Nicholas Kao Se Tseien bigraphy, stories - Hong Kong supercentenarian and Catholic priest

Nicholas Kao Se Tseien : biography

January 15, 1897? - December 11, 2007

Nicholas Kao Se Tseien, ( January 15, 1897? – December 11, 2007) was a Chinese Catholic priest living in Hong Kong who was both the oldest Catholic priest in modern times and the oldest ever person to have had a cataract operation.

In 2007, he celebrated his claimed 110th birthday, and, in doing so, he reached supercentenarian 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.

Born in Fuzhou, Fujian province, Kao, one of four brothers, converted to Roman Catholicism at age 18 while attending a school run by Spanish Dominican 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, Malaysia and, finally, Hong Kong. He was a priest in Our Lady of Joy Abbey (Trappist Haven Monastery) on Lantau Island for more than 30 years.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine