Op 11 oktober 2012 organiseerde de universiteit van Shantou (China, provincie Guangdong) een seminar met als thema 'Christianity & Gender in Chaozhou, Southeast China'. De organisatie had me gevraagd een 'paper' te presenteren over mannelijke aspecten van de missie in het noorden van China. Onderstaand de tekst.
During the so-called Second Opium War, from 1856 to 1860, British and French expeditionary forces were able to realize quite a lot. In December 1857 they conquered
In June the Qing dynasty capitulated. The ruling Manchus seemed willing to sign the Treaty of Tianjin and meet many of the European demands. The arrangements were not formalized at that time. British and French negotiators were arrested and thirteen of their helpers were assassinated in August 1860.
Lord Elgin, head of the British expeditionary army, decided to teach the Chinese a lesson. He ordered his troops to march on to the very capital of the Qing empire. British soldiers laid the summer palace of the emperor in ashes. The Xianfeng emperor fled to his hunting palace in Jehol, where he died shortly afterwards. The imperial throne was not occupied. The Europeans could have started a new foreign Chinese dynasty, like the Mongols and the Manchus had done before. Instead of doing this they decided to preserve the Manchu dynasty. But more than ever before they were able to impose their demands. Prince Gong, the emperor’s younger brother, negotiated on behalf of the Qing dynasty, or what was left of it.
The British formalized their agreements with the Chinese government. Now it was the French’s turn. On October 25, 1860, baron Jean-Baptist Gros, envoy of French emperor Napoleon III, proceeded from French headquarters outside the city to the ministery of Rites where the documents of the French-Chinese treaty were going to be signed. Two thousand French soldiers, musicians in front, accompanied their chief, who was carried by eight coolies in a palanquin. The Treaty, in a vermillion-colored box, was carried by four non-commissioned officers.
Baron Gros apologized to prince Gong. He was not dressed properly. His official clothing had gone lost because of a shipwreck near the coast of the
In the treaties of 1860, as a result of military violence, the Chinese were forced to admit that henceforth there would be eternal friendship between the emperor of
Because of that, the French acquired the right to settle down anywhere in the Chinese empire and to travel wherever they liked to go. When the French had the intention to visit the interior, the Chinese government would provide them with a proper passport in French and Chinese. The French were also entitled to rent and to construct buildings, such as churches, hospitals, orphanages, schools and churchyards. The Chinese state had to protect the French and French possessions. From now on the French in
Article number thirteen of the friendship treaty, legally valid in 1860 because of military intervention, dealt with the propagation of the catholic belief: “The christian religion aims to stimulate the people to live a virtuous life. Therefore all christian communities could count on the free practice of their belief and protection, also of their possessions. French missionaries would be given special protection so that they could peacefully travel to the interior of the Chinese country, provided with proper passports. All Chinese would be given the right to embrace christianity and live according to christian rules. All measures formerly promulgated against christianity should be withdrawn immediately”.
Belgian and Dutch priests in China
Legally, European (French) missionaries from 1860 onwards were free to enter the whole of
A new mission congregation, established fifteen years later in the Dutch
Therefore, for the foreign missions it is essential to have a huge army of christian soldiers. There is good news. During the last few years so-called mission houses were established in several European countries. In those houses Soldiers of the Cross are educated and and instructed. This kind of soldiers forms an elite force for the propagation of the christian faith. In this way the encouragement of the Saviour is more and more put into practice. It is also the ambition of the Church: ‘Go and teach all the peoples, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’”.
