St. Francis Xavier: A Burning Desire to Serve Christ

May Virtue of the Month- Zeal 
By 6th grade Student Council Chaplin Erin Allen 

To have zeal is to have an intense love for something in your daily actions. Related to the Catholic faith, this means to have everything you do reflect an undying love for God. To show us how to model zeal, God has given us many examples of people who showed amazing devotion to their faith, and one of those people is Saint Francis Xavier. Born on April 7th, 1506, Francis Xavier had studied hard his entire life to be a successful scholar. In 1525, when his roommate, who would become Saint Peter Faber, connected him with Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Francis Xavier learned a lot about the Catholic faith from Ignatius, and immediately became a Christian. He quickly rededicated his life to serving the poor, even though Ignatius wanted him to go even further and become a priest.

At first, Francis Xavier refused, just wanting to stay a scholar. One day though, he read a passage from Genesis 12:1, which said to “Leave your county, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”  Francis Xavier all of the sudden felt a burning desire to serve Christ in the Church, and took up Ignatius’ offer and became a Jesuit Priest in 1534. 

Although the Jesuit life was quiet in the first few months, there soon became a high demand for priests all around the world. One of the countries that requested priests was India, so Ignatius hesitantly asked Francis Xavier to go to the Middle East. Francis Xavier again felt the burning love for Christ in his heart and decided to go and serve God’s children.

He met the people of India with a warm heart, and immediately taught all the children the Ten Commandments, and several prayers. Word of his teachings quickly spread around town, and many people would come to hear Francis Xavier speak. He would even go into the homes of people with highly contagious diseases just to preach to them. He spent countless hours tending to the poor and sick, specifically lepers. He would give food and water to anyone who needed it, and would sometimes go without sleep some nights because of his devotion to God’s mission for him. He truly had an intense love for Christ in his life, and he wanted to share that love with others.