Colesberg - St Francis Xavier
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Colesberg – St. Francis Xavier
A bit of history
The Patronal Feast: December 3rd
About the Patron of the parish
St. Francis Xavier – Jesuit Missionary (1506-1552)
He one of the original company of six who joined with St. Ignatius Loyola in taking vows in the Society of Jesus. He met Loyola, a fellow Basque, while studying in Paris in the 1530s. In 1541, equipped with a papal decree naming him apostolic nuncio to Asia, he embarked for his perilous journey to Portuguese Goa. It was the beginning of one of the greatest of all missionary journey, lasting eleven years, and one from which he would never return.
After a fifteen-month voyage, he arrived to Goa. Christianity of a sort had already been established there by the Portuguese, but the church was in a deplorable condition. He immersed himself in the local languages and used this port as a base for travels along the southern coasts of India. Through his preaching he won many conversions, almost all among poor people.
In 1546 Francis explored other islands in southern Asia. Determined to make Japan his next mission field, he eventually landed there, after many adventures, on August 15, 1549. The experience of Japanese culture induced a change in Francis’ approach to mission. Whereas before he had tended to see himself as building on barren ground, now he felt a need to comprehend the local culture, to discover its latent strengths and virtues and to find ways of connecting these with the gospel message.
At that time China remained closed to foreigners. Nevertheless Francis believed that this would be the grand prize of all his missionary endeavors. But this prize would elude him. In 1552, after finally finding a ship to take him to China, he became seriously ill. He was taken off the ship on the unpopulated island of Sancian near the Chinese coast. His condition deteriorated, and he died on December 3 at the age of forty-six.
Xavier was canonized in 1622. In 1927 he was named patron of foreign mission.
(taken from: All Saints by Robert Ellsberg)
Priest in charge:
Fr Paul Koscielny scj
6 Hospital Street;
PO Box 198,
Tel: (051) 753 0583.
The time of services:
Holy Mass: Sunday: 11.00 am
weekday: Thu 4.00 pm
Other: Adoration: Wed 5.00 pm