Friday, June 27, 2008

Old Fashioned Ecumenism: St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier: “...God, most Faithful and True, held the misbelievers and their prayers in abomination, and so willed that their worship, which He rejected altogether, should come to naught.”[1]

“When all are baptized I order the temples of their false gods to be destroyed and all the idols to be broken in pieces. I can give you no idea of the joy I feel in seeing this done, witnessing the destruction of the idols by the people who lately adored them…When I have done all this in one place, I pass to another… In this way I go all around the country, bringing the natives into the fold of Jesus Christ, and the joy I feel in this is far too great to be expressed…”[2]

“For my part, it does not astonish me that the bonzes [the false, pagan religious leaders in Japan] are covered with so many and so great sins. They are a set of men who have the Devil in place of God, and it is a matter of necessity that they should commit crimes innumerable and abominable… I earnestly beg all who read this letter of mine… to pray that Our Lord Jesus Christ will give us the victory over these two demons Xaca and Amida [the false gods of the Japanese], and over the others like them, especially since at present their credit is waxing weak at Amanguchi, not without the special providence of God.” [3]

“These children [converted to Christ]… show an ardent love for the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for our holy religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry is marvelous. They get into feuds with the heathens about it… The children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage.”[4]

[1] St. Francis Xavier, Sept. 18, 1542; Colridge, Life and Letters, Vol. 1, p. 116)
[2] St. Francis Xavier, +1545; Colridge, Life and Letters
[3] St. Francis Xavier, Jan. 29, 1552; Ibid.
[4] [St. Francis Xavier, +1543; Ibid.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Old Fashioned Ecumenism: St. Martin Of Tours

"But in a village which was named Leprosum, when he [St. Martin D'Tours] too wished to overthrow a temple which had acquired great wealth through the superstitious ideas entertained of its sanctity, a multitude of the heathen resisted him to such a degree that he was driven back not without bodily injury. He, therefore, withdrew to a place in the vicinity, and there for three days, clothed in sackcloth and ashes fasting and praying the whole time, he besought the Lord, that, as he had not been able to overthrow that temple by human effort, Divine power might be exerted to destroy it. Then two angels, with spears and shields after the manner of heavenly warriors, suddenly presented themselves to him, saying that they were sent by the Lord to put to flight the rustic multitude, and to furnish protection to Martin, lest, while the temple was being destroyed, any one should offer resistance. They told him therefore to return, and complete the blessed work which he had begun. Accordingly Martin returned to the village; and while the crowds of heathen looked on in perfect quiet as he razed the pagan temple even to the foundations, he also reduced all the altars and images to dust. At this sight the rustics, when they perceived that they had been so astounded and terrified by an intervention of the Divine will, that they might not be found fighting against the bishop, almost all believed in the Lord Jesus. They then began to cry out openly and to confess that the God of Martin ought to be worshiped, and that the idols should be despised, which were not able to help them." [1]

"At that time... the most blessed Martin then began to preach in the Gauls, and he overcame the unbelief of the heathen, showing among the people by many miracles that Christ the Son of God was the true God. He destroyed heathen shrines, crushed heresy, built churches, and while he was glorious for many other miracles, he completed his title to fame by restoring three dead men to life."[2]

[1] Suplicitus Severus, Life of St. Martin, Ch. XIV
[2] St. Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, Ch. 39