Xavier Castle, near Sangüesa, Navarre is the sacred soil where Francis Xavier, the seed of sanctity was sown on April 7, 1506. He was the co-founder of the Society of Jesus which is engaged in spreading the Gospel of Love all around the world.
After the primary education, in pursuit of vast knowledge, Francis Xavier joined the University of Paris. As he grew in wisdom and stature and in favour of with God and man, he was appointed as a professor in the same College. He was smart enough to keep a stone-throwing distance from the bad influence of friends. He was like a lotus flower which is untouched by the stain of mud though its roots are planted in the mud. This attitude of St. Francis Xavier can be imitated by us.
Word of God is like a sword which tears our attitudes and transforms our hearts to be the seat of God. Co-worker St. Ignatius’ Gospel based question – “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul” (Mathew 16:26) made Francis Xavier an ardent missionary. Deal with good people, you will be healed and can reach the eternal healer. The friendship of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier proves that dealing with good people is a way to get healed and to reach the eternal healer. Do I make use of the possibility of taking my friends to divine path by sharing the Word of God with them? When illness prevented one of the two persons set apart for mission work, Ignatius designated Francis as his substitute. Like Francis Xavier we need to open our inner eyes to see the recognitions and rejections as God’s plan for our betterment. He reached in India, Malacca and Japan and preached the Good News. Can we think of viewing our family, schools and work places as mission places to spread Good News of Love?
During the time of his sufferings, he would pray to God “Give me more Lord, give me more”. It is by accepting seven wounds on the bamboo that it becomes an instrument which produces divine music. The distance from a bamboo to a flute is of seven wounds. God made Francis Xavier the bamboo which received wounds on the body to be an instrument of music to produce divine music of love. Though we do not ask and receive struggles, let us receive the struggles of daily life and family as transitional period to become God’s instruments.
The saint who lived sanctity flew to God, on December 3, 1552 to intercede for the faithful. The body of Francis Xavier which he preserved as the temple of the Holy Spirit is kept for veneration Incorrupt in the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa. It silently spreads the message of the importance of keeping our body without stains of sin.
As the selfless ministry and innocent life of Francis Xavier carved the picture of Jesus in the heart of the people of God, let us also draw the picture of Jesus in the hearts of our family members and friends through our words and deeds. Let Francis Xavier, the patron of world mission and second apostle of India cover you in the mist of God’s blessings.
Fr. Joby Kochupurayil CST