|Saint Francis Xavier|
A painting of St Francis Xavier, held in the Kobe City Museum.
|Apostle to the Far East|
7 April 1506|
Xavier, Kingdom of Navarre, (Spain)
|Died||3 December 1552
Portuguese Base at São João Island, China
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, Anglican Communion|
|Beatified||25 October 1619 by Pope Paul V|
|Canonized||12 March 1622 by Gregory XV|
|Attributes||crucifix; preacher carrying a flaming heart; bell; globe; vessel; young bearded Jesuit in the company of Saint Ignatius Loyola; young bearded Jesuit with a torch, flame, cross and lily|
|Patronage||African missions; Agartala, India; Ahmedabad, India; Alexandria, Louisiana; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; Bombay, India; Borneo; Cape Town, South Africa; China; Dinajpur, Bangladesh; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Freising, Germany; Goa, India; Green Bay, Wisconsin; India; Indianapolis, Indiana; Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan; Joiliet, Illinois; Kabankalan, Philippines; Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines; Alegria, Cebu, Philippines; diocese of Malindi, Kenya; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; Navarre, Spain; navigators; New Zealand; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith; Zagreb, Croatia; Indonesia|
|Society of Jesus|
History of the Jesuits
Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta (7 April 1506 – 3 December 1552) was a Roman Catholic missionary born in Xavier, Kingdom of Navarre (now part of Spain), and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits, dedicated at Montmartre in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Maluku Islands, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local languages in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. It was a goal of Xavier to one day reach China.
Francis Xavier was born in the castle of Xavier, in the Kingdom of Navarre, on 7 April 1506 according to a family register. He was born to an aristocratic family of the Kingdom of Navarre, the youngest son of Juan de Jaso, privy counselor to King John III of Navarre (Jean d'Albret), and Doña Maria de Azpilcueta y Aznárez, sole heiress of two noble Navarrese families. He was thus related to the great theologian and philosopher Martín de Azpilcueta. Notwithstanding different interpretations on his first language, no evidence suggests that Xavier's mother tongue was other than Basque, as stated by himself and confirmed by the sociolinguistic environment of the time.
In 1512 under Ferdinand the Catholic as King of the first political unit referred to as Spain, joint Spanish troops from both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon commanded by Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo, second Duke of Alba, first invaded partially the Kingdom of Navarre. Three years later, Francis' father died when Francis was only nine years old. In 1516, after a failed Navarrese-French attempt to expel the Spanish invaders from the kingdom, an attempt in which Francis' brothers had taken part, the Spanish Castilian kingdom's Governor, Cardinal Cisneros, ordered family lands to be confiscated, the demolition of the outer wall, the gates and two towers of the family castle, the moat was filled, and the height of the keep was reduced in half. Only the family residence inside the castle was left.
For the following years with his family, till he left for studies in Paris in 1525, Francis' life in the Kingdom of Navarre, then partially occupied by Spain, was surrounded by a war that lasted over 18 years, ending with the Kingdom of Navarre being partitioned into two territories, and the King of Navarre and some loyalists abandoning the south and moving to the northern part of the Kingdom of Navarre (currently France).
In 1525, Francis went to study at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris. In 1530 he received the degree of Master of Arts, and afterwards taught Aristotelian philosophy at Beauvais college. He met Ignatius of Loyola, who became his faithful companion, and Pierre Favre at Sainte-Barbe. While at the time he seemed destined for academic success, Xavier turned to a life of Catholic missionary service. Ignatius is said to have posed the question, "What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
Together with Loyola and five others, he founded the Society of Jesus: on 15 August 1534, in a small chapel in Montmartre, they made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and also vowed to convert the Muslims in the Middle East (or, failing this, carry out the wishes of the Pope). Francis went, with the rest of the members of the newly papal-approved Jesuit order, to Venice to be ordained to the priesthood, which took place on 24 June 1537. Towards the end of October, the seven companions reached Bologna, where they worked in the local hospital. After that, he served for a brief period in Rome as Ignatius' secretary.
Leaving Rome in 1540, Francis took with him a breviary, a catechism and a Latin book (De Institutione bene vivendi) written by the Croatian humanist Marko Marulić that had become popular in the counter-reformation. According to a 1549 letters of F. Balthasar Gago in Goa, it was the only book that Francis read or studied.
Francis Xavier was the first Jesuit missionary. Francis devoted much of his life to missions in Asia, after being requested by King John III of Portugal to travel to Portuguese India, where the king believed that Christian values were eroding among the Portuguese. After successive appeals to the Pope asking for missionaries for the East Indies under the Padroado agreement, John III was encouraged by Diogo de Gouveia, rector of the Collège Sainte-Barbe, to recruit the newly graduated youngsters that would establish the Society of Jesus.
