Father Michel was part of a larger movement by the Jesuits to spread Christianity across the world. These missionary efforts occured around the time of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, as well as the Enlightment. In China, the Jesuits focused primarily on converting elite Dynasty officials. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful, as the Jesuits had little to offer that the then technologically advanced Chinese lacked. Furthermore, several missionaries made insulting remarks toward the emperor, which did not help their cause.
The Society of Jesus is a male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. It was established in 1534 by Ignatius of Loyola.