One of Ignatius of Loyola’s first companions and followers, Francis Xavier (1506–52) was also one of the most influential missionaries in the history of the Society of Jesus. “His major achievement was to consolidate and spread the Christian faith in India and…the Indonesian archipelago, and to introduce Christianity to the newly discovered islands of Japan,” M. Joseph Costelloe, S.J., writes in his introduction to this volume. Fr. Costelloe, who translated this work as well as Georg Schurhammer’s definitive, four–volume Francis Xavier: His Life, His Times (Rome: Jesuit Historical Institute, 1973), assembles 138 letters and documents in The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier. The letters, which detail his journey and work throughout Asia, were widely circulated in Europe, where they were celebrated for their scholarship on other cultures and for what poet John Dryden called their “glowing with the love of God.”
Includes bibliographical references (p. 463-466) and index.