Francis Xavier moved mainly in four centers: Malacca, Amboina and Ternate, Japan, and China. His growing information about new places indicated to him that he had to go to what he understood were centers of influence for the whole region. China loomed large from his days in India. Japan was particularly attractive because of its culture. For him, these areas were interconnected; they could not be evangelized separately.
Goa and India
He left Lisbon on 7 April 1541, Xavier's thirty-fifth birthday, along with two other Jesuits and the new viceroy Martim Afonso de Sousa, on board the Santiago. As he departed, Francis was given a brief from the pope appointing him apostolic nuncio to the East. From August until March 1542 he remained in Portuguese Mozambique, and arrived in Goa, then capital of Portuguese India on 6 May 1542, thirteen months after leaving Lisbon.
Following quickly on the great voyages of discovery, the Portuguese had established themselves at Goa thirty years earlier. Francis' primary mission, as ordered by King John III, was to restore Christianity among the Portuguese settlers. The Christian population had churches, clergy, and a bishop, but many of the Portuguese were ruled by ambition, avarice, revenge, and debauchery. They ignored the tenets and sacraments of the church and tended to shock and alienate the natives by their behavior. There were a few preachers but no priests beyond the walls of Goa. To meet this challenging situation Xavier decided that he must begin by instructing the Portuguese themselves in the principles of faith, and gave much of his time to the teaching of children. His mornings were usually spent in tending and comforting the distressed in hospital and prison; after that, he walked through the streets ringing a bell to summon the children and servants to catechism. One of his most troublesome problems was the concubinage openly practiced by Europeans of all ranks with the native women. Xavier tried to meet the situation by methods that were not only moral, but sensible, humane, and tactful. He was invited to head Saint Paul's College, a pioneer seminary for the education of secular priests that became the first Jesuit headquarters in Asia.
Xavier soon learned that along the Pearl Fishery Coast, which extends from Cape Comorin on the southern tip of India to the island of Manaar, off Ceylon, there was a Jati of people called Paravas, many of whom had been baptized ten years before, merely to please the Portuguese, who had helped them against the Moors, but remained uninstructed in the faith. Accompanied by several native clerics from the seminary at Goa, he set sail for Cape Comorin in October, 1542. First he set himself to learn the language of the Paravas; he taught those who had already been baptized, and preached to those who weren't. His efforts with the high-caste Brahmins remained unavailing.
He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of southern India, converting many, and reaching in his journeys even the Island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Many were the difficulties and hardships which Xavier had to encounter at this time, sometimes because the Portuguese soldiers, far from seconding his work, hampered it by their bad example and vicious habits. He built nearly 40 churches along the coast, including St. Stephen's Church, Kombuthurai, mentioned in his letters dated 1544.
During this time, he was able to visit the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle in Mylapore, (now part of Madras (Chennai) then in Portuguese India). He set his sights eastward in 1545 and planned a missionary journey to Makassar on the island of Celebes (today's Indonesia).
As the first Jesuit in India, Francis had difficulty achieving much success in his missionary trips. His successors, such as de Nobili, Matteo Ricci, and Beschi, attempted to convert the noblemen first as a means to influence more people, while Francis had initially interacted most with the lower classes (later though, in Japan, Francis changed tack by paying tribute to the Emperor and seeking an audience with him).
In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Portuguese Malacca. He laboured there for the last months of that year. About January, 1546, Xavier left Malacca and went to the Maluku Islands, where the Portuguese had some settlements, and for a year and a half he preached the Gospel to the inhabitants of Ambon Island where he stayed until mid-June. he then visited other Maluku Islands including Ternate, Baranura, and Morotai. Shortly after Easter 1546, he returned to Ambon Island and later Malacca.
In Malacca in December, 1547, Francis Xavier met a Japanese man named Anjirō. Anjirō had heard of Francis in 1545 and had traveled from Kagoshima to Malacca with the purpose of meeting with him. Having been charged with murder, Anjirō had fled Japan. He told Francis extensively about his former life and the customs and culture of his beloved homeland. Anjiro helped Xavier as a mediator and translator for the mission to Japan that now seemed much more possible. Anjirō became the first Japanese Christian and adopted the name of 'Paulo de Santa Fe'.
In January 1548 Francis returned to Goa to attend to his responsibilities as superior of the mission there. The next 15 months were occupied with various journeys and administrative measures. He left Goa on 15 April 1549, stopped at Malacca and visited Canton. He was accompanied by Anjiro, two other Japanese men, the father Cosme de Torrès and Brother João Fernandes. He had taken with him presents for the "King of Japan" since he was intending to introduce himself as the Apostolic Nuncio.
Europeans had already come to Japan: the Portuguese had landed in 1543 on the island of Tanegashima, where they introduced the first firearms to Japan.
