SFX Quincentennial: The Year of First Companions
The fifth centenary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier (April 7, 1506) is being celebrated by the Jesuits worldwide as the “Year of First Companions”. 2006 is also the 450th death anniversary of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31, 1556) and the 500th birth anniversary of Blessed Peter Faber (April 13, 1506).
On this Jubilee Year, the Jesuit superior general, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach calls on the Jesuit community “to examine and intensify our fidelity to the call of the Lord,” whom the three original members of the Society “followed in such a creative fashion.”
The Gifts of the First Companions
Fr. Kolvenbach confronts the Society with the challenge “to live more profoundly the charisms received from our Founders”:
In special celebrations at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI honored these three men last April 22, the same day in 1541 when these Jesuits took their solemn vows in Rome. He paid tribute to St. Ignatius for his “precious spiritual heritage which must not be lost or forgotten.” Of St. Francis Xavier, the Pope noted that although “his mission in the East lasted just ten years, it has proved remarkably fruitful…because his example encouraged many missionary vocations among young Jesuits,” and it still continues to be a model for missionary work in Asia.
Xavier School itself is just one among the innumerable fruits of his missionary work realized some four centuries later. The Pope emphasized that this important Jesuit apostolate, “the Christian education and cultural formation of the young,” must be continued. He asked the Society of Jesus to concentrate on teaching and to dialogue with modern culture.
The Jesuits, who make up the largest religious order of men, presently run more than 500 elementary and secondary schools and over 120 colleges and universities around the world.
|Men fully alive, endowed with a passion for justice, and the skills for development.|
|© 2004 Xavier School, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our disclaimer. Contact us.
|All external sites will open in a new browser.
Xavier School does not endorse external sites.