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Historical background to the Augustinian Recollects in China

Since 1650 there is evidence of the desires to enter China by Recollect missionaries, which failed for financial reasons and the subjugation of the religious organizations to the Spanish and Portuguese empires. In this large trajectory there were two friars who managed to arrive to the Chinese imperial court: Adeodato of Saint Augustine and Anselmo of Santa Margarita, discalced Augustinians from Italy.

Adeodato of Saint Augustine appears in the documentation of 1784 in the court of the Chinese Emperor as a “machinist” (possibly a watch maker). In 1805 he sent a map of Shantung to Rome so that they would mark the frontiers of work for the Portuguese, Italian and Spanish religious. This map was intercepted; was accused of espionage, and exiled to Tartaria. In 1814 he arrived to Manila and asked to be admitted into the Recollection. He would die there on the 29th of January 1821 at sixty one years old.

Anselmo of Saint Margaret has a similar history. After suffering the Chinese persecution he is exiled and arrived in 1812 to Manila, where died on the 6th of December 1816 as a Recollect.

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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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