Francisco Xavier

King John III of Portugal wanted missionaries to travel with his exploratory traders to Goa in India. The Jesuits got the job. It took Francis about 100 days to travel the 2000 miles to Lisbon, and then over a year to make the sea voyage to India. Francis never returned to Europe, and spent the rest of his life travelling between and working in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan. He eventually died on Sancian Island off the coast of China while trying to access the mainland despite being banned as a foreigner.

The last ten years of his life were packed with long and dangerous voyages by sea and land. He preached the good news to thousands of people of different cultures and religions, often with minimal knowledge of their language. He established strong Christian bases from which later Jesuits and others built on his work. He was in danger many times, both from opponents to his efforts as well as disease. But he was brave, determined and totally confident he was doing the work of God. He had the gift of being able to engage with all sorts of people and the ability to work with the basics and build on what was available.

He has certainly inspired me to be braver in talking to others about my faith and spiritual matters. And doing that has strengthened my faith. Surely, we all need quiet confidence, bravery and pride in our Christianity in an increasingly secular society.

Source: Thinkingfaith

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