Newsletter of the District
- December 2000
Francis Xavier and Japan
Louis de Wohl
This life of St Francis Xavier written in a novel form in 1953
is completely based on historical documents. We give here some
of the extracts concerning the arrival of Catholicism in Japan.
Book Five begins when St Francis was in Malacca, in Malaysia
– 150 km North of Singapore, in the year 1548, six years after
he had arrived in India.
extract given here begins with one of these very busy days in
his life when God at the unexpected moment opened a new door
for this burning conqueror.
of St Francis Xavier in the Basilica of Bom Jesus,
in Goa, India
(…) In the
meantime Father Francis had a marriage to perform. A young officer
of the triumphant fleet married a charming half-caste girl. There
were clusters of relatives, an abundance of flowers and a general
atmosphere of gaiety. Smiling, Father Francis accompanied the couple
to the church door, where they took leave.
Half a minute
later he looked into the face of Destiny.
a small, yellowish face with slit eyes and high cheekbones; blue-black
hair; a short, stocky body and short, muscular legs. Destiny smiled
and drew a deep breath, rather sharply. It made a low, hissing noise.
And Destiny bowed deeply, several times. Destiny was a young man
of about thirty-five, of a race or tribe Francis had never seen
before in his life.
Next to this
man stood Captain Jorge Alvarez, grinning broadly. Francis knew
him well. He had met him in Goa and at the house of Senhor Pereira.
a joy to see you again, Father Francis-allow me to present a friend
of mine: Senhor Yajiro. From Japan."
already knew about it, although even he never boasted that he had
got there. "Chipangu is an Island towards the East in the high
seas, fifteen hundred miles distant from the Continent; and a very
real island it is. The people are white, civilized and well-favored.
They are idolaters, and are dependent on nobody...."
Six years had
passed since Francis set out from Lisbon. Never in all that time
had he met a man with such a thirst for knowledge as this Japanese.
Ra the Brahman, had understood him from the start, without an explanation.
The supernatural seemed to come naturally to him. Yajiro never tired
of asking questions, and behind him hundreds of thousands of faces
seemed to loom up, as eager as he for the greatest message the world
had ever heard. But the moment came to ask him a few questions,
What made you come all this way to see me, Yajiro?"
perpetual smile became just a little strained. "I killed a
was a pause. "Why did you kill him, Yajiro?"
was a samurai-a nobleman, Father. And my wife was beautiful. I killed
wife?" "I killed her, of course. But she was only a woman.
I was sorry,
afterwards, because he was innocent - I found out. His blood was
heavy. Also his family pursued me, to avenge his death. I hid. In
a monastery. A monastery of my own religion, Father. A Buddhist
monastery. But the monks could not help me. Still the blood was
heavy on me. Long afterward I met Captain Alvarez. He told me of
a God who could forgive bloodshed because his own blood had been
shed and he knew. He told me that this God had a great servant,
Father Francis. So I came to see Father Francis. A long voyage,
very long. I come to Malacca. Father Francis, he has left for islands
far away. No one knows when he will come back. Maybe he will not
come back at all. Sadly I go home. But the ship will not go home.
We run into a typhoon, a terrible, terrible storm. We turn round
and round. We turn back. The ship has a will of its own. We go back.
When I come here again, there is Father Francis. We have a song
in my country:
narite Onaji minato wo Izuru fune no Yuku‑ye mo shirazu
ships which left the same harbor side by side, towards an unknown
destination have rowed away from one another.'
It is the opposite
with you and me, Father. Our ships come from such different harbors
and neither of us knew where we would land, yet they rowed towards
a long evening Captain Alvarez had told Francis all he knew about
Japan - he had been there twice-yet in a few words Yajiro had told
him more than Alvarez ever knew.
only a woman." that was what all the peoples and all the nations
and all the tribes said, who knew nothing of the Mother of God.
Here was a man whose conscience was deeply stricken because he had
killed a man‑so deeply that he would travel thousands of miles
to find a God who could absolve him from his guilt. Yet it meant
nothing to him to have killed his wife.
Yajiro, is not just a thing you learn about. It is a thing to be
eagerly. "It is logical. I believe it. You will teach me, Father?"
teach you. And in due course you will be baptized and your guilt
will be taken away from you together with all other sins of your
life. But you will have to do penance. Is it still dangerous for
you, to go back to your country? Will they still be after you for
having killed the nobleman?"
a long time", said Yajiro. "But there are men who have
a long memory."
penance-will you go back to your country with me? I shall not ask
you to give yourself up, for you will reenter your country as a
new man. But I may not be able to shield you, if they come to punish
you. Will you come, nevertheless?"
sparkled. "You will be the taishi, the Ambassador of God",
he said, "and I will be your servant."
not be for some time yet, Yajiro. First I must go back to India,
to Goa. Will you come with me there?"
