Michael Boym Wall Art

Michael Boym (Born 1612) was born in Poland. He was born to a well-off family whose ancestry was in Hungary. His grandfather Boim Jerzy came from Hungary to Poland with the king Batory Stefan, and married Niżniowska Jadwiga. His father, Jerzy Paweł Boim, was a physician to the King of Poland, Sigismund III. Boym joined the Society of Jesus, and the family had their own chapel, a family in central square of Lviv. In 1631, Boym was in Kraków where he joined the Jesuits and they ordained him as a priest. Twelve years later, after rigorous studies in the monasteries of Kalisz, Kraków, Sandomierz and Jarosław, he embarked on an expedition to Eastern Asia. First, he traveled to Rome, where Pope Urban VIII blessed him for his mission. He then proceeded to Lisbon and later, in that same year, he embarked with a group of 9 other clerics and priests on a journey to Portuguese Goa, after which they moved to Macau.

At first, Boym taught at St. Paul Jesuit College. He then moved to the island of Hainan, and opened a small Catholic mission there. Boym flee to Tonkin in 1647 when the island was conquered by the Manchus. Boym is best remembered for his works that describe the traditions, fauna, flora, customs and history of the countries he travelled through. His maps took notice of the correct positions of many Chinese cities that were previously unknown to many people. During Boym’s first trip to China, he wrote a short work on the animals and plants found in Mozambique. He died in 1659 in Thailand.

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