Francis Xavier, a Missionary Beyond the Borders


In a homily delivered in Manila on November 29, 1970, Saint Paul VI stated: “I would never have come from Rome to this far-distant land unless I had been most firmly convinced of two fundamental things: first, of Christ; and second, of your salvation.” He added: “The more distant the goal, the more difficult my mission, the more pressing is the love that urges me to it.”[1] Saint Francis Xavier could have said the same words. For him, too, the motives were Christ and the salvation of the people. Thus he was not afraid to consider the most distant and difficult goal as the most urgent. With this enthusiasm he proclaimed the Gospel in India, in Malacca (Malaysia), in the Moluccas (Indonesia) and in Japan. Only death stopped him when he tried to enter China, his last great missionary dream.

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