Well, that’s what he might be called in this day and age, by the hip wannabe’s anyhow.
But you know who I”m talking about: St. Francis Xavier!
It’s the feast of St. Francis Xavier.
Here was a man ahead of his time….he studied at University in Paris, with Saint Ignatius, no less. Then he was sent around the world, into the far east, as a missionary – in an era where travel was no small feat. Not with the jumbo jets and security scans of today, but instead boats and bleary days at sea in far and uncharted waters. Now, this was a man of faith, perseverance and courage! He was willing to go wherever that faith sent him, which is something I struggle with every day. I mean, I can be unwilling to go and clean one more bedroom….here in my own house! St. Francis – he went around the world! Sigh.
He was born in the Basque country of Spain in 1506. He met Ignatius Loyola when he was a student in Paris, and he was ordained priest in 1537. In 1541 the Pope sent him as part of a mission to India, and he spent the rest of his life in the East, preaching the Gospel in Goa and Malacca. He made many converts and fought against the exploitation of the native population by the Europeans. He spent two years on a successful mission to Japan, laying the foundations of many Christian communities; and in 1552, after entering China secretly to preach the Gospel there, he died of fever and exhaustion on the Chinese island of Shangchwan.
“Oh God, I love thee, I love thee..
…Not for heaven’s sake;
not to be out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen.”
A Prayer of St. Francis Xavier….
St. Francis, as we prepare this Advent, pray for us!