Brother Bento de Goës, SJ
Explorer of Cathay



Brother Bento de Goës, SJ on Portugal Scott 1017 Brother Bento de Goës, SJ on Portugal Scott 1018
PORTUGAL, 1968, Scott 1017-1018
Scott's catalogue says this set celebrates the 360th anniversary in 1967 of his death;
the dates on the stamps seem to indicate Portugal also wished to mark the 4th centenary of his birth.

Bento de Goës was born at San Miguel in the Azores and entered the Jesuits as a brother at Goa. A man of linguistic and diplomatic skills, in 1595 he acted as emissary between the Great Mogul and the Viceroy of the Indies. But his name is linked forever with a long hike. Disguised for safety as an Armenian merchant, de Goës set out from Agra in October 1602 and walked to China, arriving there on Christmas Day 1605. The stamps portray him wearing a merchant's hat in memory of that disguise. His letters to Matteo Ricci in Peking brought Ricci's emissary back just as de Goës was dying. His journey, however, had resolved a major question: the identity of Marco Polo's Cathay and Ricci's China.

Brother Bento de Goës, SJ on Portugal cancel
PORTUGAL, 1968, FDI cancel for Scott 1017-1018