In the nineteenth century there were several organisations dealing with the mission in
After the treaties of 1860 the Church summoned priests and young boys studying at a seminary to come forward and participate in the propagation of the true faith in that dark land with hundreds of million heathens more or less ready to be converted. Such an opportunity, after the successful French invasion in
A small group of Belgian priests under the leadership of army chaplain Theophile Verbist responded to the call of pope Pius IX. Backed by the cardinal in the Belgian city of
In 1865 the Propaganda Fide decided to allocate the whole of northern
Also because of the treaties, the Scheutists operated under the French flag. Three Belgian and one Dutch priest reached the
Beards to impress
The first fathers of Scheut, before boarding the ship that was going to bring them to the Far East, discovered that their luggage had not arrived in the
But the Scheutists were aware that they had another weapon at hand, their beard. Also in Marseille, Van Segvelt let his father know: “My beard is already two centimeters long. With my figure, tanned by the sun, I look like a giant”. Shortly after his arrival in Xiwanzi, the new missionary confirmed how important a long beard was. “To look beautiful in
In reports to their headquarters in
Roofthooft, Verwilghen, Anicq, Raemakers, Verstraeten, Hamer, Zech, Verellen
Dutch father Emile Indemans explained the way it worked. “In
The Belgian Scheutist Cyril Van Belle added another opinion. “Everything in
September 28, 1902, was a very special day for the catholics in the Dutch town of
September 28 was a day of many speeches. Ludovicus Hebrans was one of the priests who addressed the crowd. The Jesuit described what had happened in
Let’s start at the beginning. Many European missionaries arrived in
On May 13, 1855, the Dutch priest Antoon Smorenburg sent a letter to his parents when he was on the threshhold of traveling to
Dear parents, you understand that because of the protection of such a British ship, we were not afraid at all any more. We even hoped, we really wished, to have an encounter with a junk of Chinese pirates. However, this time the buccaneers didn’t show up. What a pity. As soon as these Chinese discover a European steamship, they immediately sail to the open sea”.
After arriving in the mission area allotted to them by the Propaganda Fide the Scheutists soon realized that they had to have weapons at their disposal. One of them, Alois Van Segevelt, sent a report to
By reading their letters one can see that the missionaries had enough weapons with them when they started to explore their mission area. And they certainly knew how to use them. Ferdinand Hamer, for example, recorded in his travelogue: “Before departing this morning, I fired a shot. We didn’t have any problems today”. Did the 25-year old missionary have lessons in how to use his gun before leaving for
Theophile Verbist, head of the Scheut mission in
Van Segvelt did indeed have a prosperous trip. When he reached his destination safely, he wrote a letter to his family in
The Dutch Scheutist Theodoor Rutjes soon realized in
The priest seemed to have a good knowledge of weapons. In his letter home, Rutjes explained why this kind of military expertise was necessary. “Bandits nowadays are very active in the area. I cannot remember exactly whether I reported this in another letter. Father Remi Verlinden had some encounters again. While on his way to my mission post he was waylaid by three fellows on horses. Fourteen hours from here in the mountains. It was a very small road there. Almost too small for two carts to pass each other. The bandits surrounded him. But Verlinden produced his revolver. The ‘heroes’ fled immediately. From that moment on he was careful enough not only to have a revolver with him but also the carbine that I had here in my room. I use this weapon against the wolves who in these days haunt the area regularly.
Remi was not alone this time. He had the money of the mission in his cart, and also some luggage that had to be transferred. On the third morning after his departure from here Verlinden had slowly dozed off in the cart. Suddenly his servant cried out: ‘Sjenfou [priest], the robbers, the robbers!’. The sjenfou took the gun and jumped out of the cart. Six brigands on horses and two on foot surrounded the missionary at the same time. They used iron balls, fixed to a long rope. They both threw the balls and tried to beat the priest with them”.
The weapons of the robbers certainly were more primitive than those of the missionary’s. But the gun of the father was not very good or modern either. After shooting once Verlinden had to reload it. But the priest had several revolvers at his disposal, as well. “The sjenfou was afraid that he was gonna be murdered. He prayed to Mary, the mother of God and asked forgiveness for all of his sins committed after the last time he confessed. The headman shouted: ‘The old man can not use his gun anymore. Beat him, beat him, beat him!’
Verlinden started to fire with one of his revolvers. The whole group of robbers fled hastily. ‘The European devil (like they say) is able to shoot with his hands! He doesn’t need a rifle!’”
According to Rutjes father Verlinden was some sort of a hero. But still, the brigands had succeeded to rob all the mission money. One of the guys had taken it from the cart. So the ambush was indeed successful.
