‘We must be glad and thank the Lord that so many embrace the Christian religion, who tell us of the fallacies of the Bonzes and of their books, and the mysteries of their sects, for those who have joined themselves to Christ were following the discipline of another. The most learned among their number each and all explain to us the institutes and precepts of their previous discipline. If it were not for my study of these I would not know enough of the false religions of the Japanese to be able to oppose them. How much the Christians love us is past believing. They come constantly to our house to be naturally courteous. The Christians indeed, certainly – bless them – show themselves most kind and obliging to us. God in his mercy reward and grant us the same happiness in heaven’.
from a letter, 1550, detailing his experience of Japan, by St Francis Xavier, 1506-1552
O God, who by the preaching and wondrous works of Saint Francis Xavier didst unite unto thy Church the peoples of India: mercifully grant that we who venerate his glorious merits, may likewise follow him in all virtuous and godly living; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon