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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Francis: Assisi and Xavier; the Ignatius link

Pope Francis has ended the speculation about his choice of name. He said that he chose the name Francis to remember the poor after the example of St. Francis of Assisi who represented "poverty and peace". But there remains a link with St. Francis Xavier.

Francis Xavier was a student of St.Ignatius Loyola with whom he was a founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Ignatius was noted for following the example of Francis of Assisi. He and a few followers bound themselves by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He was also responsible for the prayer I remember from my Sunday School days in line with the Jesuit motto, "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man":

Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest;
To give, and not to count the cost,
to fight, and not to heed the wounds,
to toil, and not to seek for rest,
to labor, and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will. 
St Ignatius Loyola

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