Today is the 400th Anniversary of the Canonization of these two great saints. Below are excerpts from a letter Xavier wrote from Tuticorin to Ignatius in Rome:
“May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be always with us. Amen.
I wrote a very long letter to you from Goa about our voyage from the time that we left Lisbon until we arrived in India, and also that I was going to Tuticorin with some Fathers from that city…
Whenever I reached a village, the children would not let me say my office or eat or sleep until I had taught them some prayers. Then I began to understand that of such is the kingdom of heaven. Since it would have been impious to refuse such a holy request, I began with the confession of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Creed, Our Father, and Hail Mary, and taught them in this way. I saw that they were by nature very gifted; and I am convinced that, if they had anyone to instruct them in our holy faith, they would be good Christians…
As for me, trusting in the infinite mercy of God our Lord and the great assistance of your sacrifices and prayers and of all those of the Society, I hope that, if we do not see each other again in this life, we shall do so in the next with greater peace and joy than we have in this world.”
Your son in Christ,
Franciscus de Xabier
From Tuticorin, October 28, 1542
Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us!