Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born at Florence about 1290; place and date of death unknown. When quite a youth he received the Franciscan habit at the convent of Santa Croce, Florence; later on, as he himself tells us, he held the chair of theology at the University of Bologna. Nothing more is known of his religious life until Benedict XII sent him with other Franciscans on a mission to the Emperor of China, as a result of the Chinese embassy which arrived at Avignon in 1338. Marignolli became one of the greatest travellers in Asia, and has left an account of his itinerary much studied today by geographers of the extreme East. In Dec., 1338, he left Avignon, arriving at Naples, on 10 Feb., 1339, and on 1 May reached the Court of Andronicus III at Constantinople, where he treated in vain with the clergy concerning the reunion with Rome. From there he passed to the Crimea and thence to Sarai, carrying papal letters to Usbek, Khan of Kiptchak, who sent an escort with him as far as Armalec, where he arrived in the winter of 1340. Towards the end of 1341 he left Armalec and crossed the desert of Gobi to Peking, where he was received with great honours at the Chinese Court. After three years at Peking he travelled through the greater part of southern China as far as Columbum (Quilon) and Cape Comorin. He visited Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, and other islands of the Indian Ocean, and then returned to the Coromandel Coast. There he embarked for Malabar, and thence took the route to Europe by the Persian Gulf, Ormuz, Gezd, Ispahan, and then by Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt, arriving at Naples in 1353. From there he went to Florence and arrived at Avignon after fifteen years' absence. In March, 1354, the pope named him Bishop of Bisignano; and in 1356 Florence sent him as papal legate to Avignon. In 1357 Emperor Charles IV called him to be his councillor with the office also of court historian. Some years afterwards he compiled his "Chronicon Bohemiæ", in which he described his eastern travels. The work was edited by Dobner in "Monumenta historica Bohemiæ" (Prague, 1768).

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More