The missionaries in
Whenever I read the letters of the Scheutists, I always wonder how they became so proficient in handling their firearms. One thing is sure, they practised regularly. One of the favorite passtimes of those who were supposed to propagate the true faith was to go out hunting. “The hunt is not fatigueing at all here”, reported father Willem Meyer (from Zeddam in the eastern countryside of the
Many priests, living in the Chinese countryside, really loved to go out hunting and shooting. The Flemish Scheutist Jules Anicq, for example, explained in March 1897: “When we are discussing the hunt for hares or partridges my colleague Engel Verstraeten cannot be withheld. His jaw gets very red. His eyes shine and flash rays of light. At such a moment it looks like he is going to kill anything within his reach. Here or there we find a hare. Then it’s impossible to stop him from hunting and shooting. Afterwards he returns in triumph. Then he shouts: ‘I’ve killed them – two geese and a snipe!”
The priests also used their guns when they felt threatened by all kinds of wild animals.
Sometimes it was not necessary to use their rifles or revolvers. When the bandits found out that the fathers were heavily armed, they didn’t dare to attack. Theophile Redant wrote on December 14, 1888: “We met five highwaymen. Showing our weapens was enough to chase them away”. But if necessary he fired several shots. “The bandits were close at my heels. They tried to grab the reins of my horses. But I used my pistol several times to keep them at bay”.
The missionaries sometimes did more than hunting or protecting themselves. When in mortal danger they defended themselves, sometimes killing their Chinese enemies. The Belgian Scheutist Karel Verellen traveled from Europe to the north of
New Christians with weapons
The new christians, the new converts, in most cases also had good European guns at their disposal. They were seldom afraid if a mission post came under attack. On December 9, 1891, Theodoor Rutjes reported to his family in the
The new christans were not afraid at all, reported Rutjes. “‘When there are too many we will have to flee’, they answered. ‘But if there are not more than two thousand rebels, we will hold out easily’”.
The organisation of the mission in the north of China
In his book Génie du christianism (1802) the French author and politician Chateaubriand explained how the mission posts, set up in
The Belgian and Dutch priests who in the nineteenth century traveled to
The nineteenth-century missionaries gave the agricultural colonies the name ‘christianities’ (chrétientés, christenheden). Establishing such a christianity turned out to be effective in persuading the Chinese to ‘adept the catholic way of life’. Quite often there were long periods of drought. People in the countryside then had really no food at all. The men sometimes had to sell their wives and children so they could eat. People perished in great quantities.
The christianities offered help if the Chinese were prepared to be converted. The missionaries sometimes bought food in the black markets in order to be attractive for converts. They also offered farming land for cultivation, work for building houses, a church and other buildings, a catholic school for the children, an orphanage for children without parents, medicines for the sick and holy sacraments for those who had been baptized. Many thousands of Chinese, displaced and hungry because of rebellions and drought, sought refuge north of the Chinese Wall. They were anxious to survive. The christianities functioned as a refuge for desperate families in proper
In an article in a mission magazine the Belgian Scheutist Jan-Baptist Steenackers explained to his readers what he had experienced himself in the spring of 1878. There was no food available for the people. Father Steenackers had more than enough money, one can read in Missiën in
A year later, according to the story as told by the missionary, the Chinese peddler came back and showed him the catechism. Steenackers asked him if he had read in the catechism. “Every night”, he heard. And more. “When my neighbors visited me, I taught them the catholic religious rules. Everybody was interested and enthusiastic. That’s why I’ve come back. Please come to us and teach us more”, he said he heard on that occasion.
Steenackers added: “I could not refuse his invitation”. The Belgian priest felt that God himself had arranged it like this. “So I followed the apple-man, who turned out to be a farmer. The village where he lived looked like an excellent christianity to me. I saw a lot of good grass growing on the soft slope of the hills. I was convinced that the land was very fertile. It was owned by several heathens. They were prepared to sell all the land to me. I was able to buy it with horses and oxes from our own cattle.
From that moment on converting people was quite easy. Twenty families decided rightaway to embrace the catholic faith. Many others followed soon. In order to explain the religion to all these converts, I needed help. In 1882 father Cesar De Brabander arrived and joined me”.
In a letter, dated February 25, 1898, the young Flemish missionary Jules Anicq explained to his aunt in
The Chinese, once ‘converted’, were dependent on the help of the European priests. They had to behave as if they really wanted to live the life of true catholics. They had no other option if they waned to survive. There were more than enough candidates to take their place. The missionaries regularly removed Chinese when they were not willing to live the life they wanted them to live.
