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0285 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 285 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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The Patriarch, or the Municipality (for they supplied the funds), then gave orders for the construction of a noble shrine ;1

whilst three discreet persons, the Canon Melioranzi, Maffeo Cassini, and the notary Guecelli or Guccelli, were commissioned to investigate and compile the miracles ascribed to the deceased.

Seventy such miracles are alleged to have been authenticated ;2 and indeed so says the heading of the notary's report of the

0   commission (which is extant), though, (like the cotton reels of

!I   Manchester which profess to contain two hundred yards of

thread), as a matter of fact it only enumerates twenty-seven. The miracles are all much alike, and substantially in this strain : " A. B. was very ill, and vowed a lump of wax to Odoric, and began immediately to mend, and is firmly convinced that it was all owing to Odoric."

Two alleged miracles which unfortunately have not found a place in this authenticated report, but only in recorded tradition, stand out from the rest as singular or startling.

In one case, Friar Michael, a preacher and doctor of theology at Venice, having suffered for seven years from a fistula in the throat, betook himself to Friar James, the Irish comrade of Odoric's travels, and from him got a letter of introduction to his defunct and sainted friend, begging him to do what was needful for the divine. This proved immediately effectual.3

1 Records extant in the last century showed that the cost of the shrine, and of the formalities attending the miracle-commission, was defrayed by the city. (See Tiraboschi, Storia della Letteratura Italiana, 1789, vol. ii, pp. 124-129.)

2 There is a MS. copy, which I saw, in the Library at San Daniele in Friuli, a curious and valuable collection bequeathed by Archbishop Fontanini to the place of his birth; a place where the books enjoy almost undisturbed repose in a delicious atmosphere. The Report, however, is printed in the Roman blue book noticed further on. The heading runs : " Hic inferius sunt scripta et annotata amplius quam septuaginta miracula quce Deus operatus est per B. Odoricum," etc. It would appear that the notary got tired of recording such matter, and perhaps trusted that no one would count them ! Indeed he says in a document which is printed in Hakluyt as a postscript to Odoric's narrative : "Scripsi sicut potui bona fide et fratribus minoribus exemplum dedi ; sed non de omnibus quia sunt innumerabilia, et mihi difficilia ad scribendum;"—in fact "what no fellow could do."

3 Asquini, Vita e Viaggi, p. 206.