The sainthood cause for Matteo Ricci, SJ, is back on track after a decades-long hiatus during which theologians debated his often controversial reputation. Ricci went to China in 1582 as a missionary. He learned the Chinese language, adopted Chinese customs, and worked to express the Christian faith in concepts and symbols drawn from Chinese culture. He introduced Western science, medicine, and learning to China, and is recognized today as major figure in Chinese history.
Many other missionaries have followed Ricci’s lead by expressing Christian doctrine in non-Western cultural terms. Church authorities have decreed that some of these efforts have gone too far–thus, the controversy over Ricci’s legacy. These concerns seem to have dissipated. A bishop involved in the canonization process has said that Pope Francis approved reopening Ricci’s case and specifically commented on Ricci’s “innovative method of evangelization based on the inculturation of the faith.” More on Ricci here.