Thursday, February 12, 2009

Porpoise off to Israel

Sailor Sam has sailed to Israel from Venice. The crew of the Porpoise are visiting the Israeli cities of Akko (formerly Acre, in northeastern Israel) as well as Jerusalem.
In roughly 1269, teenager Marco Polo followed his father and uncle on a return trip to China to see Kublai Khan grandson of Genghis Khan. Kublai Khan had a wife who was a Coptic Christian and had interested the leader in Christianity. Kublai asked the Polos to bring him 100 Christian scholars and some oil from the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem. Newly elected Pope Gregory X sent two friars with the Polos at Acre. Unfortunately, the friars feared the journey and left the Polos before they had gone very far. The Polos did obtain the oil in Jerusalem. But this did little to convince Kublai of the value of Christianity.