Ignatius and Xavier

Today is the anniversary of the canonization of Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier in 1622.  Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri were also canonized on that day, making March 12, 1622, possibly the greatest day in the history of canonizations.

The painting above by the Jesuit Andrea Pozzo depicts Ignatius sending Xavier to the missions in the Far East.  They never saw each other again, but their love for each other remained strong.  Xavier once wrote this to Ignatius:

God our Lord knows how much my soul was consoled on receiving news of your life and health, which I cherish so highly…Your Holy Charity has written to me that you have a great desire to see me before you leave this life. God knows what an impression these words of great love made upon my soul, and how many tears they have cost me whenever I recall them; and it seems to me that I shall have this consolation since nothing is impossible to holy obedience.

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