On Easter Sunday
(1549), after Solemn Mass, he left Goa for Japan.
get on with the writing signs of your language, Yajiro", said
Francis. "If the weather changes, we won't be able to do much.
What is the next one ‑ah yes, the one underneath, of course.
Why can't you Japanese write as we do, from the left to right, instead
of from the top to the bottom?"
people in the West not write as we do?" said Yajiro, shaking
his head with earnest regret. "It is much more natural. When
you describe a man, Father, you describe him from top to bottom,
going downwards all the time. Why not in writing, too?"
back his head, laughing. "You're quite right, really."
with the still fairly well incorrupt body of St Francis Xavier,
Basilica of Bom Jesus, in Goa, India
WHERE IS Father
Francis?" asked Brother Juan Fernândez, fiddling with the joints
of a large panel of lacquered wood, "I don't know how this
goes together. You'll see, in the end we shall have a cupboard instead
of a house."
is with Yajiro in the house of Senorita Precious Jade", said
Father de Torres. "And if all goes well, she will be called
Mary next week. He can't help us with the house building and that's
only right. If he were alone, he wouldn't live in a house at all."
better than we do", Brother Juan nodded. "I caught a streaming
cold from the draft . . . . "
burned my left foot when I stumbled over a brazier."
" . .
and if the devil has any sense, he'll copy the Japanese custom of
using a wooden block as a pillow for a human head. It's exquisite
nothing of sitting on one's crossed legs."
that in India. Father Francis, I mean, not the devil."
to this country like a fish to the water. He even likes that brew
they're so proud of. . . "
those crushed little berries, formed like tiny twigs and thrown
into hot water. What a fuss they make about it! As if it were the
finest Xeres wine."
they don't get drunk on it. Pass me the hammer, please."
be careful-this stuff is so flimsy, you only have to breathe against
it and it falls to pieces. They don't get drunk from chaa, but they
do from rice vine."
wine! I wonder why Father Francis likes it here as much as he does.
How can a man trust a country where hell itself is constantly breaking
through the mountaintops."
Father de Torres
laughed. "You might have said the same thing about Italy. Have
you never seen Vesuvius? Or Etna? But I think I know why he likes
it so much. It's because it reminds him of Navarra."
fairly gaped at him. "Japan? Like Navarra? You don't mean that,
Father. I can't think of anything more different. In Navarra all
is large and upright while here everything is small and dainty,
as if it were made for children. The houses, the very trees, the
people. . . "
but consider: Father Francis let me read a letter he had just written
home. It was the most enthusiastic letter you can imagine. The Japanese
are people with an astonishing sense of honor, they are not wealthy,
but poverty is not regarded as a disgrace . . . . "
would not dream of marrying a woman of the lower classes, even if
she were rich. They are extremely courteous and have much esteem
for arms, carrying swords and daggers from the age of fourteen onward.
They will not endure insults or mockery."
are moderate eaters-they despise games of chance as just another
form of theft-they are monogamous‑"
I can see it now. And he might have added that they are as obstinate
as the Navarrese, too. Why, we haven't made more than a handful
of converts-a small handful . . . . "
Father Francis says we must fish with a line here, not with a net.
He still hopes he will find the way to the King of Japan and work
from the top downward."
mention that to the Duke, the other day, at the audience?"
you mean. No. Not yet. But he seemed quite a well-meaning gentleman."
said Brother Juan. "That's just it. Seemed. You never really
know where you are with them, do you? They're courteous enough,
too courteous perhaps, bowing and sucking in their breath‑but
I can't help feeling that at heart they despise us."
they do", said Father de Torres cheerfully. "Excellent
thing for humility. Ours, I mean. They think we're utter barbarians
who have no manners at all. And we do use all the wrong forms of
tone and address and so on, you know."
they have so many? To say nothing of their ideographs, instead of
a decent alphabet. Ah, well, it's all in the day's work.
