As you may recall, this year is the four-hundredth anniversary of the death of Father Matteo Ricci.
Father Ricci advanced the Kingdom of Christ in China. He was probably the most brilliant and creative missionary ever.
One thing he did to teach the Chinese the truth about God was to prepare a map of the world for them.
The Library of Congress has been displaying this map. I wish I could tell you to hustle down and see it. But your foolish servant waited until the last day of the exhibition to see it himself.
Let me tell you this: It is an impressive work.
It is particularly interesting in this way: The most accurate parts of the map depict those areas of the world where Father Ricci’s Jesuit brethren had traveled. For instance, the map of Brazil is precise and realistic.
The problem is this: The Library of Congress did not do a good job of displaying this map. It is in a poorly lit room. This afternoon, two of the five bulbs that should have been illuminating the map were burnt out. Not good. Plus, the display offered no translation of all the interesting Chinese legends on the map.
Hopefully some day this amazing evangelical map will be back in Washington, presented by someone who cares enough to display it in a worthy manner.