From Amboina, he wrote to his companions in Europe: "I asked a Portuguese merchant, … who had been for many days in Anjirô’s country of Japan, to give me … some information on that land and its people from what he had seen and heard …. All the Portuguese merchants coming from Japan tell me that if I go there I shall do great service for God our Lord, more than with the pagans of India, for they are a very reasonable people. (To His Companions Residing in Rome, From Cochin, January 20, 1548, no. 18, p. 178).
Francis Xavier reached Japan on 27 July 1549, with Anjiro and three other Jesuits, but he was not permitted to enter any port his ship arrived at until 15 August, when he went ashore at Kagoshima, the principal port of the province of Satsuma on the island of Kyūshū. As a representative of the Portuguese king, he was received in a friendly manner. Shimazu Takahisa (1514–1571), daimyo of Satsuma, gave a friendly reception to Francis on 29 September 1549, but in the following year he forbade the conversion of his subjects to Christianity under penalty of death; Christians in Kagoshima could not be given any catechism in the following years. The Portuguese missionary Pedro de Alcáçova would later write in 1554:
In Cangoxima, the first place Father Master Francisco stopped at, there were a good number of Christians, although there was no one there to teach them; the shortage of laborers prevented the whole kingdom from becoming Christian.
He was hosted by Anjiro's family until October 1550. From October to December 1550, he resided in Yamaguchi. Shortly before Christmas, he left for Kyoto but failed to meet with the Emperor. He returned to Yamaguchi in March, 1551, where he was permitted to preach by the daimyo of the province. However, lacking fluency in the Japanese language, he had to limit himself to reading aloud the translation of a catechism.
Francis was the first Jesuit to go to Japan as a missionary. He brought with him paintings of the Madonna and the Madonna and Child. These paintings were used to help teach the Japanese about Christianity. There was a huge language barrier as Japanese was unlike other languages the missionaries had previously encountered. For a long time Francis struggled to learn the language.
Having learned that evangelical poverty had not the appeal in Japan that it had in Europe and in India, he decided to change his method of approach. Hearing after a time that a Portuguese ship had arrived at a port in the province of Bungo in Kyushu and that the prince there would like to see him, Xavier now set out southward. The Jesuit, in a fine cassock, surplice, and stole, was attended by thirty gentlemen and as many servants, all in their best clothes. Five of them bore on cushions valuable articles, including a portrait of Our Lady and a pair of velvet slippers, these not gifts for the prince, but solemn offerings to Xavier, to impress the onlookers with his eminence. Handsomely dressed, with his companions acting as attendants, he presented himself before Oshindono, the ruler of Nagate, and as a representative of the great kingdom of Portugal offered him the letters and presents, a musical instrument, a watch, and other attractive objects which had been given him by the authorities in India for the emperor.
For forty-five years the Jesuits were the only missionaries in Asia, but the Franciscans also began proselytizing in Asia as well. Christian missionaries were later forced into exile, along with their assistants. Some were able to stay behind, however Christianity was then kept underground as to not be persecuted.
The Japanese people were not easily converted; many of the people were already Buddhist or Shinto. Francis tried to combat the disposition of some of the Japanese that a God who had created everything, including evil, could not be good. The concept of Hell was also a struggle; the Japanese were bothered by the idea of their ancestors living in Hell. Despite Francis' different religion, he felt that they were good people, much like Europeans, and could be converted.
Xavier was welcomed by the Shingon monks since he used the word Dainichi for the Christian God; attempting to adapt the concept to local traditions. As Xavier learned more about the religious nuances of the word, he changed to Deusu from the Latin and Portuguese Deus. The monks later realized that Xavier was preaching a rival religion and grew more aggressive towards his attempts at conversion.
With the passage of time, his sojourn in Japan could be considered somewhat fruitful as attested by congregations established in Hirado, Yamaguchi and Bungo. Xavier worked for more than two years in Japan and saw his successor-Jesuits established. He then decided to return to India. Historians debate the exact path he returned back by, but from evidence attributed to the captain of his ship, he may have traveled through Tanegeshima and Minato, and avoided Kagoshima because of the hostility of the Daimyo. During his trip, a tempest forced him to stop on an island near Guangzhou, China where he saw the rich merchant Diogo Pereira, an old friend from Cochin, who showed him a letter from Portuguese being held prisoners in Guangzhou asking for a Portuguese ambassador to talk to the Chinese Emperor in their favor. Later during the voyage, he stopped at Malacca on 27 December 1551, and was back in Goa by January, 1552.
On 17 April he set sail with Diogo Pereira, leaving Goa on board the Santa Cruz for China. He introduced himself as Apostolic Nuncio and Pereira as ambassador of the King of Portugal. Shortly thereafter, he realized that he had forgotten his testimonial letters as an Apostolic Nuncio. Back in Malacca, he was confronted by the capitão Álvaro de Ataíde da Gama who now had total control over the harbor. The capitão refused to recognize his title of Nuncio, asked Pereira to resign from his title of ambassador, named a new crew for the ship and demanded the gifts for the Chinese Emperor be left in Malacca.
