Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Mark (16: 15-20), in which Jesus commissions the disciples to ‘Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation’. After reading the Gospel, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Francis Xavier, whose memorial we celebrate today. Fr Paul says Francis was born in the Basque region of Spain in 1506. He met Ignatius Loyola when he was a student in Paris. He was ordained a priest in 1537 and in 1541 the Pope sent him to India. Francis spent the rest of his life in the East, preaching the Gospel in Goa and Malacca. Francis made many converts and he, also, spent two years in Japan laying the foundation of the Christian faith and communities there. In 1552, he tried to reach China secretly, however, he died of fever and exhaustion on the Chinese Island of Shanchuan. And so today, in the tradition of our Church, Fr Paul invites us to pray, ‘St Francis Xavier, Pray for us’.
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