St Francis Xavier

Today we celebrate the memorial of St Francis Xavier as Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (7: 21, 24-27) in which Jesus tells his disciples ‘everyone who hears my words and acts on them will be like a sensible man who builds his house on rock’.

St Francis was born in the Basque region of Spain in 1506. He was a student in Paris and it was there that he met Ignatius of Loyola. Francis was ordained in 1537 and in 1541 the Pope sent him as part of a mission to India. He spent the rest of his life in the East, mainly around Goa and Malacca. He also spent two years on a successful mission to Japan laying the foundations of many Christian communities there. In 1552, after entering China secretly, he died of fever and exhaustion on the Chinese island of Shangchuan.

For our reflection today, knowing a little of the life of St Francis, Fr Paul says we might ask ourselves how we can imitate him in some way in our own lives.

Fr Paul also reminds us that St Francis Xavier is featured in the stained-glass window in St Agnes’ church, behind the altar on the right-hand side.

As we celebrate his memorial, we ask St Francis Xavier to pray for us.