Saint Francis Xavier

Saint Francis Xavier


The 3rd of December is the feast day of Saint
Francis Xavier. He is the patron saint of African missions; China; foreign missions;
Missioners of the Precious Blood; navigators; New Zealand; parish missions; plague epidemics;
and the Propagation of the Faith. The following is from Butler’s Lives of
the Saints: YOUNG Spanish gentleman, in the dangerous days of the Reformation, was making
a name for himself as a Professor of Philosophy in the University of Paris, and had seemingly
no higher aim, when St. Ignatius of Loyola won him to heavenly thoughts. After a brief
apostolate amongst his countrymen in Rome he was sent by St. Ignatius to the Indies,
where for twelve years he was to wear himself out, bearing the Gospel to Hindostan, to Malacca,
and to Japan. Thwarted by the jealousy, covetousness, and carelessness of those who should have
helped and encouraged him, neither their opposition nor the difficulties of every sort which he
encountered could make him slacken his labors for souls. The vast kingdom of China appealed
to his charity, and he was resolved to risk his life to force an entry, when God took
him to Himself, and on the 2nd of December, 1552, he died, like Moses, in sight of the
land of promise. 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.

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