The priest [[Mitrophan Ji|Mitrophan]] (also Metrophanes), whose Chinese name was Ji chong or Tsi Chung (the English transliterations vary), was born on [[December 10]], 1855. He lost his father in early childhood and was raised under the care of his grandmother Ekaterina and his mother Marina; his mother was a teacher at a school for women. At this time he experienced many troubles. When Archimandrite Pallady became head of the mission for the second time, he charged his teacher Juren Long Yuan to take great care in educating Mitrophan, in order to prepare him for his eventual [[ordination]]. Before reaching twenty years of age, he was appointed to the post of catechist. At 25 he was [[ordination|ordained]] to the priesthood by Nikolai, [[bishop]] of Japan.
Mitrophan was a [[humility|humble]] person, very cautious and quiet, peaceful and dispassionate; even when faced with great insults, he did not try to justify himself. From the time of his arrival in Beijing (北京, Peking), Archimandrite Pallady charged Mitrophan, as did his teacher Long Yuan, to try to attain the priesthood. Mitrophan, however, did not want to accept ordination and constantly refused it, saying "how can a person with insufficient abilities and charity dare to accept this great rank?" But under the forceful urging of Archimandrite [[Flavian (Gorodetsky) of Kiev and Galich |Flavian]], succesor to Pallady, and the persuasion of the teacher, Mitrophan obeyed, even though he knew that by accepting the priesthood, his end would be inevitable. Under Archimandrite Flavian, Mitrophan assisted in translating and checking books. For fifteen years, he tirelessly served God while suffering many hurts and insults, both from his own people and outsiders. He finally had a mild breakdown. Sometime after this he spent three years living outside the mission, receiving half of his previous salary. All his life Father Mitrophan was never greedy, and many took advantage of this.