Professor of philosophy, mathematics, and missionary to China (1654-1698)
Avril, PHILIPPE, Jesuit, b. at Angouleme, France, September 16, 1654; d. in a shipwreck in 1698. He was professor of philosophy and mathematics at Paris when he was summoned to the missions of China. Following the instructions of Father Verbiest, then at Pekin, he attempted an overland journey, and travelled for six years through Kurdistan. Armenia, Astrakhan, Persia, and other countries of the East. Arriving at Moscow, he was refused permission to pass through Tatary, and was sent by the Government to Poland, from whence he made his way to Constantinople and from there went back to France. Though exhausted by haemorrhages he set out again on a vessel, which was lost at sea. He has left interesting and valuable accounts of his long wanderings.