3 December, the feast of Saint Francis Xavier, the
famous companion of Ignatius of Loyola. To Francis’ surprise, as he was getting
ready to work as a priest in Rome, Ignatius sent him to Asia. Over there, he
will be a tireless missionary in India, Indonesia and Japan.
However, despite all his efforts, he did not achieve
his ultimate goal: the evangelisation of China. He was never able to enter into
Chinese territory, dying of exhaustion on the island of Shangchuan, only 14 km
from the coast of mainland China.
Francis Xavier, a man frustrated by failure? He was so
close to his goal! No, he wasn't frustrated. He entrusted himself into the
hands of his Master and Lord, he handed over his project... which was in fact
God's project. His dream and his efforts bore fruit because China has always
remained at the heart of the Jesuits' missionary outlook… from the amazing
adventure of Matteo Ricci (circa 1600) to the present day.
Saint Francis Xavier,
patron saint of the missions, pray for us and support us in our trials.