This dissertation examines the history of the Jesuit order’s mission to China beginning in the nineteenth century and their use of historical memory as a way to engage with China’s Christian communities and with Chinese society more generally. In particular, the focus is the relationship between the order’s original mission, which was established in the sixteenth century and then outlawed in China after the early eighteenth century, and the mission as refounded in 1842. In order to connect themselves to Chinese history and society, the newly arrived nineteenth-century Jesuits emphasized the continuity between the two missions in three principal ways: (1) by reprinting books written by their predecessors in the first Jesuit mission to China; (2) by formulating historical narratives about the original mission to establish continuity in terms of outlook and purpose between the two groups of Jesuits across the century-long gap dividing them; and (3) by holding public commemorations to celebrate certain figures related to the original mission. The nineteenth-century Jesuits carefully constructed a new vision of the original mission, which they used both to establish themselves and to distinguish themselves from other Protestant missionary groups and likewise from rival Catholic missionary groups. These three ways in which the new Jesuits reimagined the history of the original mission are considered and the original mission is shown to be a mixed blessing for the new Jesuits. That is, the new mission succeeded in partaking of some reflected glory from the original mission. Yet, by reviving the original mission, the new mission found itself entangled in old controversies. This study complicates the role of missionaries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and shows that they were not only intermediaries between China and the West, but also the transmitters of carefully revived and rearticulated memories between past and present. This work also sheds new light on the history of Shanghai as a global city by rethinking its role in world religion. As a new Catholic city from the late nineteenth century onwards, Shanghai became a site of tension between the Chinese state, Western imperialism, and global Catholicism.