Nicholas Kao Se Tseien
Nicholas Kao Se Tseien, was a Chinese Catholic priest living in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 who was both the oldest Catholic priest in modern times and the oldest ever person to have had a cataract
A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light...


In 2007, he celebrated his claimed 110th birthday, and, in doing so, he reached supercentenarian
A supercentenarian is someone who has reached the age of 110 years. This age is achieved by about one in a thousand centenarians....

 status. If his age had been verified he would have been, from October 13, 2007 until his death, the second-oldest man in Asia and the seventh-oldest man in the world. However, his age has never been verified by an independent international authority on longevity, such as the Gerontology Research Group
Gerontology Research Group
The Gerontology Research Group was started in 1990, and is a global eGroup of researchers in gerontology, some of who also meet monthly at UCLA in Los Angeles, California. The primary function of the group is to further gerontology research, with the objective of reversing or retarding aging...


Born in Fuzhou
Fuzhou is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area....

, Fujian province, Kao, one of four brothers, converted to Roman Catholicism at age 18 while attending a school run by Spanish Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 friars. Although trained as a teacher and studying law at night, he ultimately decided to become a priest.

His clerical life brought him from China to Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Malaysia and, finally, Hong Kong. He was a priest in Our Lady of Joy Abbey (Trappist Haven Monastery) on Lantau Island
Lantau Island
Lantau Island , based on the old local name of Lantau Peak , is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong...

  for more than 30 years.

External links

  • An interview by The Standard
    The Standard
    The Standard is an English free newspaper of Hong Kong with a daily circulation of 231,018. It was called the Hong Kong Standard and changed to HKiMail during the Internet boom, but it changed back to The Standard in 2001....

    , October 8, 2005 Reportage at Vatican Radio
    Vatican Radio
    Vatican Radio is the official broadcasting service of the Vatican.Set up in 1931 by Guglielmo Marconi, today its programs are offered in 47 languages, and are sent out on short wave , medium wave, FM, satellite and the Internet. The Jesuit Order has been charged with the management of Vatican...

    , January 18, 2007
  • Kao's photo on The Standard
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