Janson Media’s DVD, Xavier: Missionary & Saint, was highly recommended by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office For Film & Broadcasting in its DVD/Video reviews for the week of March 3rd. Said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of Xavier: “Warm and informative hour-long biography of the saint often regarded as the most effective Christian missionary since the Apostle Paul. “Born into the nobility of the small kingdom of Navarre (now mostly in Spain) in 1506, 19-year-old Francis Xavier traveled to Paris to study for the priesthood. As the film makes clear, his interest in becoming a priest at this time had more to do with ambition and the desire to live comfortably than with serious vocation, and his early life in what was then Europe’s largest city was dissolute if not scandalous. Francis, however, gradually came under the influence of his pious roommate, Peter Faber, and their guest, the Basque-warrior-turned-holy-man, Ignatius Loyola. Together with four other “Companions of Jesus,” they formed the Jesuit order in 1534. Ironically, Francis’ original duties kept him deskbound, and it was only because of the illness of another Jesuit that he was allowed to go on mission to India. There he catechized and baptized hundreds, perhaps thousands, of native converts before moving on to Malaya and Japan. His dream of bringing the Gospel to China was never realized and, at the time of his death in 1552, he probably considered himself a failure. Narrated by Liam Neeson, Jesuit novice Jeremy Zipple’s film, shot on location through Europe and Asia, features interviews with academics and relevant 16th Century artwork. Features on the widescreen DVD include a brief ‘making of’ featurette and an interview with Jesuit theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place.