Prosper Bernard

Prosper Bernard, S.J. (in Chinese: 那士荣; pinyin: Nà Shì Róng) (May 25, 1902 – March 18, 1943) was a Canadian Jesuit priest who was executed by a Japanese officer in China in 1943.

Prosper Bernard, S.J.
那士荣 (Nà Shì Róng)
Born(1902-05-25)May 25, 1902
DiedMarch 18, 1943(1943-03-18) (aged 40)


In 1935, he became a Jesuit priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He left for China in January 1938, a week after Dr. Norman Bethune, the famous Canadian medical doctor. In China, he took the Chinese name of Nà Shì Róng. At that time, Japan was occupying part of China. On December 8, 1941, he was both director of the school of Taolou and that village's pastor when Canada, the United States, and Britain declared war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was immediately arrested and brought to Fengxian, 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) away, and put in house arrest in the church compound with two other Canadian priests. These three Canadian priests continued to operate a school from inside that same church compound in Fengxian. On March 18, 1943, they were executed by a Japanese officer for trying to preserve the school. In 1990, the people of Fengxian erected a monument to their memory.


Father Bernard's nephew, Dr. Prosper Bernard, chairman of the board of trustees of the University Consortium of the Americas and Professor of Business at the Université du Québec in Montreal, has written the following books concerning Father Prosper Bernard:

  • Bernard, Prosper; Prosper Bernard, Jr. (2000). De l'Autre Côté de la Terre: La Chine. Montreal: Sciences et Culture. ISBN 978-2-89092-263-1.
  • Bernard, Prosper; Prosper Bernard, Jr. (2001). In China Forever. Montreal: Sciences et Culture. pp. 336. ISBN 0-9709309-0-9.
  • Bernard, Prosper (2006). Why China?. Montreal: Fidal Asia. ISBN 2-922636-16-X.
  • Bernard, Prosper (2007). Chinese Obsession. Montreal: Fidal Asia. ISBN 978-2-922636-20-8.

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