In late August, 1552, the Santa Cruz reached the Chinese island of Shangchuan, 14 km away from the southern coast of mainland China, near Taishan, Guangdong, 200 km south-west of what later became Hong Kong. At this time, he was only accompanied by a Jesuit student, Álvaro Ferreira, a Chinese man called António and a Malabar servant called Christopher. Around mid-November he sent a letter saying that a man had agreed to take him to the mainland in exchange for a large sum of money. Having sent back Álvaro Ferreira, he remained alone with António. He died at Shangchuan from a fever on 3 December 1552, while he was waiting for a boat that would agree to take him to mainland China.
Burials and relics
He was first buried on a beach at Shangchuan Island. His incorrupt body was taken from the island in February 1553 and was temporarily buried in St. Paul's church in Portuguese Malacca on 22 March 1553. An open grave in the church now marks the place of Xavier's burial. Pereira came back from Goa, removed the corpse shortly after 15 April 1553, and moved it to his house. On 11 December 1553, Xavier's body was shipped to Goa. The body is now in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, where it was placed in a glass container encased in a silver casket on 2 December 1637.
The right forearm, which Xavier used to bless and baptize his converts, was detached by Superior General Claudio Acquaviva in 1614. It has been displayed since in a silver reliquary at the main Jesuit church in Rome, Il Gesù.
Another of Xavier's arm bones was brought to Macau where it was kept in a silver reliquary. The relic was destined for Japan but religious persecution there persuaded the church to keep it in Macau's Cathedral of St. Paul. It was subsequently moved to St. Joseph's and in 1978 to the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier on Coloane Island. More recently the relic was moved to St. Joseph's Seminary and the Sacred Art Museum.
In 2006, on the 500th anniversary of his birth, the Xavier Tomb Monument and Chapel on the Shangchuan Island, in ruins after years of neglect under communist rule in China was restored with the support from the alumni of Wah Yan College, a Jesuit high school in Hong Kong.
Beatification and canonization
Francis Xavier was beatified by Paul V on 25 October 1619, and was canonized by Gregory XV on 12 March (12 April) 1622, at the same time as Ignatius Loyola. Pius XI proclaimed him the "Patron of Catholic Missions". His feast day is 3 December.
St. Francis Xavier is noteworthy for his missionary work, both as organizer and as pioneer. He is said to have converted more people than anyone else has done since Saint Paul. By his compromises in India with the Christians of St. Thomas, he developed the Jesuit missionary methods along lines that subsequently became a successful blueprint for his order to follow. His efforts left a significant impression upon the missionary history of India and, as one of the first Jesuit missionaries to the East Indies, his work is of fundamental significance to Christians in the propagation of Christianity in China and Japan. India still has numerous Jesuit missions, and many more schools. There has been less of an impact in Japan. Following the persecutions of Daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the subsequent closing of Japan to foreigners, the Christians of Japan were forced to go underground and developed an independent Christian culture.
Pope Benedict XVI said of both Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier: "not only their history which was interwoven for many years from Paris and Rome, but a unique desire — a unique passion, it could be said — moved and sustained them through different human events: the passion to give to God-Trinity a glory always greater and to work for the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ to the peoples who had been ignored." As the foremost saint from Navarre and one of the main Jesuit saints, he is much venerated in Spain and the Hispanic countries where Francisco Javier or Javier are common male given names. The alternative spelling Xavier is also popular in Portugal, Brazil, France, Belgium, and southern Italy. In India, the spelling Xavier is almost always used, and the name is quite common among Christians, especially in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and more common in Goa. In Goa, Xavier besides being a surname, is also seen as the suffix in the names Francisco Xavier, António Xavier, João Xavier, Caetano Xavier, Domingos Xavier et cetera, which were very common till quite recently. In Austria and Bavaria the name is spelled as Xaver (pronounced [ˈk͡saːfɐ]) and often used in addition to Francis as Franz-Xaver [frant͡sˈk͡saːfɐ]. In English speaking countries, "Xavier" is one of the few names starting with X, and until recently was likely to follow "Francis"; in the last decade, however, "Xavier" by itself has become more popular than "Francis", and is now one of the hundred most common male baby names in the US.
Many churches all over the world have been named in honor of Xavier, often founded by Jesuits. One notable church is the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville, Iowa. The other is Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona founded in 1692 and internationally recognized as the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States. The Javierada is an annual pilgrimage from Pamplona to Xavier instituted in the 1940s.
The Novena of Grace is a popular devotion to Francis Xavier, typically prayed on the nine days before 3 December.
One of his relatives is John Sevier. The Sevier family name originated from the name Xavier.
