Saint of the day:
Saint Francis Xavier
Patron Saint of Catholic missions; African missions; Goa, India; China; missionaries
Saint Francis Xavier’s Story
Jesus asked, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:26a). The words were repeated to a young teacher of philosophy who had a highly promising career in academics, with success and a life of prestige and honor before him.
Francis Xavier, 24 at the time, and living and teaching in Paris, did not heed these words at once. They came from a good friend, Ignatius of Loyola, whose tireless persuasion finally won the young man to Christ. Francis then made the spiritual exercises under the direction of Ignatius, and in 1534 joined his little community, the infant Society of Jesus. Together at Montmartre they vowed poverty, chastity, and apostolic service according to the directions of the pope.
From Venice, where he was ordained a priest in 1537, Francis Xavier went on to Lisbon and from there sailed to the East Indies, landing at Goa, on the west coast of India. For the next 10 years he labored to bring the faith to such widely scattered peoples as the Hindus, the Malayans, and the Japanese. He spent much of that time in India, and served as provincial of the newly established Jesuit province of India.
Wherever he went, he lived with the poorest people, sharing their food and rough accommodations. He spent countless hours ministering to the sick and the poor, particularly to lepers. Very often he had no time to sleep or even to say his breviary but, as we know from his letters, he was filled always with joy.
Francis went through the islands of Malaysia, then up to Japan. He learned enough Japanese to preach to simple folk, to instruct, and to baptize, and to establish missions for those who were to follow him. From Japan he had dreams of going to China, but this plan was never realized. Before reaching the mainland, he died. His remains are enshrined in the Church of Good Jesus in Goa. He and Saint Therese of Lisieux were declared co-patrons of the missions in 1925.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Near Gandhi Circle
403402 Old Goa, Goa, India
*The body of St Francis Xavier rests within a casket in the right transept of this church.
Il Gesu (The Jesus)
Via degli Astalli 16
*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It honors a number of Jesuit saints.
*An arm of St Francis Xavier rests within a reliquary above the altar in the right transept.
With this arm he baptized thousands of individuals in India and the Far East.
*St Ignatius of Loyola (d. 1556), the founder of the Jesuits, is buried under the altar in the left transept.
His rooms are located in the Generalate next to the church and may be visited.
*The remains of St Peter Faber (d. 1546), an early companion of St Ignatius, are also located here. They are said to rest below the main entrance to this church having been placed here when the church was built in the 16th century. During the placement of these relics it was impossible to separate the bones of St Peter Faber from the bones of other individuals; therefore, his bones are buried together with theirs.
Sint Carolus Borromeuskerk
(Saint Charles Borromeo Church)
Hendrik Conscienceplein 12
2000 Antwerp, Belgium
*A small relic of St Francis Xavier is preserved in this church in a chapel to the left of the main sanctuary.
Songs of the season:
Carol of the Bells
Carol of the Bells
Amy Grant - Winter Wonderland
Goan Prawn Curry with Coconut
Goan Prawn Curry with Coconut is a spicy,
sour curry that comes from Goa and is also called Ambot Tik.
Just serve this with steamed rice and you have a truly satisfying meal!
for the prawns
20 Jumbo Prawns or Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Enough water to soak the prawns completely
For the ground masala
8-10 dried Kashmiri Red Chillies
6 Garlic Cloves
1 teaspoon whole Peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 small knob of Tamarind (1 teaspoon Tamarind Paste)
1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1/2 cup grated Coconut
1 cup Coconut Milk
For the curry
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon finely minced Ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped Onions
1/2 cup finely chopped Tomatoes
Salt to taste
8-10 Curry Leaves
Start by defrosting prawns. Transfer prawns to a bowl and add enough cold water to soak them properly for 15 minutes. Before using, wash the prawns once or twice in running water and add them to the curry.
Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ground masala to a smooth paste and set aside.
In a pan, heat coconut oil and add ginger and onions. Saute the onions till they are a light golden brown and add tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for 5-7 minutes till they break down easily with the back of a spoon.Add the ground masala and salt to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer the masala for 10-15 minutes till the color deepens slightly. Add the defrosted (drain the water) prawns to the gravy and cook them for 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle curry leaves on top, mix well and switch off the flame. Let the curry rest for 5 minutes before serving with steamed rice.