Roman Catholic Missions — October 30, 2009 at 9:04 am

Xavier's preaching method.

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  • Without waiting for any order or permission of the king, father Francis decided that we should preach in the streets of Yamaguchi. This we did in the following manner. We (Francis and Fernandez) stood at the crossings where the people were abundant. I first read from the book an account of the creation of the world. Then in a loud voice I spoke of the great sins committed by the Japanese, dwelling principally on three things: First they forgot God, instead of Him they adored wood, stone and inanimate things, through them worshiping the devil. In the second place, they give themselves up to the vice of sodomy; at this point I exposed the shame and baseness of sin, speaking of the chastisements with which the world has been afflicted because of it. The third sin was that of woman, who, to spare themselves the trouble of bringing up children, slay their offspring at birth or even before. While I was thus preaching father Francis at my side engaged in prayer, asking God to bless my words to those that listened.

    4223-20080119-0633UTC--nazareth-church-of-the-annunciation-japanese-madonna (Small)

    The icon is a gift from Japanese Catholics to the church

  • Thus we continued preaching every day until there did not remain in that great city a street-crossing where we had not preached.We also spoke in the house of gentlemen (fidalgo’s:Fidalgo, from the Portuguese filho de algo—sometimes translated into English as “son of somebody” or “son of some (important family)” (although this would correctly be filho de alguém or filho de alguma [família importante])—is a traditional title used in Portugal (and later in Brazil) to refer to a member of the titled or untitled nobility. A fidalgo is comparable in some ways to the French gentilhomme (the word also implies nobility by birth or by charge) and to the Italian nobile.
    )
    who invited us, some for the sake of killing time, some because they wanted to hear something new, and others that they might make fun of us. Among these gentlemen was one who had brought us to his house for amusement. While I was reading to him the story of the fall of the angels, how Lucifer for his pride was cast down, and how those that are haughty will meet a like fate, he began to show his contempt for what I was reading. Father Francis for once chided him, saying: however powerful you may be, if you do not humble yourself and weep for your sins, God will know how to subdue you by the torments of hell. As the man drew nearer to us expressing his scorn for the Father and his words, Father Francis was inflamed with zeal and his face was all aglow as he said:”Beware! unless you humble yourself, you will suffer these torments”. As we were going from his house Francis said to me: I am sorry for that gentlemen, the more powerful these persons are, the less they profit from God’s Mercies.

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