He has been depicted in various artworks, including Rubens' painting "St Francis Xavier raising the dead", which the Flemish master painted for a Jesuit church in Antwerp, and in which he depicted one of St Francis' many alleged miracles (in this case a resurrection).
Shortly before leaving he had issued a famous instruction to F. Gaspar Barazeuz who was leaving to go to Ormuz (a kingdom on an island in the Persian Gulf, now part of Iran), that he should mix with sinners:
And if you wish to bring forth much fruit, both for yourselves and for your neighbors, and to live consoled, converse with sinners, making them unburden themselves to you. These are the living books by which you are to study, both for your preaching and for your own consolation. I do not say that you should not on occasion read written books . . . to support what you say against vices with authorities from the Holy Scriptures and examples from the lives of the saints.
Modern scholars place the number of people converted to Christianity by Francis Xavier around 30,000. And while some of Xavier's methods have been criticized (he forced converts to take Portuguese names and dress in Western clothes, approved the persecution of the Eastern Church, and used the Goa government as a missionary tool), he has also earned praise. He insisted that missionaries adapt to many of the customs, and most certainly the language, of the culture they wish to evangelize. And unlike later missionaries, Xavier supported an educated native clergy. Though for a time, it seemed his work in Japan was subsequently destroyed by persecution, Protestant missionaries three centuries later discovered 100,000 Christians in the Nagasaki area.
Francis Xavier's work initiated permanent change in eastern Indonesia, and he was known as the 'Apostle of the Indies' where in 1546-1547 he worked in the Maluku Islands among the people of Ambon, Ternate, and Morotai (or Moro), and laid the foundations for a permanent mission. After he left the Maluku Islands, others carried on his work and by the 1560s there were 10,000 Catholics in the area, mostly on Ambon. By the 1590s there were 50,000 to 60,000.
Feast and pilgrimage centres
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (March 2013)|
The feast of Saint Francis Xavier is celebrated on 3 December. It is a large celebration in Velha Goa, Goa and beyond. In [INDIA] St. Francis Xavier is called Gõi-cho Saib (Master of Goa) and the place Velha Goa, is also called Saibachem Goem (St. Francis Xavier's Goa). In the year 2009, the theme of the feast was Sam Fransikachea Visvaxiponnachea Dekhin, Jezu-Noketra Bhaxen Porzollum-ia, which translates from Konkani into English as 'Inspired by the faithfulness of Saint Francis, let us shine like Jesus, the Star', probably based on the year's pastoral theme of the Archdiocese of Goa e Damão Noketram Bhaxen, Sonvsarant Porzollum-ia which translates into English as 'Shine like Stars, in the World'. The theme of the feast of Saint Francis Xavier, draws light from the Universal Church's declaration of 2009-10 as the Year for Priests. Similarly, the celebrations also reflected on the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman's focus on the youth that year. A huge pandal was erected in the front of the Bom Jesus Basilica, with almost eight to ten novena Masses daily mainly in Konkani, besides English, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Portuguese. The Archbishop, concelebrates the Solemn High Mass, with other bishops and numerous priests. In 2009, Bishop of Belgaum, Rt Rev Peter Machado will be the main celebrant.
In Velha Goa (Old Goa), Goa, India the novenas in the year 2011 began on 24 November. The theme of this year's feast was Mon'xa Xrixtticho Korar Jieum-ia, Sam Fransisk Xavierak Man Dium -Ya, based on the Archdiocese of Goa and Damão's archbishops pastoral letter, Mon'xa Xrixtticho Korar, Deva Mogacho Rupkar which in English roughly means "Covenant between Man and Nature Divine Love's Manifestation". Masses are being held, as in the last few decades, at the adr (front) of the Bom Jesus Basilica for lack of space within the Basilica. A large makeshift pandal has been put. It has a stage, where the altar is placed, and a background, on which the year's theme and St. Francis Xavier's picture has been prominently displayed. This year, on every Novena day, an element of nature is taken, like, water, land, fire, ether, etc. and a sermon is given on our day to day activities interaction with these elements and sometimes a relationship with the life of St. Francis Xavier is given.
This year besides the Masses, a programme called deepen your faith was conducted daily from 24 November to 1 December, after the 6 PM Novena Mass of St. Francis Xavier. It dealt with various Catholic teachings on the Bible testament-wise, Holy Eucharist, Confessions and finally will conclude with the life of St. Francis Xavier. Daily masses are being held at 6, 7.15, 8.15, 9.30, 10.30 in the mornings and at 1545 hours (3.45 PM), 5.15 and 6.15 in the afternoon and evening. The feast day masses on the third of December will be held at 4 AM, 5 AM, 6 AM, 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10.30 AM, 12 noon, 3 PM (Spanish), 4 PM, 5 PM and 6 PM. The large number of masses are for the large number of devotees who come from far and wide, cutting across religions. The 10.30 AM mass is the solemn feast high Mass, which will most likely be celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio to India, Archbishop Salvatore Penacchio. This year masses are being held mainly in Konkanni, besides English, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Portuguese and Spanish languages, but most, if not all the Masses, conclude with the recessional hymn Sam Fransisku Xaviera, Vhodda Kunvra (In English it roughly translates Our Saint Francis Xavier, Great Prince). A novena prayer to St. Francis Xavier is also held before the Mass generally. The mass at 6 PM on the feast day is celebrated by the Jesuits over the last few years.
