(TIEN, SVD; Thomas Cardinal) (1890-1960)
Chinese cardinal and chair of Fu Jen Catholic University. Archbishop of Peking. Created a cardinal by Pius XII in 1946.
UNSIGNED MEMORABILIA – Typewritten “circular” letter one page, circa 1965, shortly before his death. Excellent content letter on priests serving in the missions with an interesting typewritten post-script from his personal secretary. Accompanied by a small color reprint image. Nota bene: not signed by the cardinal but offers an interesting insight into his missionary activities. Elsewhere we have an authentically-signed photograph of Tien.
After WWII, an estimated 4 million Chinese professed the Catholic faith. By 1948, the Church operated some 254 orphanages and 196 hospitals, carrying out a great deal of pastoral work throughout China. The following year there were, in China: 20 archdiocese; 85 dioceses; 39 apostolic prefectures; 3080 missionaries and 2557 priests. The establish of Mao Zedong’s Communist regime in 1949 put these early advances on hold and led to the persecution of thousands of clergy and faithful throughout China.