The lotus flower,
sacred to Sakyamuni whom they called the Buddha, no longer opened
at dawn, under the first kiss of the sun. But the seven springs
in the garden of the Zen monastery went on murmuring, and some of
the chrysanthemums were still in flower, great golden, brown and
white blooms, larger than a man's head. No obscene carvings, no
phallic symbols were worked into the slender beauty of the tile-covered
pagoda. This was the Zen monastery in which Yajiro had found refuge,
years ago, from his pursuers. Monks were sitting in a triple row
on the pagoda steps, in the perfect repose of the lotus posture,
their eyes closed or looking into the void.
moved. "What are they meditating on?" he asked in a low
voice. Yajiro translated.
the Abbot, smiled dryly as he answered. "Some are calculating
how much money they have received in alms", translated Yajiro.
"Some are thinking of the next meal or of a new robe, or of
some amusement. None of them is thinking of anything that matters."
nothing. Many a time he had walked through the gardens with the
man whose name meant "Heart of Truth" and each time Heart
of Truth said something that contradicted what he had said the last
time. Once he had spoken of samadhi, as the aim of all meditation,
the direct cognition of the nature of the Universe, a kind of sharing
of the DivineConsciousness at its periphery‑the Threshold
of Happiness, the highest stage of the Eightfold Path of Buddha.
And now this . . .
the old man was just having his little joke, looking back from the
wisdom of his seventy‑odd years to the time when he himself
had sat in the triple row, not yet capable of the meditation he
was now attempting.
period of life", asked Francis, "seems preferable to you-youth
or the old age that you have reached?"
The old man
threw up his brittle hands, as Yajiro translated, and answered
with a wistful smile: "Youth, for then the body is strong,
and a man can do as he desires."
"What is the best time for sailing from one port to another?
When you are on the high sea, exposed to the tempest, or when you
are about to reach the haven you elected?"
Again the wistful
smile. "I understand, I understand what you mean. But I do
not know whither I am sailing‑nor do I know how the goal is
to be attained."
Buddhism", Yajiro explained with some difficulty, "there
is no place for anything beyond birth and death. It is different,
somewhat, with Shingon‑Buddhism and again with Shin and
and Shinto. Not all are like these here. Some are better,
some are worse."
The Shin monks
married and many of the others indulged in unnatural vices both
among themselves and with their pupils, although others lived austere
and ascetic lives, striving earnestly for the "threshold"
of the highest Path.
Yet none of
them knew that the final goal of man was not a threshold, but the
entering into the sanctuary and the life in it, and that by living
in it they could still be themselves, instead of being absorbed
by the "All"; none of them knew that Christ had opened
heaven to man by descending into time and space and matter and dying
for mankind on the Cross.
They were living
in a twilight sphere, particles of the All, little drops of water
striving dimly for absorption in the ocean - and when a drop of
water was absorbed by the ocean, it certainly was the end of the
drop as such.
And in a flash
Francis understood that Buddhism could be anything. That by itself
it could not satisfy the urge in man and would be mingled either
with superstition or‑with the truth of God. It could become,
it could develop into anything. It was not absurd that this old
man was called Heart of Truth. There was in that name a longing,
of which the old man was no longer aware ....
said Francis, pouring water three times over the girl's glossy black
hair, "ego to baptizo in nomine Patris‑et Filü‑et
Spiritus Sancti .... "
left hand of the Saint.
With his two hands, he has baptised about one million souls
in his 11 years of apostolic work in Asia.
His right hand is kept in the Church of the Gesu in Rome.
The tiny figure
in the flowery black kimono stood immobile, eyes downcast, hands
folded. But the smile on the beautifully curved lips was no longer
the ready smile of habitual courtesy, offered to everyone and shielding
the true emotions. This was a happy snüle. For the girl who had
been Precious jade and who now was Maria stood at the threshold
by the merits of Christ and the strength of her own will. Long years
were ahead of her before she would reach the sanctuary. No flash
of sudden enlightenment told her that twelve years hence she would
be a member of a Christian community of two hundred souls - or that
in another twenty years she would be the only Christian soul in
Kagoshima, all the others either dead or fallen by the wayside.
The only Christian, mocked, jeered at, persecuted for her faith
and still clinging to it as she would cling to the simple rosary
Father Francis gave her at her baptism, wearing it round her neck
in the open streets, resisting the anger of the Buddhist bonzes
and the entreaties of her own relatives that she invoke Buddha Amida
and the kamis,
the house gods. Thirty-five years hence, Brother Damian, a Japanese
Jesuit, would find her and report about her to the Superior of the
Jesuits in Japan who sent for her and transplanted her to Nagasaki,
where there was a flourishing Christian community and where she
ended her days in peace, and was buried with Father Francis' rosary
round her neck.
