Penna, Francois-horace Della

Penna, Francois-Horace della an Italian missionary, was born in 1680 at Macerata, States of the Church. Having entered the Order of the Capuchins while young, he was in 1719 appointed chief of a mission destined to evangelize Thibet, and went to Lassa with twelve of his brethren. After several years of apostolic labors, Della Penna, seeing his mission reduced to only three monks, returned to Rome in 1735 to ask for new reinforcements, and upon his recital the Congregation of the Propaganda associated with him nine other Capuchins, with whom he departed in 1738, loaded with presents, and bearing two pontifical briefs for the king of Thibet and the grand lama. They arrived in Thibet in 1741, and commenced their preaching; and it was upon the instruction- furnished by Della Penna that the Congregation of the Propaganda published in Italian Relation of the Commencement of the Present State of the Kingdom of Thibet and its Neighbors (Rome, 1742, 4to). It is not necessary to take literally the recital of the conversions that Della Penna pretends to have made; what he relates in this respect must be accepted only as an inventory. He died July 20, 1747, in Patan, Nepaul. We owe to this missionary, who had studied Thibetan under a doctor at Lassa, several manuscript fragments, by which father Giorgi has profited in the publication of his Alphabetum Tibetanurn (1742, 4to). It is also from the designs of Della Penna that the Thibetan characters of the Propaganda have been engraved. See Lettres edif. et cur. ecrites des Missions etrangesres; Remusat, Recherches Tartares, 1:344.

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