ORAZIO DELLA PENNA DI BILLI, Francesco (Franciscus Horatius a Pennabilli; lay Olivieri)

ORAZIO DELLA PENNA DI BILLI, Francesco (Franciscus Horatius a Pennabilli; lay Olivieri). Pennabilli 1680 — Patan, Nepal 20.7.1745. Count. Italian Capuchin Missionary in Tibet. Born as an Italian nobleman, he joined the Capuchin Tibetan Mission and went to India in 1704 or 1712, in Tibet 1716-33 and 1738-45 (or 1716-31 and 1741-45). In 1725 succeeded —> Domenico Da Fano as the head of the Capuchin mission in Lhasa. In 1731/33 illness forced him to close the mission and return India (in 1736 visited Rome), but in 1738/41 he began again with new means in Tibet. The Capuchins were appreciated as physicians and also allowed to preach freely. But their success was meagre and they were not capable of returning the courtesy. When they started burning Lamaist books on fire, they soon lost their popularity and had to close the mission and retire to Nepal, where ODP soon died.

Publications: MS. of a Vocabulario italiano–tibetano–nepalese, on which was then based the “Schröter’s Dictionary”.

Sources: Lexicon Capuccinum. Romae 1951; not in D.B.I.; Wikipedia (more in French version).

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