All saints have unique graces and charisms given to them by our Lord. Did you know that one of St. Francis Xavier’s charisms was the ability to raise the dead? He didn’t raise just one or two people from the dead. Over the course of his lifetime, multiple raisings were attributed to his intercession.
In the town of Malacca, Malaysia, the daughter of a recently-baptized woman died after a grave illness. St. Francis Xavier had been staying in that town but was absent during the illness and death of the young girl. The mother sought St. Francis everywhere, believing his intercession could restore her daughter to health.
The grieving mother approached St. Francis as soon as he returned. She stated that if he, St. Francis Xavier, had been there while her daughter was ill, she would not have died. This mother had the same faith as the Roman Centurion (Matt 8:5-15 and Luke 7:1-10) and Martha and Mary (John 11:32); she knew that nothing was impossible for God. She knew the intercession of St. Francis could return her daughter to life.
How often do we approach God with this attitude of hopeful expectation, asking him to help us? Often, we run to God at the last minute, asking him to perform miracles for us. But do we really believe He’s going to pull through for us?
Let’s explore what it means to have great expectations, and the impact it can have when we go on pilgrimage to venerate St. Francis Xavier this January.
What does it mean to have great expectations? I don’t mean owning a copy of Charles Dickens’s literary masterpiece. Great expectations is an attitude of hope that God will do great things in and through us. In the gospels, we see that anyone who approached Jesus with an attitude of faith, hope, and expectation did not leave disappointed.
Francis Xavier lived with a spirit full of great expectations that God would do wonders in and through him for God’s greater glory. By his own hand, St. Francis Xavier baptized around one hundred thousand people and performed miracles such as speaking in tongues, healings, bilocation, prophecy, calming a storm at sea and even raising others from the dead. Talk about living a life with great expectations!
This attitude of great expectations is more than just positive thinking—it’s rooted in Scripture. Christ states:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
Ask, and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and everyone who knocks the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
So what does this mean for us, some 500 years after the life and times of St. Francis Xavier?
The Church teaches us that the saints are as active today as they were when they were alive. St. Therese of Lisieux said, “When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.” The Catechism tells us “They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ.” (CCC 956) Did you catch that?
They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us…
How can we not be excited for the great graces we can receive through St. Francis Xavier’s intercession?
What is it in your life, or the lives of those closest to you, that really needs healing? What area would benefit most from an encounter with our most loving God? Take some time to think and pray about what you would like St. Francis Xavier to bring to our Lord on your behalf. Be bold! Have great expectations for the graces God will pour out on us during this relic pilgrimage.
- Are you hurting from a wound in your heart and soul? Bring it to St. Francis Xavier
- Has a family member or loved one lost sight of our Lord? Bring it to St. Francis Xavier
- Is someone you know suffering from a terrible illness? Bring it to St. Francis Xavier
One key point before we finish: an attitude of great expectations is not entitlement. We are not owed anything by God. “We do not deserve what God is willing and able to do in us and for us—and we can’t demand that He fulfill His promises within us.” (5 Tenets) Rather, as we saw earlier in the Gospel of John: “…so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Great expectations does not mean we get everything we want and more. It’s a disposition knowing that life, healing, goodness, and restoration will come, soon or slowly, in God’s time—not ours.
So what happened to the woman who approached St. Francis Xavier to ask him to intercede with Jesus to raise her daughter? Francis prayed to God that He grant her the request, and after doing so he turned to her and told her to go to the grave; her daughter was alive. The woman was hopeful. She didn’t disbelieve, but because Francis Xavier had not offered to come to the tomb, she answered simply that her daughter had been buried for three days.
She didn’t question St. Francis any further; instead, she ran to the church where her daughter had been buried. The mother—and many other witnesses who had hurried there with her—worked to remove the stone from the grave. The daughter came out alive!
Let us have great expectations for our pilgrimage and be bold in asking our Lord for our needs. Jesus will answer our prayers if we ask in his name, and if we believe. Jesus wants to help us and fill the areas in our lives where we lack.
Listen to our podcast episode on the relic pilgrimage HERE.
To read more about the resurrections through St. Francis Xavier’s intercession click here.
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