Saint Francis Xavier's relics are kept in a silver casket, elevated inside the Bom Jesus Basilica and are exposed (being brought to ground level) generally every ten years, but this is discretionary. The last exposition was held in 2004 for about one month during December. The next exposition is said to be planned for the year 2014. Bones of Saint Francis Xavier are also found in the Espirito Santo (Holy Spirit) Church, Margão and in Sanv Fransiku Xavierachi Igorz (Church of St. Francis Xavier), Batpal, Canacona, Goa.
Other pilgrimage centres include Saint Francis Xavier's birthplace in Navarra, Church of Il Gesu, Rome, Malacca (where he was buried for 2 years, before being brought to Goa), Sancian (Place of death) etc.
The Javierada is an annual pilgrimage from Pamplona to Xavier instituted in the 1940s.
In Magdalena de Kino in Sonora, Mexico in the Temple of Santa María Magdalena, there is an statue of San Francisco Xavier, an important historical figure for both Sonora and the neighboring U.S. state of Arizona. The statue is said to be miraculous and is the object of pilgrimage for many of the region.
There are many hymns written in his honor. Sam Fransisku Xaviera is a Konkani hymn, which is sung as the recessional hymn at most of the novenas held at Bom Jesus Basilica, Velha Goa, the place where the relics of St. Francis Xavier are kept.
Lyrics of the hymns are as follows :
Sam Francis Xaviera
- A special hymn written as a prayer for the state of Goa
Sam Francis Xaviera, vodda kunvra
Rat dis amchea mogan lastolea
Besanv ghal Saiba xharar Gõychea
Samballun sodankal gopant tujea.
Beporva korun sonvsarachi
Devachi tunven keli chakri
Ami somest magtanv mozot tuzi,
Kortai mhonn milagrir, milagri.
Aiz ani sodam, amche khatir
Vinoti kor tum Deva lagim
Jezu sarkem zaum jivit amchem,
Ami pavo-sor tuje sorxi.
Sam Fransisku Xaviera
written by : Gaspar Almeida
Sam Fransisku Xaviera
Tuji kuddu Goyam xhara
Tum Jezuchea soinika
Sodanch zoitivont kor mhaka.
Fransisk soinik kullientlo
Navarra rajeant zolmolo
Parizak xikunk gelo
Thoisor Inas taka bhettlo.
Inasan thokos ghetlo
Krista-soinik toiar kelo
An Indiek taka dhaddlo
Thoisor dhach vorsam vavurlo.
To Sanchian zunvea melo
Tacho otmo sorgar gelo
Punn tachi kudd nam kusli
Ochoriamni ti samball'li.
Zori vilaitent melo
Mortoch Goyam portun ailo
Amche sovem tum ravcho
Samball korunk Gõykarancho
Sam Francisku Xaviera
Tozo zolma des Navarra
Tuji kudd Gõyam xhara
Punn otmo voikuntt-nogra.
Vaitt-vignam ietat tednam
Zhuzam - moddam uprastanam
Amkam tum visrum naka
Jezuchea bollvont soinika.
Novena of grace
St. Frances Xavier is credited with twice miraculously restoring the health of an Italian Jesuit missionary Fr. Marcello Mastrilli who was martyred in Japan during the Tokugawa Shogunate. The young priest had vowed to resist the cruel Buddhist persecution (a torture technique employing the volcanic sulfurous fumes atop Mt. Unzen, known as the Hell mouth or "pit") that had weakened an earlier missionary into renouncing his faith. Before he could travel, however, he was gravely injured in a freak accident after a festive celebration dedicated to the Immaculate Conception in Naples. Delirious and on the verge of death, the saint appeared to Fr. Mastrilli offering him a pilgrim's staff (a symbol indicative of travel) and a lighted taper (symbolizing death by sickness) asking him to choose between them. Mastrilli answered, as any good Jesuit who follows the Ignatian way of election would, "I choose that which God wills." His health restored, he made his way via Goa and the Phillipines to Satsuma, Japan. He was beheaded, after withstanding three days of similar tortures earlier missioniaries had succumbed from, in October 1637.
In the form of a novena, the devotion proscribes nine consecutive days of intercessory prayer, traditionally prayed on March 4 through March 12 (the anniversary of his canonization by Pope Gregory XV in 1622) along with the reception of the sacraments of penance and communion on any one of the days.
