Saint Juan Alcober Figuera

detail of a portrait of Saint Juan Alcober Figuera by Don Larma, date unknown; swiped off Santi e BeatiAlso known as

  • John Alcober



Dominican priest and missionary to China. Due to transport trouble, he was marooned in Lorca for a while, where he became a popular preacher. Sailed to Manila in the Philippines in 1726, and reached China in 1728. Worked sixteen years in the Fo-kien province.

Posing as a water seller so he could move around the city, he still had to do his ministry in secret; he once had to be smuggled into a house in a dying man’s coffin in order to administer Last Rites. To escape detection, he once climbed into a tree; realizing he would need to spend the night there, he began saying his evening prayers; he was joined in prayer by his friend Blessed Francis Serrano who was hiding in the same tree.

In 1746, one of his flock received a vision of Our Lady of the Rosary. The visionary appeared so beatific in death that a crowd gathered to see her body; the press of visitors prevented John from making his usual quick escape, and he was arrested. He, Francis Serrano and Father Francis Diaz were tortured for the location of Bishop Pere Sans-Jorda and Father Joachim Royo, who were known to be in the province; these two surrendered to end the torture of their brothers. Martyred with Saint Peter Sanz, Blessed Francis Serrano, and other Dominicans.



  • strangled to death on 25 October 1748 in Fu-tsheu prison, Fo-kien province, China;
  • even the executioners noted that the faces of the victims looked peaceful and radiant



Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Juan Alcober Figuera“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 August 2020. Web. 29 November 2021. <>