Jesuit Missionary, First and Foremost

SFX @ SJAToday is one of the white feasts of Advent, Francis, that early companion of Ignatius who was off to Asia.

(I blogged about that image a few months ago.)

When the name of the new pope was announced, I thought it might have been a tribute to that missionary Jesuit. Not so.

It wouldn’t be out of sorts with the example of Pope Francis, with his emphasis on the mission of the Gospel and the spread of it to the most distant boundaries.

The map below illustrates the missionary voyages of Francis Xavier. The 1540′s were only a half-century removed from Vasco de Gama’s arrival in India and less than thirty years after the Magellan project circumnavigated the planet.

On that timetable, the Jesuits should have already had a presence on the moon beyond the thirty or so craters named for their scientists. Why so slow?

The psalmist imagined a time when there would no longer be a moon. Perhaps this anticipates a human presence on a godly mission under alien skies:

Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Psalm 72:7-8)

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Jesuit Missionary, First and Foremost

  1. Liam says:

    These voyages were made possible by the Portuguese mercantile empire established by the innovative naval strategy of viceroy-admirals Albuquerque and Almeida:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afonso_de_Albuquerque

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_de_Almeida

    These men and their naval forces gave Portugal effective control over the Indian Ocean in a historical blink of an eye, in one of the great turning points in world history. It should be remembered that, for most of human history, the Indian Ocean was the greatest ocean for global trade. (The Spanish domination of the Atlantic and then Pacific Oceans altered that, but if the Spanish had had the choice, the Spanish would probably have preferred to have control over the Indian Ocean.)

  2. FrMichael says:

    I had the opportunity to visit the Gesu once. Despite looking, I never did find SFX’s arm! It’s a very beautiful and elaborate church.

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