|Blessed Odoric before the Great Khan|
Odoric was a Czech, born and raised in Italy, who became a Franciscan friar. In 1316 he headed east; he returned sometime around 1329 or 1330. The assertion that he visited the Philippines is disputed, but there's no argument that he crossed India, visited China, Mongolia, and Sumatra. He gathered the bones of some Franciscan martyrs in the vicinity of Mumbai, India, and carried them with him. These he left at a monastery he founded in Xiamen, known in the West as Amoy, on the Chinese side of the Strait of Taiwan. He visited Yesün Temür, the Great Khan, a diplomatically important call since the Europeans were eager for the Mongols to advance no further west.
|Green out, red back home: The travels of Odoric|
|Blessed Odoric's Shrine|
If you feel heroically successful and overwhelmingly under appreciated, Blessed Odoric may well understand. Perhaps today, acknowledging his achievement, will tilt the universe a little more toward a just distribution of credit.