OF MISSIONARY FRIARS. 227
between Thana and Supera.1 Praise be to Christ the Creator of all things ; if I had but a comrade I would abide for some time longer. But now I will get ready a church for the friars who may be coming, and I will leave my things and those of the martyrs, and all our books.
I must come away myself, both on account of the canonization of the holy brethren above-mentioned, and on account of religious and other business of a sufficiently perplexed and difficult kind. The bearer hereof will be able to explain to you what I cannot write myself for lack of time. I will only say a word as to the harvest to be expected, that it promises to be great and encouraging. Let friars be getting ready to come, for there are three places that I know where they. might reap a great harvest and where they could live in common. One of these is Supera, where two friars might be stationed ; and a second is in the district of Parocco, where two or three might abide ; and the third is Columbus ; besides many others that I am not acquainted with. But I have been told by our Latin merchants that the way to Ethiopia is open for any one who wishes to go and preach there, where once St. Matthew the Evangelist did preach. I pray the Lord that I may not die until I have been a pilgrim for the faith into those regions, for this is my whole heart's desire. I bid you farewell ; and pray ye for me and
I Respecting Supera, see note to Jordanus, p. vi, to which the following notices may be added. It is perhaps the Sibôr of Cosmas, which he mentions as one of the five chief ports of (the west of) India. It has been plausibly supposed to be the Ophir of Solomon, and to be connected with the name which the Coptic language gives to India. It is called Subara by Ibn Haukal and Edrisi, the former placing it four days, the latter five days from Kambaia, and specifying it as one of the chief Indian entrepôts. It is the Sufalah of Abulfeda. Gildemeister says of it, "de cujus situ omnis interiit memoria." The following references, however, may assist, with those in the note already quoted, to ascertain it. Supera or Sufala, according to Reinaud quoting Langlois, answers to the place called by the Sanscrit writers Subahlika, which, if true, shows that Sufala rather than Supera was the genuine form of the name. Now, Padre Vincenzo Maria, in the middle of the seventeenth century, when proceed-