This week, the Church celebrated the Feast of St Francis Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary. Vatican Radio delved into its archive to produce a special remembrance: Pope Pius XII addressing newly independent India in 1952 on the legacy of Xavier.
- Vatican Radio
Xavier's feast day falls on December 3, to coincide with the date of his passing away back in 1552. In the Indian city of Goa, his sacred relics are being exposed in a special event which takes place every ten years. This time it lasts from November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2015. The silver casket which contains his relics is normally housed in the Bom Jesus Basilica in this same city.
This Jesuit was one of the first companions of Ignatius of Loyola and, as thousands of Indian faithful flock to Goa in an act of veneration. Vatican Radio has chosen to pay homage to this patron saint of missions with a recording from the Vatican Radio archives. It dates back to New Year's eve in 1952. In the heart of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, Pope Pius XII reaches out through the air waves to the faithful of India.
The early 1950s marked a delicate time in the history of this nation; a mere handful of years had gone by since independence from Britain. Pius also appealed to the people of India to draw from the religious spirit rooted in their souls to defeat what he called “godlessness”, through exemplary Christian witness.
To listen to this program, presented by Veronica Scarisbrick and featuring sound clips from a recording of Pope Pius XII's radio message relating to St Francis Xavier, CLICK HERE.
St Francis Xavier - 3 December (Archdiocese of Sydney)
From Gujarat to Europe to Goa in honour of St Francis Xavier (Times of India)