Proselytism and Goa Inquisition
In his lifetime, as part of his missionary activity, Francis Xavier used to refer to native Indians as devil-worshipers and spiritually blind, Hindu teachings as repulsive and grotesque, Vishnu's transformation as foulest shapes, Shiva as shameless, Kali as clamoring for sacrifices, many-headed and many-armed gods and goddesses in temples as hideous forms and temples and altars as place of degrading rites. According to Rao, "St. Francis Xavier made it a point not only to convert the people but also destroy the idols and ancient places of worship."[unreliable source?]
Francis Xavier requested the foundation of the Goa Inquisition, but he never saw it happen; it commenced eight years after his death. On 16 May 1545, Xavier wrote to the King of Portugal to establish the Inquisition in Goa: "The second necessity for the Christians is that Your Majesty establish the Holy Inquisition in Goa because there are many who live according to the Jewish Law and according to the Mohammedan Sect, without any fear of God or shame of the World. And since there are many Hindus who are spread all over the fortresses, there is the need of the Holy Inquisition, and of many preachers. Your Majesty should provide such necessary things for your loyal and faithful subjects in the Indies."
Here are some other quotes from and about him:
"These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our holy religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry is marvellous. They get into feuds with the heathen about it, and whenever their own parents practise it, they reproach them and come off to tell me at once. Whenever I hear of any act of idolatrous worship, I go to the place with a large band of these children, who very soon load the devil with a greater amount of insult and abuse than he has lately received of honor and worship from their parents, relations, and acquaintances. The children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage." (1543)
"When I have finished baptizing the people, I order them to destroy the huts in which they keep their idols; and I have them break the statues of their idols into tiny pieces, since they are now Christians. I could never come to an end describing to you the great consolation which fills my soul when I see idols being destroyed by the hands of those who had been idolaters."
"Following the Baptisms, the new Christians return to their homes and come back with their wives and families to be prepared also in their turn for Baptism. After all have been baptised, I order that everywhere the temples of the false Gods be pulled down and idols broken. I know not how to describe in words the joy I feel before the spectacle of pulling down and destroying the idols by the very people who formerly worshipped them."
"I order everywhere the temples pulled down and all idols broken. I know not how to describe in words the joy I feel before the spectacle of pulling down and destroying the idols."
"When the boys informed him that some had made an idol, he went with them and had it broken into a thousand pieces. If in spite of all his advice someone persisted in making idols, he would have them punished by the Patingatis (Princes and headsman of the land now called as pattamkattiyars ) by exile.... One day when he heard that idols had been worshipped in the house of a Christian, he ordered the hut to be burnt down as a warning to others." (Silva Rego, Vol. I. p. 158)
- The Route to the Orient is a book and CD collection, telling the story of Xavier' missionary travels to China.
- List of Catholic saints
- Christianity in Indonesia
- Catholicism in Indonesia
- Jesuit China missions
- Catholicism in China
- Christianity in China
- Xavier School - Manila, Philippines
- Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan . Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
- Attwater (1965), p. 141.
- euskara.euskadi.net (French) François Xavier naquit au sud de cette démarcation à la limite de l'Aragon (1506) et vécut dans son château natal de Xavier jusqu'à l'âge de 19 ans. C'est là qu'il apprit ses deux premières langues: d'une part le basque dans sa famille bascophone (de la région du Baztan et de la Basse-Navarre) et avec ceux qui arrivaient des provinces voisines encore bascophones au château et d'autre part la langue romane de son entourage géographique immédiat. Ce qui explique pourquoi le missionraire navarrais désignera l'euskara comme "sa langue naturelle bizcayenne" (1544), terme très étendu à cette époque.
- Sagredo Garde, Iñaki. "Navarra. Castillos que defendieron el Reino". Pamiela, 2006. ISBN 84-7681-477-1
- Butler, Rev. Alban, "St Francis Xavier, Confessor, Apostle Of The Indies", The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, Vol. III
- Michael Servetus Research Website that includes graphical documents in the University of Paris of: Ignations of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Alfonso Salmerón, Nicholas Bobadilla, Peter Faber and Simao Rodrigues, as well as Michael de Villanueva ("Servetus")
- Ante Kadič. St. Francis Xavier and Marko Marulić. The Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring, 1961), pp. 12-18
- Wintz O.F.M., Jack, "St. Francis Xavier: Great Missionary to the Orient", Franciscan Media, November 29, 2006
- Lach, Donald Frederick (1994). Asia in the making of Europe: A century of wonder. The literary arts. The scholarly disciplines (University of Chicago Press, 1994 ed.). ISBN 0-226-46733-3. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- Zuloaga SJ, Ismael G., "Francis Xavier, Founder of the Jesuit Mission in Asia", Jesuit Asia Pacific Conference
- "Saint Francis Xavier Apostle Of The Indies And Japan", Lives of Saints, John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
- Goa and Daman, Archdiocese of. "St Paul's College & Rachol Seminary". website. Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- Astrain, Antonio. "St. Francis Xavier." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 7 Mar. 2013
- Duignan, Peter. "Early Jesuit Missionaries: A Suggestion for Further Study." American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 60, No. 4 (August 1958). pp. 725-732. Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Anthropological Association. Retrieved 30 November 2008 .