Jules Anicq kept his Belgian family up to date on the progress of his mission work. “I preach four times a day. But this is not the kind of preaching as in
In the freezing winter-climate there is not much work to be done in our christianity. During several months it is too cold for any agricultural activity. That is the best time for teaching them the christian life and the catechism. Very early in the morning we bang the Chinese gong. Everybody is obliged to come to the church for the morning prayer and to attend holy mass. Some new converts do not care very much and stay in their bed. In that case we send one of our servants to wake them and order them to come to the church. A few of them are still not prepared to follow these orders. In that case we, missionaries, know what to do. Armed with a stout stick we hit them until they come out of their beds and join us in the morning prayer.
After the holy mass I gather the women in my room for some preaching and teaching. In the evening the gong is banged once again for a late prayer. Afterwards the men come to my room for their daily lessons in the catholic faith. During daytime I teach the catechism in the two schools, one for the boys and one for the girls”.
Anicq didn’t have a high esteem of the Chinese. To his family he called the women ‘stupid’ and the children were ‘brats, at certain moment very disagreeable’. Many missionaries shared his opinion of the local Chinese. They made it clear that they hadn’t gone all the way to the
The young Belgian priest, not yet thirty years old, clarified to his converts what their position, their status was all about. They are, he wrote, ‘our subjects. The priest is their real master, both for their temporary [material] and their spiritual existence’.
The Chinese were now living in Mongolian territory. Therefore, many or all of them had obligations towards the semi-independent Mongolian princes. It seems that they had to render some services to them. Several Chinese in those Mongolian territories converted in order to shirk from the authority of the princes. Regularly there were conflicts between the missionaries and the principalities.
The converts also fell under the authority of the Chinese mandarins. Some of the new christians had a number of crimes on their record and fled to a nearby christianity. In order to be accepted there they were willing to convert. In a letter, dated February 22, 1898, Anicq explained to members of his Belgian family what he had taught to those now living in his christianity: “If the mandarins approach and badger them, they have to make it clear: ‘You mandarins have nothing to do with our lives anymore. We only have one master, the priest’”.
The European missionaries referred to the treaties of 1860. They applied them not only to their own position but to those Chinese they had accepted as new christians as well.
Problems with each other and with women
The missionaries in the north of
When they wrote to each other from one christianity to another, or to their headoffice in Scheut, the missionaries communicated their displeasure. Many of those letters were destroyed after reading them. In the ones that have survived, at the end one can often read remarks such as ‘this is personal, please don’t talk about it with your colleagues’, or simply: ‘destroy this paper after reading it’.
One nice example of this kind of writing is a letter forwarded by Alfons Lievens on May 31, 1887. Somebody of the western part of the Scheut mission in
Lievens warned his colleague Jerome Van Aertselaer. “I am convinced that Bermijn will raise his voice against [the Belgian bishop] Msgr. De Vos. Be careful with him. Bermijn probably will misuse his position and is planning to hurt De Vos”.
Lievens had lots of grievances against Cesar De Brabander. He didn’t formulate exactly what his colleague had been up to. Probably Van Aertselaer knew all about it. But one thing was certain – De Brabander was gossiping all the time. In fact, that’s exactly what Lievens was doing himself when he wrote the letter. “I know that De Brabander really hates Msgr. De Vos. He has thrown mud at several of us with the intention to excuse himself and diminish his own failures. The best thing to do is remove him from our mission in
Bishop De Vos had canceled all of De Brabander’s competences ‘because Cesar has left his post without any reason or permission’. Lievens had one more thing to say to Van Aertselaer in the more eastern part of the Scheut mission. “De Brabander leaves on a big and beautiful horse. Christian converts have raised much of the money. So the horse is not his property. When he arrives, seize the horse and send it back to us, together with other things he probably has taken with him without asking our permission”.
The missionaries in
At the end of it Lievens asked his colleague only to read this personal letter and not to talk about it with anyone else. And, like a true priest, he wrote: “Please pray for me, I will certainly pray for you”.
