|American Minute with Bill FedererMarco Polo and the Land Route to India and China|
Marco Polo was 17-years-old when he left Venice for China in 1271 with his father, Niccolo Polo, and uncle, Matteo Polo.Together they traveled 5,600 miles to the east to meet Kublai Khan, the grandson of Ghengis Khan.
Kublai Khan was Emperor of China, Korea, North India, Persia, Russia and Hungary.
Marco Polo’s father and uncle had met the Kublai Khan on a previous journey.
Kublai Khan had requested that they bring back 100 teachers of the Holy Christian Faith and a flask of oil from Christ’s empty tomb in Jerusalem.
Because of wars in Europe and the death of Pope Clement IV, only two preaching Dominican friars were sent by the new Pope, Gregory X.
These friars became afraid and turned back after crossing an area being attacked by Turkish Muslims.
Nevertheless, the Polos returned to China where Marco Polo was employed by Kublai Khan as an envoy for over 20 years.
Finally returning to Italy, Marco Polo was captured during the Battle of Curzola in 1298.
While imprisoned in Genoa, Marco Polo dictated his stories of Persia, China, Mongolia, the Far East and India to a fellow prisoner, Rustichello da Pisa, who wrote them down into what became Medieval Europe’s best-seller, “The Travels of Marco Polo.”
Marco Polo’s book was nicknamed “Il Milione” or One Million Lies, as it described many things unbelievable to Europeans, such as:
“I believe it was God’s will that we should come back, so that men might know the things that are in the world,
since, as we have said in the first chapter of this book, no other man, Christian or Saracen, Mongol or pagan, has explored so much of the world as Messer Marco, son of Messer Niccolo Polo, great and noble citizen of the city of Venice.”
Columbus grew up hearing stories of the Grand Khan in a strange land on the other side of the world.
At the age of 41, Christopher Columbus wrote to the King and Queen of Spain in 1492:
How many times he sent to Rome to seek doctors in our Holy Faith to instruct him and that never had the Holy Father provided them, and thus so many people were lost through lapsing into idolatries…
And Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes devoted to the Holy Christian Faith and the propagators thereof, and enemies of the sect of Mahomet and of all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said regions of India,
“And ordained that I should not go by land (the usual way) to the Orient, but by the route of the Occident, by which no one to this day knows for sure that anyone has gone.”
“Here the people could stand it no longer and complained of the long voyage…but the Admiral…added that it was useless to complain.
He had come to the Indies, and so had to continue until he found them, with the help of Our Lord.”
For God’s Glory Alone Ministries thanks Bill Federer and www.AmericanMinute.com