About the Initiative

The "Michał Boym - Polish Marco Polo AD 2019 Initiative" was set up to commemorate the 360th death anniversary of the 17th-century Polish Jesuit and missionary in China, Father Michał Piotr Boym SJ.
Father Boym, one of the most outstanding Poles, was the last ambassador of the Chinese Ming Dynasty emperor to the Vatican. In addition, he also was a great scholar and one of the founding fathers of modern Western Sinology. In China, his contribution to Chinese-Western relations is commonly considered on an equal footing with Marco Polo`s.

For this purpose, three non-governmental organizations operating in Poland, namely the Sinicum Association Michał Boym, the Orange Alternative Foundation, and the Polish representative office of the French Sino-European Cultural Association SECA, established the Initiative. Its goal was to organize anniversary events to popularize Father Boym`s extraordinary biography and contribution to science, both in Poland and abroad.
The Honorary Initiative Support Committee included outstanding Sinologists and experts on Father Boym`s achievements, such as:

  • Professor Edward Kajdański, sinologist, diplomat, the most famous biographer of Father Boym in Poland, and the author of many books devoted to him,
  • Professor Bogdan Góralczyk, Director of the European Center of the University of Warsaw, sinologist and author of many articles about China, including the almost 600-page publication " The Great Renaissance. Chinese transformation and its consequences ",
  • Professor  Józef Pawłowski, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw,
  • Dr. Marcin Jacoby, Director of International Cooperation, Assistant Professor at the Center for East Asian Civilization, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, SWPS,
  • Father Jarek Duraj SJ, Deputy Director of the Macau Ricci Institute,
  • Father Robert Danieluk SJ, Archivum Romanum Societas Iesu,
  • Marie-Anne Isler, former vice-president of the European Parliament, currently vice-president of Metz-Metropole.

We implemented the program in cooperation with the Curia of the Greater Poland-Mazovian Province of the Society of Jesus. As part of these activities, the Initiative set up this website. It published a book for children entitled "How Michał Wandered from Lviv to China" by prof. Monika Miazek-Męczyńska. The book with accompanying materials is available free of charge as an e-book on this website.