Sunday, October 12, 2008

St. Francis Xavier and the Salvation Dogma

The Admirable Life of St. Francis Xavier
by Orazio Torsellino (1632). pp. 325-326

"...These, and many other such things were heard with exceeding good liking, so as they were all easily satisfied. But that which troubled them most, was, that God seemed neither bountiful nor indifferent, who having care of all other Countries besides Iaponia [Japan], had never declared himself to the Iaponians, before Francis his coming thither. Who likewise, had damned to the pains of Hell, all those who had not worshiped the God they knew not; and had permitted also their ancestors, who never enjoyed that heavenly light, to be carried headlong thither? Concerning this point Francis made it clear unto them, that the divine Law, which of all others is the most ancient, was imprinted in the hearts of men. For the Iaponians even before they had their laws from the Chinese, knew by the light of reason that it was an heinous offense to kill a man, to steal, forswear, and other things which were forbidden by the divine law. Whereupon if anyone had committed any of these crimes, he was tormented with the worm of conscience, which took as it were revenge of that wickedness. This (quotes he) we may undoubtedly find to be true, in a solitary man, who although he should be brought up in the wilderness, without any learning or knowledge of human law, would not for all that be ignorant of the divine law, concerning Man-slaughter, Theft, Perjury, and other the like things. And if this were so, even among barbarous nations, what should we think of those, that were civil, and well trained up? Should not they therefore be justly punished, who did violate the divine law, which was ingrafted in them by nature? which if they had observed, they should infallibly have been illuminated with light from heaven.

After he had satisfied them with this answer, they began by little and little to put themselves under the wholesome yoke of Christ. Whereupon within the compass of two months, there were well near 500 citizens baptized, who bewailing the state of their children, parents, kindred, and Ancestors, demanded often of Xaverius, whether there was yet any hope, or means to deliver them out of everlasting misery? But he with tears in his eyes affirming no, exhorted them, that they who had the divine light & salvation now offered them, should be so much the more thankful to God for it, and should mitigate the feeling of others' ruin, with the hope of their own salvation: so that Patience might make that lighter, which they could not avoid.


Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe