A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Santo del día | 3 de diciembre: San Francisco Javier

San Francisco Javier (St Francis Xavier SJ, Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, Frantzisko Xabierkoa, Franciscus de Xabier, Franciscus Xaverius, Apostle to the Far East) (1506-52). On The Day of Navarra, Feast Day and Lutheran Commemoration of the anniversary of the death, along with three other missionaries, of the Navarrese-Basque nobleman, a Bologna Doctor of Law and confessor who was ordained a priest in Venice in 1537, studied and taught in Paris and was one of the greatest missionaries since Paul the Apostle. He was a companion of Ignatius of Loyola, who brought him to Christ, and co-founder with six others of the 1540 Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Montmartre, taking vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and apostolic service. As the Papal Nuncio in the East, he led a 1541 mission to the Asian Portuguese Empire, arriving in Goa in 1542 to evangelise in the new Jesuit province of India, building forty churches and becoming the first Christian missionary to Indonesia and Japan, where he arrived in 1549. Returning to Goa, he set out to extend his preaching to China but died on 3 December 1552 on Shangchuan Island (St John’s Island) before reaching the mainland. He was buried on the island and in 1553 his remains were translated to Malacca before their final burial at the end of that year in a silver casket enclosed in a glass case at his shrine in the Church of Good Jesus in Goa. His right arm was taken to Rome, where it is on display, and another arm bone is kept in Macau, now a special administrative region of China. Venerated in Catholic Church, Anglicanism, Lutheranism. Co-patron saint of Navarre with St Fermin and, with St Thérèse of Lisieux, missions. Patron against plague epidemics and of: African and other foreign missions, Kottar, Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bombay, Kollam, India, Apostleship of Prayer, Australia, Borneo, Cape Town, China, Dinajpur, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malacca, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, East Indies, Fiji, Goa, Fathers of the Precious Blood, jewellers, Key West, Sophia University, Tokyo, University of Saint Francis Xavier, Sucre, Bolivia, Cupang, Kabankalan, Nasugbu, Batangas, Mayamot, The Philippines, Macau, Madagascar, Diocese of Malindi, Kenya, Missionaries of the Precious Blood, sailors and navigators, New Zealand, Propagation of the Faith, Zagreb. Image: aciprensa.com.

Prayer Our Lord said that all of us are called to preach, perhaps not on distant shores but to our families, children, spouse and co-workers. Perhaps not with words, but by the example of our everyday lives. May we, by the giving up of all selfish gain, make ourselves free to bear the Good News to all. Amen

December 3 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) - Wikipedia

St Ethernan (Ithernan, Etharnan, Itarnan) (d669). Celtic Feast Day commemorating the death of the Seventh-Century Scottish monk of Iona whose murder is recorded in the Irish annals with Itarnan et Corindu apud Pictores defuncti sunt (Ethernan and Corindu were martyred among the Picts). Ethernan died whilst a monk at the Isle of May monastery in the Firth of Forth and he was buried in the monastic cemetery there. His cult developed in several places in Scotland, including Kilrenny (Cill Reithnidh), Madderty and Aberdeenshire, and in Wales. Pilgrims to the Isle of May prayed at his shrine church and healing miracles were recorded. His name is inscribed in Ogham on: the Scoonie Stone in Fife, now preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh; Rodney’s Stone in Morayshire, a two-metre high Pictish cross slab; and possibly the Fordoun Stone in Kincardineshire, another Pictish cross slab. In Kilrenny, he was known as St Irnie and sometimes erroneously identified with Saint Irenaeus of Lyons. Fishermen used the steeple of St Irnie’s church as a landmark when at sea, and Anstruther folk would pray to him when the steeple came into sight. In the Middle Ages, when the Picts had ceased to function as an ethnic group in Scotland, Ethernan’s shrine continued to attract pilgrims for several centuries due to a misremembering of him from a time that ancient martyrdoms in Britain and Ireland were commonly attributed to Norsemen. Image: en.wikipedia.org.

Nôtre Dame de la Victoire de Lépante at St Raphael, Eglise Notre Dame de la  Victoire church in St Raphael on the French Rivie Stock Photo - Alamy

Notre-Dame de la Victoire (Our Lady of Victory). The 1629 church of Our Lady of Victory in Paris was built by King Louis XIII in thanksgiving for favours granted him by the Blessed Mother, the parishioners having been known for a hundred and fifty years for their devotion to the Blessed Virgin. With the French Revolution, the church fell upon evil ways and was later used by a schismatic sect, then as a stock exchange. When restored in 1809 to its original purpose, there were few parishioners left and on the first Sunday of December 1832 the priest cried out in distress whilst saying Mass in an almost empty church, hearing a calm distinct voice say very solemnly: “Consecrate your parish to the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.” The Bishop approved the consecration in the week of 3 December and the following Sunday the church was filled with four hundred people for the first time in years. It now holds about ninety thousand thanks offerings for cures and favours of Our Lady. Image: alamy.com.