The Pope called
St. Francis "the great Jesuit missionary who preached the Gospel in the
lands of Asia, opening many doors to Christ."
He added that he
unites himself “with that celebration, thanking the Lord for this great
gift to His Church. ... In contemplating the figure of St. Francis
Xavier we feel called to pray for those who dedicate their lives to the
evangelizing mission, proclaiming the beauty of the salvific message of
invited those gathered "to pray that, through the intercession of this
saint, everyone may intensify efforts to consolidate the horizons of
peace that seem to be opening in the Basque Country and in all Spain,
and to overcome the obstacles that may arise on this long journey."
his general audience held earlier today at the Vatican, Pope Benedict
XVI extended a special greeting to pilgrims from Spain, who will
celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of their own St. Francis
Xavier on Friday.