Blog Post - December 3rd
S. Francis Xavier| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Francis Xavier
Jesus asked, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:26a). The words were repeated to a young teacher of philosophy who had a highly promising career in academics, with success and a life of prestige and honor before him.
Francis Xavier, 24 at the time, and living and teaching in Paris, did not heed these words at once. They came from a good friend, Ignatius of Loyola (July 31), whose tireless persuasion finally won the young man to Christ. Francis then made the spiritual exercises under the direction of Ignatius, and in 1534 joined his little community (the infant Society of Jesus). Together at Montmartre they vowed poverty, chastity and apostolic service according to the directions of the pope.
From Venice, where he was ordained a priest in 1537, Francis Xavier went on to Lisbon and from there sailed to the East Indies, landing at Goa, on the west coast of India. For the next 10 years he labored to bring the faith to such widely scattered peoples as the Hindus, the Malayans and the Japanese. He spent much of that time in India, and served as provincial of the newly established Jesuit province of India.
Wherever he went, he lived with the poorest people, sharing their food and rough accommodations. He spent countless hours ministering to the sick and the poor, particularly to lepers. Very often he had no time to sleep or even to say his breviary but, as we know from his letters, he was filled always with joy.
Francis went through the islands of Malaysia, then up to Japan. He learned enough Japanese to preach to simple folk, to instruct and to baptize, and to establish missions for those who were to follow him. From Japan he had dreams of going to China, but this plan was never realized. Before reaching the mainland he died. His remains are enshrined in the Church of Good Jesus in Goa. He and St. Therese of Lisieux were declared co-patrons of the missions in 1925.Stories:
Francis died on the island of Sancian, a hundred miles southwest of Hong Kong. In his final sickness he had to be removed from the ship because the Portuguese sailors feared that kindness to him would offend their master. They were forced to leave him on the sands of the shore, exposed to a bitter wind, but a Portuguese merchant led him into a ramshackle hut. He prayed continually, between spasms of delirium and the doubtful therapy of bleeding. He grew weaker and weaker. “I [Anthony, his friend] could see that he was dying, and put a lighted candle in his hand. Then, with the name of Jesus on his lips, he gave his spirit to his Creator and Lord with great peace and repose.”
All of us are called to “go and preach to all nations” (see Matthew 28:19). Our preaching is not necessarily on distant shores but to our families, our children, our husband or wife, our coworkers. And we are called to preach not with words, but by our everyday lives. Only by sacrifice, the giving up of all selfish gain, could Francis Xavier be free to bear the Good News to the world. Sacrifice is leaving yourself behind at times for a greater good, the good of prayer, the good of helping someone in need, the good of just listening to another. The greatest gift we have is our time. Francis gave his to others.
Patron Saint of:
There is also a Miraculous Novena of Grace that can be said to S. Francis either on: 1). 3/3-3/11 Canonization on 3/12; or 2). 11/24-12/2 Feast Day on 12/3. You may also say the novena at any opportune time of the year.
The Miraculous Novena of Grace March 4 -March 12 or November 25-December 3
HISTORY: The Novena of Grace, which begins March 4th and ends on the 12th, the day of the canonization of St. Francis Xavier, owes its origin to the Saint himself. At Naples, in December, 1633, Father Marcello Mastrilli, S.J. was at the point of death. The Saint appeared to him and, bidding him renew a vow he had made to labor in Japan, said:
PROMISE: "All those who implore my help daily for nine consecutive days, from the 4th to the 12th of March included, and worthily receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist on one of the nine days, will experience my protection and may hope with entire assurance to obtain from God any grace they ask for the good of their souls and the glory of God." The Father arose, instantly cured. So well has the Saint kept this promise that this devotion in his honor became universally known as the Novena of Grace. Its efficacy is not restricted to the dates mentioned. It may be made very appropriately from November 25 -December 3, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. Though any prayers can be said in honor of the Saint, the foregoing are generally recommended.
Prayers for the Novena
PRAYER TO ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
Attributed to Father Marcello Mastrilli, S.J. (17th century)
O SAINT Francis Xavier, well beloved and full of charity, in union with thee, I reverently adore the Majesty of God; and since I rejoice with exceeding joy in the singular gifts of grace bestowed upon thee during thy life, and thy gifts of glory after death, I give Him hearty thanks therefore; I beseech thee with all my heart's devotion to be pleased to obtain for me, by thy effectual intercession, above all things, the grace of a holy life and a happy death. Moreover, I beg of thee to obtain for me . . . (here mention the spiritual or temporal favor to be prayed for). But if what I ask of thee so earnestly doth not tend to the glory of God and the greater good of my soul, do thou, I pray, obtain for me what is more profitable to both these ends. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
If, for any reason, the above prayer cannot be said, it will suffice to say five times Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.-----S. C. Ind., March 23, 1904.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father,Glory Be Prayer and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER FOR THE CONVERSION OF INFIDELS
ETERNAL God, Creator of all things, remember that Thou alone didst create the souls of infidels, framing them to Thy Own image and likeness; behold, O Lord! how, to Thy dishonor, Hell is daily replenished with them. Remember, O Lord! Thy Only Son, Jesus Christ, Who suffered for them, most bountifully shedding His Precious Blood: suffer not, O Lord Thy Son and our Lord to be any longer despised by infidels; but rather, being appeased by the entreaties and prayers of the elect, the Saints, and of the Church, the most blessed spouse of Thy Son, vouchsafe to be mindful of Thy mercy, and forgetting their idolatry and infidelity, cause them also to know Him Whom Thou didst send, Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord, Who is our health, life, and resurrection, through Whom we are freed and saved, to Whom be all glory forever.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER'S HYMN OF LOVE
O GOD, I love Thee for Thyself, And not that I may Heaven gain, Nor because those who love Thee not, Must suffer Hell's eternal pain.
Thou O my Jesus!
Thou didst me Upon the Cross embrace; For me didst bear the nails and spear And manifold disgrace;
And griefs and torments numberless, And sweat of agony; E'en death itself-----and all for one Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ, Should I not love Thee well: Not for the sake of winning Heaven, Or of escaping Hell; Not with the hope of gaining aught, not seeking a reward; But, as Thyself hast loved me, O ever-loving Lord?
E'en so I love Thee, and will love, and in Thy praise will sing; Solely because Thou art my God And my eternal King.
It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a man's progress, nor the nature of the task, but the spirit with which it is undertaken.--S. Francis Xavier
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Humble yourself, then, at the delightful thought that you are in the divine arms of Jesus...you are being guided toward the destination that will be to your greatest advantage.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365
We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.
The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.
This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.
Reflection 337: Helping the Anxiety of Others
In our lives it is almost certain that we will encounter people from time to time who are agitated, upset or worried. They may obsess about this or that and their thinking may even be somewhat irrational. What a graced opportunity this is for Mercy. Anxiety and worry will happen in life and we should not let it draw us in. We must keep our peace, make the situation light, and especially offer prayers for those struggling with this burden (See Diary #1636).
How do you react when you encounter the excessive worries or anxieties of another? This is a heavy burden to them and a source of much stress. Reflect upon how you approach people in this situation. Know that the Lord wishes to use you to bring peace to their worried minds and anxious hearts. Commit to this act of Mercy and the Lord will bless them.
Lord, please do make me an instrument of Your peace. When I encounter those who have no peace and are filled with anxiety, help me look at them with compassion and love. Help me to know that these souls need Your Mercy and that I am the one sent to dispense it. Jesus, I trust in You.