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Feb 03rd
ST FRANCIS XAVIER The apostolic zeal PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby Reyes   
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 17:53
ST FRANCIS XAVIER The apostolic zeal of St. Francis Xavier. Memorial St. Francis was born in the castle of Xavier, Spain on the 7th of August 1506. He studied in Paris, where he met St Ignatius of Loyola. He was one of the first members of the Society of Jesus. After being ordained priest in Rome in 1537 he was primarily occupied with carrying out works of charity. In 1541 he left for the Orient and for ten years worked tirelessly to evangelize India and Japan, where many were converted to the Faith. He died in China in 1552. The apostolic zeal of St. Francis Xavier. What can all the treasures of life be worth if we let what is most essential in it pass us by? What good can success and applause, triumphs and rewards, be if at the end of it all we do not find a welcome by Jesus, who will be awaiting us? Our whole life would then have been a waste, our most precious time would amount to nothing, and the sum total of all our efforts would add up to the most devastating kind of failure. Francis Xavier appreciated the value of his own immortal soul, and that of others, ever since Christ became the true centre of his life. Since then, zeal for souls became a dominant passion for him (John Paul II, Address, 6 November 1982). In his own heart he experienced a pressing concern for souls. Furthermore, he was ready to give his very life to Christ in order to win their salvation (F. Zubillaga, Letters and Writings of St Francis Xavier, Madrid 1953). The apostolic zeal that burned in the heart of St Francis caused him to write the following words while carrying out the evangelization of the Far East: … deprived of priests, the natives barely realize that they are Christians. There is no one to celebrate Mass for them and no one to teach them the Creed or the Our Father... Therefore, since arriving here, I haven’t had a moment’s rest. I spend my time going from village to village, baptizing the children who have not yet received the sacrament. So far, I've purified an enormous number of children who, as they say, did not even know their right hand from their left These little ones won’t allow me to pray the breviary until I've taught them some prayer (Liturgy of the Hours, From the Letters of St Francis Xavier to St Ignatius). Francis Xavier pondered - as we do today - the vast panorama of people who have no one to speak to them about God. The words of the Lord continue to be relevant today: The harvest indeed is great and the labourers are few (Matt 9:37). This saint was moved by a tremendous zeal for the salvation of souls when he wrote: Many around here are not Christians simply because no one is available to teach them how to practise their faith. I have often had the desire to visit the universities of Europe, especially the one in Paris, and shout like a madman so as to provoke those who have more knowledge than charity: How many souls may be excluded from heaven on account of their negligence! If men and women were to apply the same fervour they apply to their studies to the salvation of souls, all of us would be able to account for the talents God entrusts to us. Many would be moved, through meditation on supernatural reality, to leave off their strictly human ambitions and listen to the voice of God within. He is calling them to complete dedication to the Will of God. Many are in conditions that would enable them to say: Lord, here I am; what would you have me do? Send me wherever you want, even to India (Liturgy of the Hours, loc. cit.). Our own hearts may be inflamed with this same ardent concern for souls. Ordinarily, the Lord wants us to practise this virtue right in the midst of our everyday circumstances - in our family, at work and with our friends and acquaintances. A missionary. You dream of being a missionary. You vibrate like a Xavier, longing to conquer an empire for Christ - Japan, China; India, Russia; the peoples of North Europe, or of America, or Africa, or Australia! Foster that fire in your heart, that hunger for souls. But don’t forget that you’re more of a missionary when you are simply obeying. Geographically far away from those apostolic fields, you work both here and there. Don’t you feel your arm tired - like Xavier’s - after administering Baptism to so many? (J. Escrivá, The Way, 315). We can still encounter many people in our daily circumstances - at the university, in business and within any social milieu - who are still living far removed from the warmth and glory of the Faith. With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at ( To subscribe or unsubscribe, please email The DEFENSORES FIDEI FOUNDATION actively spreads Ecclesial Information, Catechetical Instructions and Apologetics in pursuit of making good Catholics better Catholics. Any contribution to help this apostolate is heaven-sent and now TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (in USA). Please visit us at

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