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The people whom we have met so far, are the best who have yet been discovered, and it seems to me that we shall never find among heathens another race to equal the Japanese. It is a people of very good manners, good in general, and not malicious; they are men of honour to a marvel, and prize honor above all else in the world.
-- Francis Xavier on the Japanese, writing to the Jesuits at Goa from Kagoshima, Japan, on 5 November 1549. This quote comes from C. R. Boxer, The Christian Century in Japan, 1549-1650 (1951).
In order that you may know how great a benefit God has conferred on me by making me acquainted with master Iñigo [Loyola], I give you my word that never in my life shall I be able to repay my debt to him. Over and over again, both with his purse and his friends, he has succoured my necessities and thanks to him I have withdrawn from bad company which, owing to my lack of experience, I did not recognize... Believe everything he says. He is so God-fearing and of such high character that you will derive great benefit from his conversation and counsels.
-- Letter dated 25 March 1535 from Francis Xavier to his brother Juan. Quotation source: Henry Dwight Sedgwick, Ignatius Loyola: An Attempt at an Impartial Biography (New York: Macmillan, 1923), pp. 157-158.
After their baptism, the new Christians go back to their houses and bring their wives and families for baptism. When they are all baptised, I order all the temples of their false gods to be destroyed and all the idols to be broken into pieces. I can give you no idea of the joy I find in seeing this done.
-- Letter dated 27 January 1545 to the Jesuit fathers in Rome from Francis Xavier in Cochin, India. This quote was drawn from H. J. Coleridge, The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier (1886), Vol. I.
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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.
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