Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Dramatic First Meeting

Francis Xavier was at the zenith of his fame at the University of Paris, when, in the early spring of 1528, a poor Spanish scholar, leading an ass laden with some books and a scanty supply of raiment, travelstained and wearied by the long journey on foot from Salamanca, entered the French capital and sought the "Quartier Latin." No longer a young man, and bearing evident marks of privation and hardship, this stranger re-studied grammar among the small boys at the College Montaigu; a proceeding which excited no comment, as elderly men were often seen among the students, as is still the case in China at the present day. When he had completed his course of grammar, he began to study philosophy at Sainte-Barbe. This grave man, with a decided limp — the result of a wound received at the siege of Pampeluna — having been robbed of his small store of money, was glad to be lodged as a "poor scholar" in the hospice of St. James, the patron saint of Spain. He paid the necessary fees for his course out of alms collected in Belgium and London during the vacations. This poorly clad student was Ignatius de Loyola, who had been formerly a noble and brave soldier, and greatly distinguished for his devotion to king and country, and was even now meditating the foundation of the Society of Jesus. He could not have been long at the Paris University without hearing of and seeing his countryman, the brilliant Master of Arts, Francis Xavier, and one would think their first meeting must have been rather dramatic.
Link (here) to the book entitled, A Life of Saint Francis Xavier, S.J.

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