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Chapter 7: The Legacy
Transcript of Chapter 7: The Legacy
XI - DE' AGUILON
• Francis Xavier is at the age of 35.
Spain had been pre-occupied with presence of Islam on its soil. Spanish Christians believed that the Muslims, the moors, and all pagans are enemies of God and slaves of evil which are needed to be removed at all cost from Satan’s power.
Francis shared this “blinkered” mindset as he set out on his voyages. He believed that all who died unbaptized would be damned.
By the time he reached Japan, he had begun to change as a result of meeting – really meeting – people who very different from him. In these meetings, he began to realize that he was not totally right. He began to listen, to respect and admire.
• He set up from Portugal on a great journey.
• His travels ended for 11 years involving unremitting pain severe trials
• He died on a small island of Sancian, only eight miles away off the coast of China.
The change in Xavier’s attitude towards respect and admiration for what it truly good in the other person opened the way for a revolution in the Jesuit mission to the East.
Xavier experienced the great variety of human languages, faiths, cultures and living conditions.
He first saw this maddening variety as hindrance to his missionary effort before sensing progressively that this varied and complicated world was the one in which God was indeed living and working.
Francis penetrated just a little into oriental lives. He did not quite transcend the prejudices of his European environment, but he had seen enough to make him curious. He clearly distinguished his missionary work from the greed of trade, and from the ambitions of the Portuguese colonists.
For the first time in a thousand years, Christianity was being translated into the language of non-Western culture. Though Francis seems to have been unaware of it, he was crossing a cultural frontier.
Francis Xavier was beatified by Pope Paul V on October 25, 1619 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622. He is considered the patron of Catholic Missionaries. His feast is on the third of December.