Ninian, Bishop in Galloway, was a Romanized Briton, born in the latter half of the fourth century. He died about the year 430, less than a decade after the departure of the last of the Roman legions from Britain. Bede writes that he was educated in Rome, where he is supposed to have been ordained to the episcopate. But the main influence on his life was Martin of Tours, with whom he spent some time, and from whom he gained his ideals of an episcopal-monastic structure designed for missionary work.
O God, by the preaching of your blessed servant and Bishop Ninian you caused the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we pray, that having his life and labors in remembrance we may show our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christour Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
…Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians..I have thought of going around the universities of Europe…crying out to the scholars: “What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven, thanks to you!" This thought would certainly stir most of them…They would forget their own desires and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out: "Lord, here am I! Send me. Send me anywhere you like – even to India!”
Francis Xavier (Francisco do Yasu y Javier) was born in 1506 in region of Biscay in northern Spain, called Basque. He studied at the University of Paris, where he met St. Ignatius Loyola and joined together with him and five others in dedicating their lives to the will and service of God, and forming the Society of Jesus in 1534. In 1541, Francis sailed with two companions from Portugal to the Portuguese colony of Goa on the west coast of India (arriving in May 1542), where he set about learning the language and writing a catechism for the instruction of converts.
He preached tirelessly, both to the native peoples and to the Europeans living there.Francis found to his dismay that the Portuguese settlers and soldiers of the colony were brutal in their treatment of the natives. He wrote boldly to the King of Portugal to complain: “It is possible that when our Lord God calls your Highness to his Judgement that your Highness may hear angry words from him: ‘Why did you not punish those who were your subjects and owned your authority, and were enemies to me in India?’ ”.
Throughout most of 1545 to 1547, Francis preached in Malacca (another Portuguese possession) and other places on or near the Malay Peninsula. After a brief return to Goa, he set out for Japan with another Jesuit priest and three Japanese converts. Francis is the first to preach the Gospel in Japan, made perhaps 2000 converts there. He then determined to carry the Gospel to China, he bribed a ship’s captain to smuggle him into the country, but was stricken with fever and died on 3 December 1552.
By all accounts, St. Francis Xavier was a man who preached the Gospel with tireless energy, and with great power and effectiveness.
Loving God, you called Francis Xavier to lead many in India and Japan to know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer: Bring us to the new life of glory promised to all who follow in the Way; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.