“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:10
Church history is studded with the shining tales of heroic missionaries. Their stories inspire us to pray for the missions and to help them in whatever way we can.
SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER (1506-1552), after his studies in Paris attached himself to Saint Ignatius in the formative days of the Society of Jesus. In 1541 he traveled to the East Indies to organize the work of evangelizing the Orient. He labored in India, first among the Portuguese and then among the peoples of Western India, Ceylon, and other smaller islands. Then he went to Japan, where he established Christian communities in various cities. While planning an expedition to evangelize China, he contracted a fever and died in desolate and wretched surroundings on the Island of Sancian, near the coast of China, on December 3, 1552.
SAINT ISAAC JOGUES (1607-1646) came to Canada as a missionary in 1636. He worked for six years with Father Brebeuf and others among the Indians in the Great Lakes region. He was captured by the Iroquois and spent thirteen months as their slave, having already lost several fingers through burning and mutilation. At long last the Indians responded to repeated appeals for his release and allowed him to return to France. In 1644 this intrepid missionary returned to his labors among the Iroquois in Canada. When a fire ruined a harvest, the Iroquois held him responsible; and, in company with a lay-brother, he was tomahawked on October 18, 1646.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959 © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print.