Odorico

1989 CT. Discovered 1989 Feb. 8 by J. M. Baur at Chions.

Named for the renowned solitary traveler and missionary, the Franciscan monk Odorico (1265-1331). Born Odorico Mattiussi in Pordenone {see planet (3896)} and pronounced blessed in 1775, between 1314 and 1330 he traveled in southern Asia, stopping in Ceylon, Sumatra, Java and Borneo as a messenger of the Christian faith and of the light of civilization. He went to Tibet, starting from Peking to Lhasa.

He visited the 'canati' di Boccara and Afghanistan and crossed Mesopotamia. On his return to Italy he dictated the famous 'Relatio' (report) of his travels to his brother-monk, Guglielmo di Solagna, in St. Anthony's monastery in Padua. Studies on the Relatio, which continue even today, can be found in major European libraries and archives. Odorico was a contemporary of Dante Alighieri {see planet (2999)} and has been linked to Marco Polo. (M 17659)

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