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Hymn Writers Of The Church by Charles S. Nutter


Xavier, Francis, a noted Jesuitic missionary of the Roman Catholic Church, was born of a noble family at the Castle of Xavier, near Pampeluna, in Spain, April 7, 1506. While at the University of Paris he came under the influence of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the order of Jesuits. He was of an ardent and earnest religious temperament, full of zeal and courage. He was one of the greatest missionary spirits that ever lived, visiting India, Travancore, Ceylon, Malacca, Japan, and dying on his way to China December 22, 1552. He was in due time canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. While it is not certain that Xavier wrote the hymn here accredited to him, it must be said that the tradition that he wrote it is of long standing. Not only does Edward Caswall, the translator, accredit it to him, but both the editor and the assistant editor of Julian's Dictionary also decide in favor of his probable authorship. |The Latin form,| says Mearns, |is probably by Xavier or by some German Jesuit.| |This hymn,| says Julian, |breathes Xavier's abnegation of self in every word, his spirit in every line.|

My God, I love thee not because 483

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