In 1889 Ferdinand Hamer became bishop in the
There were also problems for the missionaries in dealing with Chinese women. In a letter, dated March 4, 1900, missionary Willem Lemmens concluded that his colleague Edward Vertommen ‘was only able to function in
Bishop Hamer hardly knew how to cope with the same kind of problems. Soon after he became bishop, he already ordered that there should be a separation during confession when it was a woman who confessed her sins. In 1897 he had two particular cases when two of his missionaries didn’t stick to the celibacy. On November 10, he wrote to Van Aertselaer in
Family of evangelists in China
More than a century later, it’s hard to estimate how big the celibacy-problem really was. Many of the letters dealing with it probably have not been preserved in the Scheut archives. Still, for the activities in the
Most of the evangelists had the British nationality. They were compatriots of the soldiers who had won the Second Opium War of 1856-1860. Great-Britain, the ‘shopkeeper of the world’ as it was called for many decades, was an economic superpower in the nineteenth century. Most of the evangelists, including people from
Understandably, that was a thorn in the flesh of the young Belgian and Dutch priests, operating far away from home. The Belgian mission bishop (apostolic vicar) Jaak Bax put it like this in 1878: “Isn’t it sad for us to realize that the protestants, strayed from the proper path to heaven, are able to spend twelve times, maybe fifteen times more money as the catholics. The English societies are provided with a capital of 50 million francs every year. The Propagation de la Foi in
The evangelists not only had more money at their disposal. They also worked in another way. They settled mostly within the walls of the Chinese cities, while the missionaries, mostly born and bred in the countryside of
Because of their way of living the priests were able to concentrate fully on the job they had to do in
The Chinese also had their own ideas about the westerners. In their culture old men with long beards were venerated. As explained before, missionaries and evangelists grew beards when boarding a steamship to
Another father remarked that an evangelist had done as much as he could but in the wrong way. “I hear that he has married a Chinese woman in order to win a favourable position with the people. The plan was good but the result didn’t meet the expectation. Many of those protestant preachers work as hard as possible to achieve something”, he added.
The catholic missionaries had only limited means for their activities in
The people often didn’t understand the meaning of what it was all about. “The Chinese had never heard of prophets”, Nat Brandt wrote in his boek Massacre in Shansi. “They had no idea where the biblical lands were, and thought certain practices, such as the washing of feet, strange. They were often confused by such elemental matters as the frequent allusion to shepherds in the bible. In many areas of
Brandt, writing about the evangelist mission in the
Anyhow, many Chinese were grateful to be presented with printed bibletexts. They manufactured them into the soles of their shoes.
The missionaries had other methods than the evangelists. Wanting to profit from the advantages of their conversion, the catechumenes (christians not yet baptized) and new christians were obliged to have themselves be introduced in the rules of catechism and go to the mission church several times each day. The sacraments of baptism and confirmation finalized the transfer to the catholic faith. Was that a real conversion? That’s hard to say.
The catholic missionaries were convinced that it was extremely important to impress the Chinese. The protestant method of conversion they considered too weak. A French sister of charity in
Help for the missionaries
Pope Leo XIII
The European fathers in the north of
Thomas Pecci, pope Leo XIII since the death of Piux IX in 1878, was an important mission helper in
In it he praised the two major French mission-societies. The Sainte-Enfance ‘undertook to rescue and bring up in Christian habits the unhappy children whom their parents, pressed by idleness or want, exposed inhumanly, especially in
Leo XIII also quoted one of his predecessors Gregorius XVI, at whose instigation the Propagation de la Foi was established in the French city of
Leo XIII asked all christians to help the mission activities. “They can easily be fulfilled by men of all ranks. For who is there of such slender fortune that he is hindered from giving at one time or other a small alms, or occupied by so many things that he cannot pray to God for the messengers of the Holy Gospel?
This work tends directly to the glory of the Divine name and to the spread of the
A donation to the mission was worthwhile. “When you are engaged in exhortation, let every one consider that his liberality will not be to him a loss, but a gain, because he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord, and on that account the practice of almsgiving has been called the most profitable of all practices”.
Supporting the mission, praying, donating money, becoming a missionary or sister of charity, was a good investment in life after death. You donated during your lifetime. After this temporay life on earth, your donation was fully returned, with interest – in heaven!
The Japanese also were helpful to the missionaries in the north of
this vast sum. Whether they were willing or not, they had to sell or lease part of their lands. The Chinese defeat, in a way, was a victory for the missionaries.
The more land they were able to acquire, the more Chinese they could admit into new christianities, with other words: the more Chinese people they were able to ‘convert’.
