Goans in Qatar gathered at Our Lady of Rosary Church to join in the worldwide celebrations of the feast of St. Francis Xavier, the 'patron saint of Goa', on Dec. 3.
The feast day was the culmination of the nine days of novenas, where Father Jesus Nazareth Rodrigues, a priest from Goa was the main preacher. On the feast day, Rodrigues put to good use his singing talent to drive home the message in his homily, belting a Konkani number, while moving his fingers over the strings of the guitar. His song revolved around the call of the vocation for both priests and nuns.
Like, St Francis Xavier he said, each one of us should listen to the call of the vocation and join in the lord’s vineyard.
The Parish priest, Father Peter PM, recalled how Ignatius Loyola message- What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul- had life-changing influence on young Francis Xavier’s life.
“We must be prudent as to whom we make friends,” Peter said.
He called upon the parents to find out and identify who are their children’s friends.
“The company of friends one keeps has a profound influence on life. In a short period of 46 years on this earth, Francis Xavier did so much for the Christian faith in India, especially the coastal belt. We are indeed very grateful to him and many of us are Christians because of his tiring missionary work. He is god’s gift to India,” said the parish priest.
Francis who was born on April 7,1506 and died on Dec. 3, 1552 in China, leaving incomplete his mission to spread the Christian faith in that country. The Navarra-born, had earlier successfully undertaken missions to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Japan to spread the Christian faith.
St. Francis Xavier along with St. Ignatius of Loyola and Fr. Peter Faber, started the "Society of Jesus" or the order of the Jesuits. He is considered to be a patron saint of Roman Catholic missionaries in foreign lands.