Two weeks later
Francis said farewell to Yajiro. "We are forbidden to go on
working. We must go. But instead of fleeing, we shall march forward
till we reach the capital and the King. It is as I thought: only
by winning over the King of this country can we win altogether.
Do you feel that you are still in danger here? If you do, I could
take you with me and leave Brother Juan Fernândez here instead.
By now he can speak Japanese quite well-I wish I had his gift for
Juan will be able to serve as an interpreter", said Yajiro.
"This is my country. I will stay here, Father, and look after
those who have accepted the Faith."
not answer my question about the danger, Yajiro."
us are in danger, Father", said the Japanese simply. "And
yours perhaps is greater than mine. God alone knows."
Xavier and Brother Juan Fernândez were on their way to the King.
They had left Father de Tomes in Hirado, where Daimyo Matsura Takanuba
continued to be friendly.
They knew very
little about the King. People would not talk much about him. Was
it because he was regarded as a kind of sacred figure? Some at least
seemed to think of him as that. He was the "Son of Heaven",
the direct descendant of Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun goddess. But
Daimyo Shimatsu of Kagoshima never spoke of him, and when asked
directly, slipped off to a different theme. And he acted as if there
was no one to whom he owed an account of his stewardship. Daimyo
Matsura Takanuba told them the way to o, if they wished to find
the Son of Heaven, but noting more than that. The King was a mysterious
figure. As the head of Shinto he was a religious figure. If it was
possible to win him for Christ, if he would come out of his remoteness
and declare the new religion . . .
Kyoto was his
residence. Kyoto, a city of many hundreds of thousand houses, they
said. There he reigned in incredible splendor, aloof and mystical,
the ruler of sixty-six kingdoms on all the islands of Nippon.
They had to
spend the nights under a roof of some sort for it was now too cold
to sleep in the open. But the inns were very dirty and the food
almost uneatable. For many days they lived on nothing but rice.
Only in a Zen
monastery they found warmth and good food. But they left without
spending a night there, when they saw what was going on between
the monks. Francisthrough the medium of Brother Juan told them
what he thought of them. They seemed to take it as a huge joke.
When they left
it was beginning to snow.
by sea from Moji to Shimonoseki, ragged beggars, stared at and despised
by the other passengers of the little vessel. It was good to rest
one's feet for a wile. It was not for long.
Here on the
island of Honshu people were different. Perhaps it was because foreigners
never came here at all. Even the children were nasty and suspicious,
pelting them with stones or filth, and shouting insults.
There was little
left now of the daintiness and the charm of the Japanese landscape.
It lay under its huge white blanket in a state of rigor mortis.
understand why white is the color of mourning in this country",
said Brother Juan Fernandez grimly. There was no answer. Father
Francis was walking as if he were in a dream, eyes downcast, arms
folded. He was tired, of course. But was it only that? "Do
you think we shall find a place to spend the night, Father?"
Again there was no answer.
Fernândez fell back a little. It seemed to him that Father Francis
had grown, grown to such size that it was not right and meet to
walk beside him. He was walking across the blanket of the tremendous
corpse that was Japan.
He was walking
barefoot and always there was a trace of red where his feet had
touched the snow.
Blood. He was
sowing his blood into the soil of Japan.
Would it bring
the corpse to life?
stopped in his tracks. He bent down.
Juan reached him he saw a tiny, emaciated body in his arms, a newly
born child, a girl, still alive but beyond all hope of recovery.
Here, too, just as in India . . .
her to Brother Juan to hold. With the warmth of his breath he melted
a little snow, to baptize her.
The baby died
half an hour later and they buried the tiny body under a maple tree
and prayed the prayers for the dead.
Then they went
In the great
wooden city of Yamaguchi the Daimyo Ouchi Yoshitaka listened to
the ragged strangers, but would not give them permission to preach
or baptize. In the streets they met with open contempt and once
more the urchins ran after them, throwing stones and filth.
do they call us?" asked Francis calmly.
and dung", replied Brother Juan.
the coastline to Sakai. But from here on they knew they would not
be able to travel alone, if they were to reach their destination.
It was the most lawless and dangerous part of the whole country.
