Pastoral Notes 1st October, 2017

Our present Pope chose the name ‘Francis’ and it was first thought that he was thinking of the famous Jesuit missionary of the 16th century, St. Francis Xavier. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit Priest to become Pope. Francis Xavier travelled to India (Goa) and went on to preach and found the Church in Japan, dying finally on an island within sight of China. (Another fine Jesuit missionary had a mission to China in the 17th Century). But Pope Francis we now know was thinking of St Francis of Assisi, whose feast is on October 4th, Wednesday this week. This is famous for his praising God for all His creatures and living in total poverty. He also travelled to the Holy Land and impressed the then Muslim leaders, who recognised his holiness, and allowed him to travel freely to all the Holy Places. Today St Francis is also a world-wide patron saint for Peace, and we ask his prayers for that cause.