Summary: A word of encouragement from the life of Francis Xavier 1506-1552
(Excerpts from the forthcoming book Man on a Mission by Ian Johnson)
Apart from seeing the name on a few Schools or Church buildings, I never really knew who Francis Xavier was. It wasn’t until I went to Goa in India in 2004 & again in 2005 that I was confronted with this spiritual giant, who raised the dead, healed the sick saw signs & wonders in every situation and nation he found himself in.
Francis Xavier is an inspiration to all who aspire to reach the lost. The secret to his supernatural ministry was an abandoned heart to the purpose of God. In most of his ministry he emulated his master in that he spent hours in prayer before the Father, and only moved or acted when he had instructions to do so.
Francis was saved at the age of 18 or 19 and from that time was abandoned to Jesus, but the ministry years, a 10 year window between 1541 & 1552. Were, very intense.
He was often seen lost in the presence of the Lord , and taken into heavenly visitations, one such visitation happened while he was preaching in Malacca around 1549. He was caught up in a trance like vision and remained so for over 30 minutes while the people in the Church dared not move because the presence of God was so strong. He eventually came out and proclaimed victory and success for the Portuguese fleet which most thought had perished because they were many weeks overdue. Francis said not only have they survived but tonight they will return in victory. That evening the fleet came into sight. The crew shared how Francis had turned up on board and urged them on to victory. It was either Transportation or an Angelic look alike, either way Francis had seen the whole thing in the vision that opened up before him. (Life & Letters of Francis Xavier by HJ Coleridge 1874)
He was known as a man who raised the dead, there are at least 14 recorded instances of this miracle taking place in his ministry, some say there were many more.
Raised a man buried and putrefying Francis Xavier was preaching one day at Coulon, a village in Travancore near Cape Comorin, perceiving that few were converted by his discourse; he made a short prayer that God would honour the blood and name of his beloved Son by softening the hearts of the most obdurate. Then he bade some of the people open the grave of a man who was buried the day before, near the place where he preached; and the body was beginning to putrefy with a noisome scent, which he desired the bystanders to observe. Then falling on his knees, after a short prayer, he commanded the dead man in the name of the living God to arise. At these words the dead man arose and appeared not only living but vigorous and in perfect health. Annals of Portuguese Asia by Faria Y Sousa. (1655) (Spelling as recorded in translation)
The mission of Francis Xavier was effective in reaching the un-reached because it came with demonstrations of Gods Glory. Francis would be the first to say that the supernatural gifts he moved in were not from him, but from the Master whom he loved and abandoned his life to. The supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit are the foundation stones upon which the church was established and upon which it stands. The miracles in Francis Xavier’s life came out of relationship with Jesus and abandoned obedience to the purpose of God. When I questioned the Lord recently Ï said, "Lord you seemed to do anything Francis asked you to do" the Lord replied, "because Francis did anything I asked him to do."
Francis took Jesus at his word, which was, if he should go away it would be better than ever for his people, for God would walk with them more than in all the ages past. His promise was;
"It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I do not go away the comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him to you." John16:7
"He that believes in me the works that I do shall he do also". John 14:12.
Our Lord Jesus has gone to the Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit has come to take his place; to carry on his uncompleted task, to work in the midst of His church in signs and wonders and gift of the Holy Spirit The trances, visions, revelations, Miracles and supernatural manifestations seen in the Life of Francis Xavier are meant to be the normal experiences of every believer in the supernaturally founded, supernaturally filled, and supernaturally directed church of Jesus Christ.