The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier

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Francis Xavier
M. Joseph Costelloe, S.J.
Publication Date:
Print Date:
Second Printing, 2009
xxx, 488 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
Series I: Jesuit Primary Sources in English Translation, No. 10
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Product Overview

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.


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  • 5
    Letters of St. Francis Xavier

    Posted by Len Kraus SJ on Dec 28th 2021

    This is a resource we wanted to have in our library. Happy to have it.

  • 5
    Letters of Francis Xavier

    Posted by Gary Nicolosi on Dec 25th 2020

    This is a substantial work composed of the many letters St. Francis sent from Asia to St. Ignatius and others. The letters read like a novel. They are brutally candid and honest, giving vivid descriptions of the challenges but expounding strong Christian faith. These letters need to be read by all church leaders today. North America is missionary territory and all Christians today are missionaries. The mission field is right outside our doors. We need the wisdom of St. Francis for us now. This book is not inexpensive but it is worth a read.

  • 5
    Excellent Spiritual Resource

    Posted by Bill M on Sep 4th 2018

    Saint Francis Xavier has long been held up by the Church as a model Christian, and the letters herein make clear why. These letters are an invaluable resource for scholars looking to learn more about Xavier, the Jesuits and early evangelization in Asia, but also for people looking for spiritual consolation and wisdom from one of the world's most famous saints. The book itself is sturdy and of high quality.