st.Francis Xavier-First Jesuit missionary_considered the greatest missionary since St_Paul

Views: 4 114

  st.Francis Xavier

Feast Day : December 3



Patronage: apostleship of prayer; Borneo; East Indies; foreign missions; Goa, India; immigrants; Japan; wineries and winegrowers



Francis was born in the castle of Javier (Xavier) near Sanguesa, in the Spanish kingdom of Navarre, on April 7, 1506. His father, Juan de Jasso, was the king’s counselor, and his mother was heiress to the houses of Azupilqueta and Javier. They were Basques, like St. Ignatius of Loyola, who was born not far away. Also like Ignatius, Francis was the youngest of a large family, though unlike him, he early showed an aptitude for study, and at 19 was sent to Paris for his higher education. Francis enrolled in the Collège de Sainte-Barbe (College of St. Barbara) of the University of Paris. He received his M.A. degree in 1530 and began teaching Aristotelian philosophy in the university. It was there that he first met Ignatius, who in 1529 resided in the college for a time as a guest. Together with five other students, Francis and Ignatius formed a group to practice Ignatius’s spiritual exercises. The group of seven took vows of chastity together at Montmartre on August 15, 1534. Francis was ordained to the priesthood in Venice on June 24, 1537, and went to teach in Bologna. However, when Ignatius called his Paris companions together during Lent in 1539, he went to Rome to join them. The group decided to form a new religious order, the Society of Jesus, placing themselves at the disposal of the pope to be sent wherever he wished and for whatever duties. Pope Paul III gave verbal approval to the order on September 3, the written approbation coming a year later, on September 27, 1540. By the time written approbation was promulgated, Francis had left Rome. When King John III of Portugal asked the Vatican to send two Jesuits to Goa, India, where a colony had been established 30 years earlier, and schools. The following year he received four briefs from Pope Paul III, constituting him papal nuncio and recommending him to the princes of the East. He sailed for Goa on April 7, 1541, his 35th birthday, and landed there on May 6, 1542. Francis spent five months in Goa, preaching and ministering to the sick in the hospitals, and teaching the catechism to children. He would walk through the streets ringing a bell to call the children to their studies. Then in October he moved to Travancore on the Pearl Fishery Coast to minister to the Paravas, a lowcaste people who had been introduced to Christianity by the Portuguese. Twice while in Travancore he was credited with the miracle of bringing the dead to life. Word of the miracles spread, and he soon received invitations to minister elsewhere in southern India. Leaving India in 1545, Francis took his ministry to areas of the western Pacific, though it is improbable that he ever reached the Philippines, as is sometimes claimed. He did, however, reach Japan and the Chinese coast. In Malacca in July 1547, Francis met a Japanese called Anger (Han-Sir), whom he baptized with the name Pablo de Santa Fe. From Anger he learned about Japan, and the two left for the islands toward the end of June 1549, arriving at the city of Kagoshima on August 15. Francis spent a year learning the language and translating the principal church documents, then, about August 1550, he left Kagoshima and went inland, preaching the Gospel in some of the cities of southern Japan. At the beginning of 1551 he returned briefly to Goa, intent on converting China, about which he had heard much while in Japan. Francis left Goa for the last time in April 1552, and arrived at the small island of Sancian off the coast of China that fall. He was planning how best to reach the mainland when he fell ill. Since the movement of his ship seemed to be aggravating his condition, he was taken ashore to a crude hut that was built for him. He died there on December 3, 1552, without the last sacraments or a Christian burial. His corpse was covered in lime so that the flesh would be quickly consumed in the grave. However, when his body was dug up on February 17, 1553, it was found to be incorrupt and in a remarkable state of preservation. His body was taken to Goa, where it was met with much devotion, displayed for four days and entombed in the former Jesuit church. Prior to entombment, it was examined by doctors to verify that no embalming had been done on it. The corpse gave off a sweet fragrance. In 1614, by order of the general of the Society of Jesus, Claudius Acquaviva, the right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome, where an altar was erected to receive it in the Church of the Gesu. The body was exhumed and examined again in 1694 and found to be remarkably lifelike, as though the saint were merely sleeping. The body since has dried and shrunk, but remains incorrupt. Numerous parts of it have been removed for relics. In 1949 the severed arm was toured throughout Japan and the United States to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Francis’s arrival in Japan. The body was placed on exhibition in Goa from November 1974 to January 5, 1975. During his life Francis was credited with many miracles, besides raising the dead, among whom was a man whose entombed body had started to putrefy. Francis’s bilocations were recorded so frequently that one biographer termed them “of quite an ordinary occurrence.” He is said to have possessed the gift of prophecy and of tongues, to have healed the sick and wounded, and to have calmed storms. In one such storm near the Molucca Islands, the winds snatched his crucifix, which he was holding high above his head, and tossed it into the sea. When the saint’s ship arrived safely at its destination, a great crab came out of the sea carrying the crucifix in its claws in an upright position. The grateful saint prostrated himself on the beach in prayer for half an hour. No doubt this reputation aided in his ministry. It is estimated that in India alone he baptized 30,000 people. Francis was canonized in 1622 along with SS. Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and Isidore the Farmer. In art, he is represented by a bell, crucifix, vessel or globe. He is also depicted as a young bearded Jesuit with a torch, flame, cross and lily; as a young bearded Jesuit in the company of Ignatius of Loyola; and as a preacher carrying a flaming heart. Francis was assigned the mission. He reached Lisbon about June and quickly became busy assisting in hospitals

Subscribe to SpreadJesus.org by Email

Subscribe to SpreadJesus.org by Email

Bible Quotes Wallpapers App

Bible Quotes Wallpapers Get it on Google Play

JESUS,I Trust in thee!

The Divine Mercy Prayers of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy