Michael Boym A.D. 2019

Polish Marco Polo

An ongoing long-term project begun in 2019, on the 360th anniversary of the death of the "Polish Marco Polo", Father Michał Boym, an outstanding Polish 17th century scientist, discoverer, Jesuit and missionary of Catholic faith in China. We intend the commemoration be a part of the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poland`s regaining independence. The project includes: publication of relevant books on Father Boym, street exhibits, academic conferences. This project is in partnership with Sinicum and SECA associations, as well as "Michael Boym" Foundation for Cultural Exchange. In 2019, it received the patronage of the Commission for Missions of the Polish Episcopate and of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Link to the website of the project: www.michalboym.pl

About Michael Boym

Father Michael Boym, a 17th century Jesuit and a Christian missionary is an outstanding Pole who made a crucial contribution to the history of the world being one of the very first people who built bridges of understanding between Western civilization and that of the Far East. In particular, he played an exceptional role in the process of spreading Christian religion in East Asia.

For Western civilization Father Michael Boym stands out as one of the founders of the Western knowledge about ancient and 17th century imperial China, an ingenious discoverer, ethnographer and a cultural researcher, botanist and a zoologist, whose works gave an impulse to the development of the whole branch of science – the Chinese Studies.

For the civilization of the Far East, in particular for the imperial China, he stands out as a staunchly loyal friend and the last envoy of the Ming court to the Vatican, as a man who gave his life for defending the last ethnic Chinese Han dynasty from a foreign invader – the Manchus.

For the Catholic Church he stands out as one of its most devout missionaries, who following in the footsteps of Father Matteo Ricci and Father Andreas Koffler participated in the grand missionary work that was the first and last conversion of the Chinese imperial court to Christianity, and who took an active part in its defense against a pagan aggressor, being a man of deep faith who without hesitation dedicated his entire existence to serve God and the Catholic Church.

For Poland, Michael Boym stands out as an outstanding patriot who at all occasions proudly underscored his Polish origins signing his letters and written works as "Michael Boym, the Pole."