Periodicals / Journals
Via Spiritus : Revista de História da Espiritualidade e do Sentimento Religioso
A Oração em S. Francisco Xavier : Maria Cristina Osswald
Maria Cristina Osswald
AbstractThis paper begins with an analysis of the main written documents attributed to St. Francis Xavier, which focus on prayer, particularly the Roman Breviary of Quiñones (1536). We then explore the fundamental role of prayer in the activity and personality of Francis Xavier, in accordance with his hagiography. To this end, reference is made to the Spiritual Exercises, Francis Xavier’s many voyages and their perils, as well as the clearly anti-reformist prototype of a saint profoundly immersed in deep prayer and given to moments of rapture. In fact, the writings of Francis Xavier and his different biographies indicate that prayer was a fundamental aspect of his daily life, and one of his main goals consisted in encouraging the same habits of prayer among the peoples he evangelized. Francis Xavier considered prayer so important in his missionary activity that he composed prayers, among which the renowned “prayer for the conversion of infidels”, Goa, c. 1548, and the equally noteworthy text “How to pray and save the soul”, 1548?, in which he taught the correct way to pray. Within his strategy of missionary vocation, Francis Xavier gave great importance to child catechism. In particular, he favoured the innovative practice of the converted saying their prayers in local languages, encouraging missionaries and the converted to translate the texts of Christianity written in European languages into the local languages. He further encouraged the use of music. Finally, Francis Xavier was also apparently devoted to the Rosary, found in his hands when he died.
Last Update: 2014-10-23
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