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Feast of St Francis Xavier


St. Francis Xavier – 3 December

Francis Xavier was born on 7 April, 1506 at Javier, Kingdom of Navarre. He died on 3 December, 1552 aged 46 at on Shangchuan Island. 

He met Ignatius of Loyola at the University of Paris where he was studying. Ignatius convinced Francis to do the Spiritual Exercises. He subsequently became one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre, Paris in 1534. He was ordained a priest in 24 June, 1537. 

In 1541, at the request of the Pope Paul III, Ignatius promptly appointed Nicholas Bobadilla and Simão Rodrigues to go on a mission to Goa, India. At the last moment Nicholas became seriously ill and Ignatius asked Francis to go in Nicholas’ place. Thus, Francis became a missionary almost by accident. On leaving for Goa, India, Francis received a brief from the pope appointing him apostolic nuncio to the East. He spent the rest of his life in the East.

He made many converts and fought against the exploitation of the native population by the Europeans. As the first Jesuit in India, Francis laid the ground-work for his successors, Roberto de Nobili, Mateo Ricci, and others.

Francis travelled extensively till he died in 1552. Some of the places he visited are:
                  Lisbon, Portugal,
                  Goa, India,
                  Malacca, Malaysia,
                  Molucca, Indonesia,
                  Kagoshima, Japan,
                  Shangchuan Island.

In his short life, Francis Xavier has accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime double his years! Francis had many difficulties to face. He had to learn the local languages of the places he visited. He had to adjust to the local climates, to the local cultures, mores and diets. How often haven’t we given up because the challenges facing us has become too difficult? Perhaps we can learn from Francis and beat those challenges. His feast day is celebrated on December 3rd each year.

If you would like to experience the same Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola that Francis to experienced click here for more information.

Over to you…

Min Wullems

(Image from Pixabay by 邱 韬)

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