Thanks to the pope and the Church in Europe more and more fathers were arriving in
The Boxer Rebellion
After the Chinese-Japanese War of 1894-1895 the Europeans became more and more reckless. In the last five years of the nineteenth century especially the Germans were ambitious. Emperor Wilhelm II immediately reacted when in 1897 two missionaries of the German-Dutch congregation of Steyl were assassinated in the
The Chinese government was not able to prevent the British and French from grabbing parts of their empire. They couldn’t protect its subjects either. More and more, the people had to organize their own lives. That was the beginning of the so-called boxer rebellion.
During the war with Japan Chinese troops were transferred from the interior to the coastal areas. The muslims in the north felt oppressed. With the troops gone they revolted again. The missionaries felt threatened by this rebellion. They decided to build thick walls with watchtowers around some of their christianities. If necessary the fathers now would be able to entrech themselves in what looked like medieval forts.
Maybe because of the diminishing of the central power in
Ferdinand Hamer, the bishop, not involved, put it like this: “There was fighting. Three christians were wounded, but four heathens were killed and three others heavily wounded. The christians have thrown the dead and the wounded heathens into the
The Chinese authorities soon took action. They brought a charge against ten christians, including the two missionaries. In those months there were extraordinary circumstances. When in trouble, the Europeans could always ask for help in the east, where there were troops and gunboats. Besides, they felt protected by the treaties of 1860. This time, the Europeans in the north of
Because of the accident at Sanilu, the boxers had an alibi to manifest themselves in the
The boxers attacked the christianities, the missionaries, the evangelists and the ‘new christians’ everywhere in the north of
In the eastern part of the Scheut mission field, the Russians advanced. Russian soldiers moved forward to help the priests.
Father Gerard Vonke, from the Dutch
Holy water. Did that really help?
Father Vonke felt that he had done the right thing. “It looked as if our blessings were successful. We must have chased away the evil spirits that possessed them and made them, as they believed, invulnerable. They could only advance very slowly and seemed irresolute”.
Holy water alone, however, was not enough. There were good weapons available for the christians. “We started firing our guns. Three of the attackers fell dead rightaway. Many were wounded. The others hastily retreated. The soldiers started shooting, not at us but at the boxers. They tried to force the boxers in this way to press forward again. One of my converts, whose son was a member of the gang of boxers, begged the soldiers to stop shooting. All of the attackers would die, he tried to make clear. Then all of them took to flight. They left all kinds of objects on the battlefield: rifles, lances, swords, and shoes, even several women shoes”.
Not all missionaries were as lucky as Gerard Vonke. The fathers Dobbe, Abbeloos, Zijlmans, Heirman and Mallet were killed. Bishop Hamer in Ershisiqingdi sent his colleagues to a safer place. He made the decision not to flee. After 35 years of mission work he felt he couldn’t desert his christians when they were in danger. After several attacks the bishop and his converts were assassinated. The women were taken prisoner and sold to the muslims west of the
Men on mission
Fort Klein Brugge
A group of many missionaries under the leadership of Alfons Bermijn gathered in the missionary stronghold of Klein Brugge in the
Bermijn and his helpers survived a siege of more than a month. Some reports, published afterwards,show that they behaved as real brave soldiers. The fathers did not hesitate nor bothered to kill when they were attacked. Only one of them, Gisbert Jaspers, was killed. The siege of Klein Brugge was lifted after allied troops put an end to the siege of the embassy area in
Now revenge actions followed. German troops, brought over all the way from
The young priest father Jules Anicq sent his own reports to his family in
With these down to earth words the Belgian Scheutist made it clear that mission activities had to be the work of real men.
