Praying with St Francis Xavier

February 23, 2022

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the canonisation of St Francis Xavier, friend and companion in mission of St Ignatius of Loyola.

Francisco Xavier is one of the most exciting and adventurous figures of the sixteenth century. He travelled where few westerners had been: to India, to Malaysia, to Japan, and to China. He undertook long and arduous voyages, risking everything to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to farmer and fisherman, king and emperor.

You can pray the Novena of Grace to St Francis Xavier from the 4th to the 12th March (leading up to the anniversary of his canonisation) and as you do so, learn more about the life and work of this saint. The novena is nine days of prayer, in the company of St Francis Xavier, through the letters he wrote.

As a Jesuit, Francisco underwent and then, in turn, led others through the Spiritual Exercises of his great friend St Ignatius Loyola. His writings reflect the spiritual insights and preoccupations of the Spiritual Exercises.

We pray to know ourselves better, to discern the will of God for each of using the daily unfolding of our lives, to hear and generously answer Christ’s call to follow him, whatever the cost, and to understand that everything is unmerited gift from God, poured out lavishly upon us “as rays from the sun or waters from the spring."

Download the full novena below.

Why not find out more about the life of St Ignatius and his companions by following the Lent Retreat?

Image: St Francis Xavier in Ecstasy (1670) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-82) via Wikimedia Commons.

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