St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius were best friends. Their mission both separated them and kept them close when they were separated. Ian Peoples, SJ, reflects on true friendship on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier.
What if your best friend is a saint—and so are you?
Hi I’m Ian Peoples with the Jesuit Post.
St. Francis Xavier was a great missionary, but in all his travels he never lost touch with his great friend Ignatius.
The two were inseparable: becoming friends in college and later founding the Society of Jesus. What brought them together also separated them, when Ignatius as superior of the Society missioned Xavier to Asia. They would never see each other again: Xavier died on a partially deserted island off the coast of China.
In one of his last letters to Ignatius, Xavier wrote “[You have] written to me that you have a great desire to see me before you leave this life. God our Lord knows what an impression these words of great love made upon my soul, and how many tears they have cost me whenever I recall them…”
We can’t always be close to our loved ones, but Francis Xavier shows us we can bridge earthly distance through spiritual friendship in God.
St. Francis Xavier,
Pray for us.