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Yun-nan

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The Mission of Yun-nan includes the whole Province of Yun-nan which is situated in the southwestern corner of China. It adjoins Tonkin, Burma, Tibet, and the Chinese provinces of Sz-Chuen, Kwei chou, and Kwang-si. It is mountainous and its climate is like that of France. It has about 18,000,000 inhabitants, mostly Chinese, divided into many different tribes, as Y-jen, Miao-tse, Lo-los, Shans, Lissous. The Mussulman population is 900,000.

In 1658 Yun-nan was entrusted to the first Vicar Apostolic of the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris, Bishop Pallu, who had no means at his disposal to evangelize it. In 1699, Father Leblanc was made vicar Apostolic. He arrived there in 1702 accompanied by Father Danry. They found only four Christians, whom they used as catechists. Father Leblanc settled at Yun-nan-sen, the metropolis of the province, bought a piece of ground, and began building a church. Father Danry by 1706 had baptized more than 1000 Chinese. In that year, Emperor Kang-hsi banished the missionaries and father Danry left China, while Father Leblanc sought concealment in Fokien and Tché-kiang; he died in 1720, shortly after being made Bishop of Troad. Bishop Enjobert de Marillat, Vicar Apostolic of Sz-Chuen, administrated Yun-nan till 1780 when Yun-nan was united to Sz-chuen and Father Gleyo went to Yun-nan, where he established many Christian communities. In 1810, Yun-nan was separated from Sz-Chuen. Mgr. Ponsot became vicar Apostolic and was consecrated titular Bishop of Philomedia (1843-1880). The Catholic population at this time was 4000. There was only one Chinese priest. In 1847 a persecution stopped the progress of evangelization. In 1856 the Catholics numbered 6597. The Treaty of Pekin was not published in Yun-nan until 1865. In 1874 Father Baptifaud was killed at Pien-kio by the rebels. In 1881 Father Terrasse and fourteen Christians were massacred at Chang-yu, and 20 Dec., 1910, Father Mérigot was killed at Tsing-in. The present vicar Apostolic is Mgr. De Gorostarzu, consecrated Bishop of Aila in 1907. He resides at Yun-nan-sen.

In 1889 the mission comprised 1 bishop, 25 European missionaries, 7 Chinese priests, 53 churches or chapels, 1 seminary with 25 students, and 10,221 Catholics. In 1910, there were 2 bishops, 31 European missionaries, 15 Chinese priests, 92 churches or chapels, 1 seminary with 21 students, and 102 schools with 2112 pupils and 12,234 Catholics.

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