OF MISSIONARY FRIARS. 249
to the holy Church of Rome, but follow another sect, and bear great hate to all the Catholic Christians there who do loyally obey the holy Church aforesaid. And when that archbishop of whom we have been speaking was building those abbeys of the Minor Friars aforesaid, these Nestorians by night went to destroy them, and did all the hurt that they were able. But they dared not do any evil to the said archbishop, nor to his friars, nor to other faithful Christians in public or openly, for that the emperor did love these and showed them tokens of his regard.
These Nestorians are more than thirty thousand, dwelling in the said empire of Cathay, and are passing rich people, but stand in great fear and awe of the Christians. They have very handsome and devoutly ordered churches, with crosses and images in honour of God and the saints. They hold sundry offices under the said emperor, and have great privileges from him ; so that it is believed that if they would agree and be at one with the Minor Friars, and with the other good Christians who dwell in that country, they would convert the whole country and the emperor likewise to the true faith.
10. Concerning the great favour which the Grand Ca an
beareth towards the Christians before mentioned.
The Grand Caan supporteth the Christians in the said kingdom who are obedient to the holy Church of Rome, and causeth provision to be made for all their necessities ; for he hath very great devotion towards them, and sheweth them great affection. And when they require or ask anything from him, in order to furnish their churches their crosses or their sanctuaries to the honour of Jesus Christ, he doth most willingly_ bestow it. But he desireth that they should pray God for him and for his health, and especially in their sermons. And most willingly doth he suffer and encourage the friars to preach the faith of God in the churches of the