Anthroponyms seta PASIO, Francisco (1554-1612)

Clergy of the Society of Jesus who worked mostly in Japan. He was born in Bologna in 1554 and died in Macau on 30th August, 1612. He was admitted to the Society in Rome on 25th October, 1572. He was ordained priest in Lisbon in 1578 and celebrated the first mass service at the São Roque church. He left for India on 24th March, 1578, on board of the S. Gregório carrack ship, having arrived in Goa in September. There he was a priest at the Goa College and procurator of the province of India. In 1582 he left for the Far East, having visited Malacca and Macau. After a brief journey through the heart of China, he left for Japan, where he arrived on 25th July, 1583. In 1586 he was the superior of the Sakai residence and worked also on the Bungo and Nagasaki regions. He was the companion and confidential advisor of Alexandre Valignano on his second visit to the country (1590-1592), a position he held again when of his third visit, between 1598 and 1603. In 1590 he was the superior of Sumoto, having participated in the second general consultation of Japan, which took place in Katsusa. It was also at this location that he professed the four vows on 30th June, 1591. From 1592 on he became the consultant of the vice provincial Pedro Gomes. In 1596 he went with the newly-arrived bishop of Japan, D. Pedro Martins, to Miyako, where they were welcomed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In 1598 he took part of the consultation to the synod method in Nagasaki, a consultation summoned by the new bishop D. Luís Cerqueira. In order to replace Pedro Gomes, he was appointed vice provincial in September or October 1600. In 1606 he experienced the awkwardness of being accused of meddling with Nagasaki?s temporal administration. Allegedly, he participated, together with João Rodrigues, in the reorganisation plan of the Nagasaki territory, which consisted of the exchange of lands between the shogunate and the Omura daimyo. Omura Yoshiaki thought the deal was disadvantageous to him and accused the Jesuits of being the mentors of the exchange, thus severing all connections with the Society of Jesus and the Church. On 6th June, 1607, the vice provincial went to an audience with Tokugawa Ieyasu and later paid a visit to Tokugawa Hidetada in Edo (Tokio) and to Toyotomi Hideyori at the Osaka castle. In 1611 he was appointed visitator of China and Japan, a decision issued by Rome on 9th December, 1608. He was also provincial for a few months, until the office was given to Valentim de Carvalho. On 22nd March, 1612, he sailed to Macau but in mid-July he was taken severely ill and died a month and a half later. He had studied Art and two years of Theology and had a solid knowledge of the Japanese language. His government as vice provincial of Japan was characterized by opposing the education of native clergy, a position defended by bishop D. Luís Cerqueira.

Monumenta Historica Japoniae, dir. de Josef Franz Schütte S. J., Roma, Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1975; COSTA, João Paulo Oliveira e, O Cristianismo no Japão e o Episcopado de D. Luís de Cerqueira, dissertação de doutoramento em História apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, 1998 (texto fotocopiado). LÓPEZ-GAY, Jesús S.J., ?Father Francisco Pasio (1554-1612) And his Ideas About the Sacerdotal Trainning of the Japanese?in Bulletin of Portuguese/Japanese Studies, vol. 3, (Dez. 2001), Lisboa, Centro de História de Além-Mar ? Universidade Nova de Lisboa, pp. 27-42.

Author: Helena Rodrigues
Translated by: Maria das Mercês Pacheco

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