GETTING TO KNOW POPE FRANCIS FIRST POST

On 14th March 2013 we posted this:


POPE FRANCIS 
A Pope of many "firsts" but especially the name chosen: "Francis".

Immediately the Media with its 5,000 odd journalists in Rome for the occasion and its myriad dissenting clerical and religious "experts"leap to the conclusion that the Patronage claimed is that of Saint Francis of Assisi so much loved by those outside the Church who little understand his great fidelity to the Church, humility and love of the Priesthood which the Media despise.

But they perhaps overlook the fact that the Pope is a Jesuit, and they are probably largely ignorant of that great Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier . 

Thanks to Father George Byers of HOLY SOULS HERMITAGE Blog( http://holysoulshermitage.com/   ) we are reminded of Saint Francis Xavier's heroic missionary work - even unto his death - this has remarkable relevance in the light of the New Evangelisation. Here Father Byers has re-produced the text of one of Saint Francis'letters to his Superior Saint Ignatius Loyola :

"

POPE FRANCIS XAVIER, S.J. Just a guess for a novice master of Jesuits!

by Holy Souls Hermitage
saint francis xavier
From the letters to Saint Ignatius by Saint Francis Xavier, priest
(E Vita Francisci Xaverii, auctore H. Tursellini, Romae, 1956, Lib. 4, epist. 4 [1542] et 5 [1544])

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel

We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. No Portuguese live here the country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.
I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptised. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.
Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: “What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”
I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.
This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like – even to India.
* * *
Pope Francis [Xavier] of the Society of Jesus -- Pope of the New Evangelization " 

We will have to await the Holy Father's disclosure of his intention in choosing the name. By all accounts our new Holy Father is a humble man of modest life and great humility. That would accord well with Saint Francis of Assisi. At the same time we might also pray and hope for equal inspiration from the heroic and evangelising zeal of Saint Francis Xavier, his fellow Jesuit.

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