Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Patron Saint of the Xaverian Brothers. St. Francis Xavier was a Spanish Jesuit who lived as a Roman Catholic missionary in the 1500s. Theodore James Ryken, Founder of the Xaverian Brothers, took on the patronage of St. Francis Xavier as he sought to embrace being a missionary and serving the poor and marginalized of our world. As he created this “Band of Brothers”, he faced many obstacles and challenges. Regardless, he marched on in faith and never stopped taking steps to “Go to the peoples everywhere, and make them my disciples."
This photo is of a statue of St. Francis Xavier that sits on the front of St. Walburga Church in Bruges, Belgium, the founding place of the Xaverian Brothers. Notice that St. Francis is stepping off of the platform, ready to march forward in ministry. It is such a wonderful representation of what Theodore James Ryken intended, to take a step forward and continue his missionary work wherever it leads him.
We continue to give thanks to the many Xaverian Brothers who have served the Church as missionaries of the Gospel. As we celebrate this special day, let us remember that we are all called to continue to step forward and participate in the Church’s mission of evangelization.
Director for Mission and Identity
Photos taken by Dr. Patrick Slattery, Executive Director of Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools
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