- Wintz O.F.M., Jack, "Four Great Spanish Saints", Franciscan Media
- Diego Pacheco. Xavier and Tanegashima. Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter, 1974), pp. 477-480
- Shusaku Endo (1969), Silence, p. vii, Translator's Preface, William Johnston, Taplinger Publishing Company, New York
- Vlam, Grace A. H. The Portrait of Francis Xavier in Kobe. Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 42 Bd., H. 1, pp. 48-60 Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag GmbH Munchen, 1979. 30 November 2008 jstor
- Ellis, Robert Richmond. “The Best Thus Far Discovered”: The Japanese in the Letters of St. Francisco Xavier. Hispanic Review, Vol. 71 No. 2 (Spring 2003), pp. 155-169 jstor
- Xavier, Francis. The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier. Translated by M. Joseph Costellos, S.J. St Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1992
- St. Francis Xavier: Letter from Japan, to the Society of Jesus in Europe, 1552
- Cappella di san Francesco Saverio, at the official website of Il Gesù. (Italian)
- Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, at the official website of the Macau Government Tourist Office.
- Jesuit prayer-book "Srce Isusovo Spasenje naše" ("Heart of Jesus our Salvation"), Zagreb, 1946, p. 425
- For the most recent study of Francis Xavier's canonization process, see Franco Mormando, "The Making of the Second Jesuit Saint: The Campaign for the Canonization of Francis Xavier, 1555-1622" in Francis Xavier and the Jesuit Missions in the Far East, ed. F. Mormando, Chestnut Hill, MA: The Jesuit Institute, Boston College, 2006, pp. 9-22.
- Address Of Benedic XVI To The Fathers And Brothers Of The Society Of Jesus, April 22, 2006
- Attwater (1965), pp. 141-142.
- The most frequent names, simple and exact for the national total and exact for the province of residence, Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain). Excel spreadsheet format. Javier is the 10th most popular complete name for males, Francisco Javier, the 18th. Javier is the 8th most frequent name for males, either alone or in composition.
- Popular Baby Names
- Rubens, William Unger, S. R. K. St. Francis Xavier Raising the Dead. The American Art Review, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Dec., 1879), p. 66
- "Francis Xavier", Christian History & Biography, Christianity Today
- Ricklefs, M.C. (1993). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. p. 25. ISBN 0-333-57689-6.
- D'Mello, Gilbert (11 November 2009). "Stage set for novenas, feast of St Francis Xavier". The Times Of India.
- Japanese Sketches in The Month, Volume 11 (1869) p.241
- Brockney, Liam Matthew (2007). Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724. Cambridge: Harvard UP. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-674-02448-9. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- Saint Francis Xavier, apostle of India and Japan
- Rao, R.P. (1963). Portuguese Rule in Goa: 1510—1961. New York: Asia Publishing House. p. 43.[verification needed]
- This article incorporates material from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion
- Attwater, Donald. (1965) A Dictionary of Saints. Penguin Books, Middlesex, England. Reprint: 1981.
- Jou, Albert. (1984) The Saint on a Mission. Anand Press, Anand, India.
- Pinch, William R., "The Corpse and Cult of St. Francis Xavier, 1552-1623," in Mathew N. Schmalz and Peter Gottschalk ed. Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries, Appropriations, and Resistances (New York, State University of New York Press, 2011),
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Francis Xavier|
- The Life and Miracles of St. Francis Xavier, Apostle and Missionary of the Indies
- Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa The Shrine of Saint Francis Xavier
- Saint Francis Xavier University Antigonish, Nova Scotia
- The Life of St. Francis Xavier
- The life and letters of St. Francis Xavier Francis Xavier, Saint, 1506-1552 Coleridge, Henry James, 1822-1893 London: Burns and Oates, (1872)
- Xavier's World website of Navarre Department of Education celebrating 500th anniversary of their patron saint's birth
- A critical view
- St. Francis Xavier - Pictorial Biography
- Saint François Xavier (French)
- St. Francis of the Millennium
- The Goa Jesuit Province of the Society of Jesus: The Jesuits in Goa
- The Feast of St Francis Xavier in Goa
- Picture of Shangchuan island. The chapel marks the location of his death
- Another picture of the church on Shangchuan island
- Old map of Shangchuan island
- The Miracles of St Francis Xavier by John Hardon, SJ
- St Francis Xavier: History of His Incorrupt Body
- Brief History of St Francis Xavier