu language, to do translation work. In 1788, following the death of the Jesuit Joseph d’Esphinha, Raux was appointed to replace him as chief of the Calendrical Bureau. Raux also conducted clandestine mission activities. He presided over the North Church, conducting elaborate masses on important days in the church calendar, and established several schools where Christians could learn the teachings of the church. He also established a monastery to train Chinese priests.


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.


  • Latourette, Kenneth Scott, A History of Christian Mission in China (1929).

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