Oderic of Pordenone (or Portenau)
Oderic Of Pordenone (Or Portenau), an Italian Franciscan noted as a traveler, was born in 1286 at Cividale, district of Pordenone (Friuli.) After having finished his studies. at Udine, he devoted himself to the labors of the foreign missions, and resolved to carry the Gospel to Asia. During an absence of sixteen years, consecrated to the preaching of Christianity, Oderic administered baptism to more than 20,000 unbelievers. He returned to Pordenone in 1330; but the sufferings of all kinds that he had endured so changed him that he was not easily recognized even by his nearest relatives. His intention was to go to Avignon to pope John XXII, to give him an account of the state of the Oriental missions, and solicit from him new aid for the conversion of the Tartars; but the troubles excited in the Order of the Franciscans by the schismatic election of Peter of Corbiere, one of their number, to the papacy, under the name of Nicolas V, and an illness which surprised Oderic at Pisa prevented him from putting this project in execution. He came to Padua, where, by order of the provincial, he dictated, although sick, the relation of his voyage to one of his brothers, called William de Solagna. Shortly after he entered his convent at Udine, and there died with the reputation of a saint, Supported by a great number of miracles, related by the different authors of his life. His narrative, valuable for the geography of Asia in the 14th century, although we possess but five chapters of it, according to the common opinion was printed for the first time in the Raccolta delle navigazioni et viaggi of Ramnusio (ed. of 1563, 2:245); however, Tiraboschi pretends that Apostolo Zeno makes mention of an anterior edition, published in 1513. Haym does not speak of it in his Bibliotheca Italiansa; but he quotes an Italian translation of it by an anonymous writer (Pesaro, 1573, 4to). The Bollandists have inserted it in the life of Oderic, Jan. 14. Several other authors have given editions of it at different times. They have also placed upon it different titles; the Bollandists call it B. Odorici Peregrinatio, ab ipsomet descripta; Wadding, Historia peregrinationis; and certain others, De rebus incognitis. Oderic is besides the author of several sermons; of a work entitled De mirabilibus mundi, in which he shows, as in his works, a spirit of observation, but too much credulity; and finally Chronica. abridged, from the commencement of the world to the pontificate of John XXII. See Wadding and Fonseca, Annales Minorumn, 7:123-156; Acta Sanctorum, Jan. 1, 983-992; Asquini, Vita et Viaggi del beato Odorico da Udine (1737, 8vo); Lirutti. Notizie delle cite ed opere scritte da' letterati del Friuli. 1, 274-291; Venni, Elogio istorico del B. Odorico (Venice, 1761, 4to); Jean de Saint-Antoine, Biblioth. univ. Francisc. 2:404; Tiraboschi, Histor. della letteratura Italiana, vol.