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Li Zhizao

Li Zhizao (1565-1630), born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, was a Catholic believer in the early stage of Catholicism's development in China.

He showed much interest in all kinds of knowledge in the West and studied astronomy, geography, military, water conservancy, music, mathematics, physics, chemistry, philosophy and religion, etc.

He respected Catholicism very much, called it as Tian Xue (The Art of the Heaven) and wrote a set of Catholic books in 32 volumes.

He proposed to combine Catholicism with Confucianism, using Catholicism to modify the shortcomings of Confucianism.

One of his articles written in 1607 indicated that he had accepted the idea of Catholicism.

In 1610, he contracted a serious disease; then he received baptism and became a believer of Catholicism and got the name of Leo. Soon he recovered from his illness. From then on, he concentrated his mind on Catholicism.