A boxer (or China), begging for mercy
Désiré Abbeloos (Opwijk, 1871-1900)
Koenraad Abels (Weert, 1856-1942)
Jeroom Van Aertselaer (Hoogstraten, 1845-1924)
Jules Anicq (Nukerke, 1860-1918)
Jaak Bax (Weelde, 1824-1895)
Cyril Van Belle (Deux-Acren, 1857-1918)
Alfons Bermijn (St. Pauwels, 1853-1915)
Cesar De Brabander (Elversele, 1857-1919)
Jozef Dobbe (Den Bosch, 1864-1900)
Godfried Frederix (Afferden, 1866-1938)
Ferdinand Hamer (Nijmegen, 1840-1900)
Armand Heirman (Berlare, 1862-1900)
Emile Indemans (Stevensweert, 1866-1912)
Gisbert Jaspers (Geldrop, 1871-1900)
Willem Lemmens (Beek, 1860-1943)
Alfons Lievens (Kapellen, 1854-1917)
Jan Mallet (Hechtel, 1870-1900)
Willem Meyer (Zeddam, 1838-1909)
Herman Ramaekers (Elsene, 1868-1936)
Theophiel Redant (Nieuwerkerken, 1860-1891)
Edmond Rubbens (Zele, 1859-1929)
Theodoor Rutjes (Duiven, 1844-1896)
Alois Van Segvelt (Rumst, 1826-1867)
Antoon Smorenburg (Soest, 1827-1904)
Jan-Baptist Steenackers (Kasterlee, 1848-1912)
Theophile Verbist (Antwerpen, 1823-1868)
Karel Verellen (Antwerpen, 1859-1925)
Remi Verlinden (Heffen, 1830-1892)
Engel Verstraeten (Bottelare, 1870-1949)
Gerard Vonke (Raalte, 1862-1906)
Alfons De Vos (Mesen, 1840-1888)
Frans Vranckx (Antwerpen, 1830-1911)
André Zijlmans (Waalwijk, 1873-1900)
Archive Sparrendaal (Scheut), personal letters Theodoor Rutjes, Kloosterarchieven Sint Agatha
Archive Lazarists (
Archive Scheut, letters of the Scheut fathers, KADOC,
Archive Sainte-Enfance, Rome
Chateaubriand, Schoonheden des christendoms of zedelijke en dichterlijke voortreffelijkheden van den christelijken godsdienst, Haarlem 1810
Alois Van Segvelt, Les missionnaires belges en Mongolie. Coup d’oeuil sur l’établissement du christianisme à Pékin et en Mongolie, Brussels 1866
Katholieke Missiën, 1879 (Missiehuis Steyl bij Venlo)
Leo XIII, Sancta Dei Civitas, 1880,
Missiën in China en Congo, Scheut, 1896 (Steenackers); 1900 (Vonke)
Henri Cordier, Histoire des relations de la Chine avec les puissances occidentales 1860-1900. L’empereur T’oung Tché (1861-1875), Paris 1901
Daniël Verhelst, Théophile Verbist et les origines de la Congrégation de Scheut. Documents édits,
Nat Brandt, Massacre in Shansi,
Verhelst, Daniël, La congrégation de Coeur immaculé de Marie (Scheut). Édition critique des sources.
Daniël Verhelst, Hyacinth Daniëls (ed.), Scheut vroeger en nu, Leuven 1991
Erik Raspoet, Reizigers in God. De missionarissen van Scheut, Amsterdam 2001
Danië Verhelst, Daniël, Hyacinth Daniëls (ed.), La Congrégation du Coeur Immaculé de Marie (Scheut). La correspondance de Théophile Verbist et ses Compagnons 1865-1866, Leuven 2003
Daniël Verhelst, Hyacinth Daniëls (ed.), La Congrégation du Coeur Immaculé de Marie (Scheut). La correspondance de Théophile Verbist et ses Compagnons 1866-1869, Leuven 2007
Harry Knipschild, 'Bedrieglijke lieden, zaaiers van dwalingen. Katholieke missionarissen over protestantse zendelingen in China in de negentiende eeuw', Transparant, april 2008
Harry Knipschild, 'Ferdinand Hamer (1840-1900). Een held in de Chinese missie', in Ex Tempore (1), Nijmegen, 2011
Harry Knipschild, ‘Het moeizame leven van een missionaris. Antoon Smorenburg (1827-1904)’, in J. Thomas Lindblad, Alicia Schrikker (ed.), Het verre gezicht. Politieke en culturele relaties tussen Nederland en Azië, Afrika en Amerika. Opstellen aangeboden aan Prof. Dr.
Harry Knipschild, ‘‘Geen goddeloozer volk onder de zon’. Limburgers op missie onder de Chinezen’, in Publications. Jaarboek 2011. LGOG, deel 147, 2011