S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Feast of St. Francis Xavier, S.J. Patron of the Missions

Prayer of St. Francis Xavier

My God, I love thee; not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
nor yet because who love thee not
are lost eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me
upon the cross embrace;
for me didst bear the nails and spear,
and manifold disgrace.

And griefs and torments numberless
and sweat of agony;
even death itself -- and all for one
Who was thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ
should I not love thee well?
not for the hope of winning heaven,
or of escaping hell.
not with the hope of gaining aught,
nor seeking a reward,
but as thyself has lov├Ęd me,
O ever-loving Lord!

Even so I love thee, and will love
and in thy praise will sing,
solely because thou art my God,
and my eternal king. AMEN.

Today, the universal Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of Saint Francis Xavier, S.J. St. Francis Xavier was among the first companions of St. Ignatius Loyola. He professed with St. Ignatius the vows of poverty and zeal for souls in the Holy Land in the chapel of St. Denis at Montmartre on 15 August 1536. And together with St. Ignatius and the other first companions, he was ordained to the priesthood on 24 June 1537 at Venice. Upon the requests of King John III of Portugal, he was sent by St. Ignatius to Goa to evangelize the natives. St. Francis Xavier has great zeal and fervor for missions, the same zeal and passion that led him to Malacca, Japan, and finally to Sancian Island, facing Mainland China. Sick and consumed totally by the demands of missionary work, he died on 3 December 1552. He was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, and in 1927 was proclaimed Patron of the missions by Pope Pius XI.


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