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0289 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 289 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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I could hear nothing of the other reliques, such as fragments of an iron girdle, portraits, etc., which existed in the last century, before the removal of the convent. But the body is there still, and is still exposed, on every fourth recurrence of his festival, to the eyes of the congregation. Had I but known this

fi   when at Udine, perhaps my Protestant eyes also might have

14   been permitted (for a consideration), to behold the very corpus

beatum whose hands had presented. the Grand Cham with a trencher full of apples, and whose stout heart carried him chaunt-

ei      ing the Credo through the Valley Perilous ! It is perfect, they
say, except one leg, which was frittered away in reliques ; Pordenone obtaining a tibia, and Villa Nuova an ankle-bone. The virtues of the Odorician reliques were still in high esteem in the last century, if they be not now. Venni assures us that in his day Polvere del B. Odorico was (like the James's powders of our youth) potent in fevers, and in demand as far as Florence.

Odoric seems to have been the subject of a good deal of bad verse in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the chief perpetrators being, in the latter age, John Baptist Gabelli, priest of Villa Nuova, and in the former Girolamo Monteniani or Montignac, a zealous devotee, and syndic of the convent in Udine. This gentleman had the convent copy of the Friar's travels, with the documents about his miracles, etc., re-transcribed at his own expense in 1542. His hymns to Odoric are chiefly composed of prayers for his own unbounded comfort and prosperity.

"Da nunc Aime tuis, da mihi jugiter Pacem, Divitias, Swcula Nestoris !"

is but a sample of the demands be makes upon his local divus.1 As there seems to be no doubt of the date of the sculptures

It bears the following inscription, whatever may be the meaning


"Altare hoc omnipotenti Deo

In honore B. Odorici Conf. erectum

Privilegio quotidiano perpetuo ac libero

Pro omnibus defunctis ad quoscumque sacerdotes,

Vigore brevis Benalicti P. xiv. die iv. Oct. mdccli insignitum

Atque a Ministro Gen. Orelinis die x. Mali mdccliii designatum."

1 Some of these verses, including that here quoted, are given in the Vita e Viaggi of Asquini.