World homage to St. Francis Xavier
FROM every part of the world this week pilgrims have been A: arriving in Goa, Portuguese India, for the special celebrations marking the fourth centenary of the death of St. Francis Xavier, who brought Christianity to the Far East.
Cardinal Goncalves Cerejeira. Patriarch of Lisbon, the Papal Legate to the ceremonies, arrived in Goa on Monday last. With him were representatives of the Portuguese and Spanish Governments.
Among the many thousands of pilgrims in the city were three Archbishops, 17 Bishops and hundreds of priests.
Every ship reaching Goa brought more pilgrims to the city, including thousands from British East Africa and Mozambique. Three special pilgrim ships sailed from Karachi, and coastal vessels from Bombay were crowded with pilgrims.
About 100,000 people saw the body of St. Francis Xavier carried in procession through the streets of Goa on Wednesday, the anniversary of the saint's death.
The ideal of St. Francis Xavier "to put the Orient under the Cross of Christ" did not die with hint 400 years ago but lives on in the spirit of his successors, said the Holy Father in a broadcast to Goa on Wednesday.
"Above all," he declared. "his example and his spirit which communicated itself to legions of apostles, continues his posthumous apostolate."
The Goa celebrations will last for a month. during which the body of St. Francis Xavier will be exposed for veneration,
In Rome, a triduum was held in the Jesuit Church of Jesus, where a Mass
was celebrated at the Altar of St. Francis Xavier, beneath which is the relic of the arm of the saint.
In Paris, special services were held in the Church of St. Francis Xavier and the Montmartre Basilica, at which Cardinal elect Edda and Cardinal-elect Roncalli officiated.
Even in Norway, where an order of nursing sisters is named after the saint, special commemorative services were held in the towns where these sisters work.
But while Catholics all over the world commemorated the fourth centettary of the death of St. Francis Xavier, the shrine on Sancian Island, which marks the spot where he died, lay lonely and untended in Chinese Communist territory, 100 miles from Hong Kong.
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