Monday, March 18, 2013
An interesting choice, first Jesuit and the first Francis - I was thinking Francis of Assisi and it turns out (according to NPR) that is the case. I also learned today one of the founding members of the Jesuits was Francis Xavier who died in 1552 just off of the coast of China on a quest to evangelize the Chinese.
The Buddhists and Catholics have a lot in common when it comes to relics (body parts). The right forearm of Saint Francis Xavier, the one used to bless the converts, is on view in St. Joseph's Seminary and the Sacred Art Museum. The Buddha’s tooth relic can be found in the ‘Tooth Palace,’ Kandy, Sri Lanka. I suppose it’s part of the human condition, not wanting to ‘let go’ – bits and pieces are better than nothing at all.
It’s come up in news reports, he has one lung and has lived a simple life in poverty. A simple lifestyle encourages one to see, earthly rewards don’t lead to lasting happiness and having one lung may give insight into the fragile nature of life. These conditions could turn out to be his greatest asset, and allow him to shepherd his flock with wisdom and compassion.