A samurai, on his way to Kyoto, gave them permission to travel with
his servants. The samurai was on horseback. His servants had to
be quick. But this was the last stage of the journey. A few more
days and they would at long last meet the King. Francis forgot
his weariness. The nearer they came to Kyoto, the more cheerful
he became. He was wearing a Siamese cap somebody had given him back
in Hirado and now he gave it a rakish angle.
servants eyed the strange pair, half-bewildered, half-amused. Some
said that they were from Siam, the Land of the Gods. Others knew
that they were barbarians from the South - from India and probably
quite mad. As it was always a good thing to humor a madman, one
of the servants gave Francis an apple. Francis promptly began to
play with it as a child plays with a new ball. He threw it into
the air, ran forward and caught it, threw it up again, caught it
Now there was
no doubt that he was mad hoping about on his swollen, bleeding feet
and laughing and singing.
that was the Papal Nuncio for the East and Far East and Ambassador-Extraordinary
of the King of Portugal and his scarecrow companion stood before
the Imperial palace of Kyoto. It was an enormous, sprawling, ramshackle
building, a maze of buildings, rather, with gardens and parks,
surrounded by a bamboo stockade. If it had not been for a few curious
faces, peering at them from large holes in the stockade the whole
thing would have given the impression of being utterly deserted.
It was not yet in ruins, but it looked as if it soon would be.
head of St Francis Xavier
A small door
opened, creaking, and a soldier stepped out. Perhaps a sentinel?
He wore a lacquered helmet, and a shabby breastplate and carried
a rusty spear. He walked up to them.
you? What are you doing here?"
explained that they had come from afar to see the King.
asked the soldier. "The O? The Dairi? Why should he see you?"
explained that they were special envoys from a country called Portugal.
walked all around them and grinned. "It must be a strange country",
he said. "Where are your presents?"
was prepared for that question. They had not brought their presents
with them. They would fetch them after the audience.
laughed contemptuously. "You come without presents and you
expect to be received? One would think you had come from China that
you imagine all doors must open to you as soon as you appear."
carefully to Brother Juan's translation.
he asked. "Why China?"
passed on the question. Again the soldier laughed. "It is the
country of the great Dragon, the country of the middle of the earth.
Even the Son of Heaven speaks of him who rules China as of his elder
brother. All good things come from China. Who are you that you do
not know what a child knows?"
him", said Francis, "even China cannot bring the King
as much good as we are bringing."
raised his eyebrows. "You have money with you, maybe? If you
have five hundred silver tael, the Son of Heaven may consent to
sell you a poem he copied. If you have a thousand, he will certainly
sell you a poem, perhaps even one he made himself. You have no money?
fool, you are wasting my time. Go back where you came from."
He turned away
and sauntered to the bamboo door.
now", said Brother Juan. "The King has lost his authority.
Kyoto is a forgotten city. Did you see how many houses were in ruins?
I'll wager there are no more than fifty people in that palace. The
poor man is selling poems. And for this we have come all that way
. . . . "
"It would have been enough to come all that way to baptize
the child we found dying in the snow. But there is more, Juan. Perhaps
that soldier is quite right . . . . "
do you mean?"
like an invocation.
All good things
came from China. The ruler of China was the elder brother of the
Son of Heaven. The ruler of China was a real ruler, a real king,
whose subjects obeyed him implicitly. If the ruler of Japan became
a Christian, it would not inspire his subjects to emulate him. Not
he, but the Daimyos really ruled the country. But if the King of
China became a Christian, his subjects would follow his example.
And then Christianity would come from China to Japan, from China
whence all good things came ....
It was worthwhile
to march for weeks and months, just to find and baptize a dying
Japanese child. But only if China became Christian first, would
the whole of Japan adopt the new religion, too.
was what Father Ignatius would think.
Time and again
he had heard the Japanese speak of China in a tone of awe and reverence.
Yet it was a simple soldier who pointed out the way to him.
After a few
days of rest they left the magnificent squalor that was Kyoto. The
way back to Hirado was even more difficult, with the winter at its
height. Plowing his way through the snowdrifts, Francis suddenly
are you thinking of, Father?" asked Brother Juan.
first church in Kyoto", said Francis. "It will be called
the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady."
gasped again in Hirado, when Francis declared that he would go back
to Yamaguchi once more, before leaving Japan. "But that's where
we were treated worse than anywhere else!"
may well happen again", Francis nodded. "But this time
we shall have a different approach. They like presents and trappings.
They shall have both."
