ST. FRANCIS XAVIER

St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.

St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of SpanishNavarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris1525, secured his licentiate in 1528, met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who in 1534, at Montmartre founded the Society of Jesus. In 1536 he left Paris to join Ignatius in Venice, from whence they all in tended to go as missionaries to Palestine (a trip which never materialized), was ordained there in 1537, went to Rome in 1538, and in 1540, when the pope formally recognized the Society, was ordered, with Fr. Simon Rodriguez, to the Far East as the first Jesuit missionaries. King John III kept Fr. Simon in Lisbon, but Francis, after a year’s voyage, six months of which were spent at Mozambique where he preached and gave aid to the sick eventually arrived in Goa, India in 1542 with Fr. Paul of Camerino an Italian, and Francis Mansihas, a Portuguese. There he began preaching to the natives and attempted to reform his fellow Europeans, living among the natives and adopting their customs on his travels. During the next decade he converted tens of thousands to Christianity. He visited the Paravas at the tip of India. near Cape Comorin, Tuticorin (1542), Malacca (1545), the Moluccas near New Guinea and Morotai near the Philippines (1546-47), andJapan (1549- 51). In 1551, India and the East were set up as a separate province and Ignatius made Francis its first provincial. In 1552 he set out for China, landed on the island of Sancian within sight of his goal, but died before he reached the mainland. Working against great difficulties, language problems ( contrary to legend, he had no proficiency in foreign tongues ), inadequate funds, and lack of cooperation, often actual resistance, from European officials, he left themark of his missionary zeal and energy on areas which clung to Christianity for centuries. He was canonized in 1622 and proclaimed patron of all foreign missions by Pope Pius X. F. D. Dec. 3.

Reflection

Some are specially called to work for souls, but there is no one who cannot help much in their salvation. Holy example, earnest intercession, the offerings of our actions in their behalf – all this needs only the spirit which animated St. Francis Xavier, the desire to make some return to God.

Prayer

Great Saint Francis, well beloved and full of charity, in union with you I reverently adore the Divine Majesty. I give thanks to God for the singular gifts of grace bestowed on you in life and of glory after death, and I beg of you, with all the affection of my heart, by your powerful intercession, obtain for me the grace to live a holy life and die a holy death. I beg you to obtain for me {mention your petition}. But if what I ask is not for the glory of God and for my well-being, obtain for me, I beseech you, what will more certainly attain these ends. Amen.

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