The Vatican

Francis unites the evangelization of St. Francis Xavier to his prayer

During the General Audience this Wednesday, the Pope took up the example of the "extraordinary evangelizing work" of St. Francis Xavier, "always united to prayer, to union with God. "He took great care of the sick, the poor and the children. The love of Christ was the force that took him to the farthest reaches," he stressed. He then prayed for peace in Ukraine, and called the Rosary "a powerful weapon against evil".

Francisco Otamendi-May 17, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

In his series of catecheses on "the passion for evangelization, the apostolic zeal of the believer," which he began in January, and with the reading from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor 5:14-15, 20) as a reference, the Holy Father returned to the example of St. Francis Xavier, sent to India as apostolic nuncio, in his Audience this Wednesday of May.20) as a reference, the Holy Father, in the Audience of this Wednesday of May, once again used the example of the intense evangelizing task of St. Francis Xavier, sent to India as Apostolic Nuncio, and united his apostolic zeal "to prayer, to union with God, mystical and contemplative". 

This is the catechesis that could not be carried out in its full scope last Wednesday, due to the presence of His Holiness Tawadros IIThe Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, who envisioned the growing friendship of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt with the Catholic Church. 

About saint Francis XavierSpanish saint, patron saint of the missions along with saint Therese of Lisieux"The Pope pointed out that "the love of Christ was the strength that carried him to the furthest reaches, with continuous fatigue and dangers, overcoming failures, disappointments and discouragements, even more, giving him comfort and joy to follow him and serve him to the end". 

"Waiting to be able to enter China, even though it was closed to foreigners, on December 3, 1522, in complete abandonment, with only a Chinese man beside him to watch over him, thus ended the earthly journey of Francis Xavier. He was forty-six years old, but his hair was already white, his strength was spent, given unreservedly to the service of the Gospel," Pope Francis added.

"Let us be faithful missionary disciples."

"Francis was born in Navarre and did his university studies in Paris. There he met Ignatius of Loyola, who accompanied him in the experience of the Spiritual Exercises. The encounter with Christ that he had during those days changed his life," said the Holy Father, a Jesuit like the Navarrese saint. "Years later, Ignatius, Francis and other friends formed the Society of Jesusand placed themselves at the Pope's disposal to attend to the most urgent needs of the Church in the world".

"Sent to India as Apostolic Nuncio," the Pope continued, "Francis Xavier carried out an extraordinary evangelizing work, catechizing children, baptizing and caring for the sick. His apostolic zeal impelled him to always go beyond what was known, and so he traveled to other places in Asia, such as the Moluccas Islands and JapanHe said: "The three years in Japan were very hard because of the climate, the opposition and the lack of language. "The three years in Japan were very hard, because of the climate, the opposition and the lack of knowledge of the language, but even here the seeds planted will bear great fruit," the Holy Father said.

"Let us ask the Lord to send his Holy Spirit upon us," the Pontiff prayed in the Audiencethat, like St. Francis Xavier, we may be faithful disciples and missionaries of his Gospel to the ends of the earth. May Jesus bless you and the Blessed Virgin Mary watch over you".

Ascension, youth, Rosary, life, Ukraine, young people

The Holy Father also referred, in Italian, to "the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which we will celebrate tomorrow", which "invites us to look back to the moment when Jesus, before ascending to heaven, entrusted the Apostles with the mandate to carry his message of salvation to the ends of the earth".

Then, addressing the Italian Romans and pilgrims, the Pope addressed the young people and newlyweds and their families: "Dear young people - especially you, students of so many schools present here today - accepting Christ's missionary mandate, commit yourselves to place your enthusiasm at the service of the Gospel. You, dear sick and elderly people, live united to the Lord, in the certainty of making a valuable contribution to the growth of the Kingdom of God in the world. And you, dear newlyweds, see to it that your families are places where you learn to love God and to be his witnesses with joy. To all my blessing.

In his greeting to the Arabic-speaking faithful, Pope Francis recalled the Marian custom of the Holy Rosary. "In May, the month dedicated to Our Lady, we pray the Holy Rosary, a compendium of the entire history of our salvation. The Holy Rosary is a powerful weapon against evil, and an effective means to obtain true peace in our hearts. May the Lord bless you".

Finally, he greeted "cordially the Polish pilgrims, especially the group committed to the defense of life of the 'Małych stópek' fraternity. Yesterday the Church in Poland commemorated the liturgical memory of St. Andrew Bobola, Jesuit, priest and martyr. To him we entrust all the difficult questions of homeland and those of other countries, in particular the question of peace in Ukraine. I bless you with all my heart".

When it seemed that the Pope was about to conclude, before chanting the Our Father in Latin and giving the Blessing, he turned back to UkraineLet us pray to the Lord for the martyred Ukraine, there is so much suffering there... Let us pray for the wounded, for the children, for those who have died, so that peace may return".

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.