Map of Iran (above). Illustrating information in the text of the next page, the bottom arrow shows the coastal island of Hormuz, where Nicholas Melo disembarked from a boat coming from Goa in February 1599. From there he moved to Isfahan (Esfahan: red arrow in centre of map). Late in April 1599 he sailed north across the Caspian Sea (the top red arrow).
Nicholas Melo was also the Master of Novices, and on 29th August 1597 he was appointed Procurator of the Augustinian Philippine Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (i.e., its official liaison person) with the Holy See (Rome) and with the Royal Court (Spain), with the right to vote at Augustinian General Chapters.
Having to voyage to Europe, it was decided to have him travel westwards via India rather than eastwards via the Pacific Ocean, Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.
Another reason for this may have been that he could then accompany to Macao or Malacca Augustinian candidates for priestly ordination, for there was no bishop in the Philippines.
One of his travelling companions to Europe was to be an eighteen-year-old Augustinian lay brother, Japanese by birth. He had come to the Philippines as a child, and had been baptised there by Nicholas Melo.
As a baptismal name he chose Nicholas. In honour of Fr Melo, who was his novice master, as his profession name in 1597 he chose Br. Nicholas of Saint Augustine O.S.A.
(Continued on the next page.)