He had made
friends with a number of Portuguese merchants, and they helped him
to organize a caravan with presents that even the richest Daimyo
would have to respect: an arquebus, three crystal vases, a bale
of brocade, a Portuguese dress, mirrors for the ladies, several
pairs of spectacles for restoring the sight of the short-sighted,
a manicordia playing seventy different notes and above all a chiming
and Juan had new cassocks and surplices and Francis a stole of green
They did not
ask for an audience. They just sent the presents. Daimyo Ouchi Yoshitaka
was vastly impressed and sent them a large sum of money.
sent it back. "It is not money that we want, but your permission
to preach and to baptize."
It was granted.
Moreover, the Daimyo put a large deserted monastery at their disposal,
"In order to develop the law of Buddha."
when he heard it, but he understood: it was the Daimyo's way of
covering himself against the bonzes.
Now the work
started in earnest.
Yamaguchi showed itself at its worst. Brother Juan's Japanese was
still far from classical and the crowd jeered at him wherever he
lie", howled the street urchins gleefully.
A brutal looking
man stepped forward and spat straight into Brother Juan's face.
A sudden hush went over the crowd. This was a deadly offense. Death
was hovering over the offender. The crowd waited.
cured the leper", went on Brother Juan, "and he performed
many more miracles. But in their hatred, they had him arrested and
when he was in their power, one man spat into his face. Later they
nailed him to a cross. But he did not curse them. He prayed: `Father,
forgive them for they do not know what they do.' Then he died so
that by his sacrifice man should be reconciled with God."
A crowd of
common people did not observe the rigid self-control of the samurai.
There were tears in many eyes now.
stepped forward, with a queerly shuffling gait. He was bald and
blind in one eye. Under a tiny button of a nose his mouth was as
broad as a frog's. His ears were enormous. He had a biwa,
a kind of mandolin, slung over his shoulder.
people laugh", he said in a loud voice. "But you make
them cry. You are my elder brother." No one laughed. Juan
saw that the man had tears in his eyes too.
born to be brothers", he said gently. "Tell me,"
said the queer-looking man, "is it true that you have come
from very, very far?"
tried to explain the distance between Lisbon and Yamaguchi and the
people all around them made little noises of admiration.
traveled all that way", asked the man, "to tell us about
your God? For no other reason?"
said the man, "at long last I have seen men who live what they
believe and who mean what they say. Such men must either be fools,
like I am, or... "
" . .
. Christians", said Brother Juan.
are living at the monastery on the Hill of the Little Pheasants
. . . . "
I be allowed to come and see you there? I have many questions to
ask, if your forbearance and patience will permit."
be very welcome‑and so will everybody else”.
When they came
home they found a man waiting for them. He was about forty and his
dress, like the sword and dagger in his belt, showed that he was
a samurai. "I was very much opposed to your coming here",
he said after a courteous greeting. "But I was present today
and saw and listened. I thought there could be, to such offense,
only one of two reactions: that of the coward or that of the man
of honor. I was wrong. There is a third reaction. It has nothing
to do with cowardice, for cowardice will blanch and tremble. And
it has nothing to do with honor, because the Fujiyama is not dishonored
when the droppings of a dog fall on one of its slopes. Yet I know
that no samurai would have been able to keep self‑control
as you did. Therefore I have come to find out more about the things
you are teaching."
the burning sands of South India
or the freezing snow of Japan... Almost always barefeet...
Watering these lands with the blood of his feet (read the story)
later Father Cosmas de Torres came from Hirado to take over a community
of five hundred Christians.
are two Portuguese ships in the port of Hiji", he told Francis.
"I told them to wait for you."
He introduced Father de Tomes to his flock.
Brother Juan will be your guardians. But remember to put your trust
Brother Juan. But his final word was for a lay brother, a Japanese
with a ridiculous face, blind in one eye, with a button of a nose,
a mouth as large as a frog's and enormous ears. Nowhere else in
Japan had he found a man of such gifts as this wandering singer
make people laugh and cry now, Brother Laurence", he
said. "Now go and teach the people as I have taught you."
Father", said the man simply. "Just tell me where you
wish me to go first."
waiting for him in the port of Hiji. The two Portuguese ships ran
up flags and fired their guns. More important were two letters
from Father General Ignatius. In the first Father Ignatius called
him back to Europe. The second canceled that order and made him
Provincial for all the districts east of the Cape of Good Hope.
That meant that he would have to go to Goa.
He sailed in
September. To his baggage was added one book. He read in it every
day. It was a book about the Chinese language and its way of writing.