“In Thee Oh Lord I have put my hope.
Never let me be confounded.”
These are the last words of Saint Francis Xavier who, in 1927, was named along with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, co-patron of all foreign missions.
St. Therese Lisieux prayed for missionaries, yet never left her cloister convent.
St. Francis Xavier was known for his cheerfulness and generosity as he led a large mission to India, Japan, to Borneo, the Maluku Islands and other areas in Asia. When preparing to extend his missionary to Chin, Saint Xavier died on Shangchuan Island, his body was returned to Goa in India.
In India St. Francis, who had been among the first 7 to join St. Ignatius in founding the Society of Jesus, had great success, yet in other areas challenges that would have discouraged most, only led him to strive to find new ways to share the gift of faith he had received and longed to share.
As St. Francis’ feast day comes to us each year, I would like to pause this year just to remember that it was not only successes that drove his efforts. The times when others might have easily given up, only led him to strive to find new ways to invite people to know the love of God for them.
All missionaries, including Mission Doctors can take these words of St. Francis Xavier to heart, knowing that their own efforts, or what it is we are striving to accomplish, can never matter as much as the faith that brings us to serve.
“It is not the actual physical exertion
that counts towards a one’s progress,
nor the nature of the task but by the
spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.”
Let us pray for Mission Doctors and all missionaries that their faith is strengthened with each day.