I wish to begin this part of the series with a brief profile of our very pious and as yet, unnamed psychopathic saint. He was born in the humblest of circumstances, in the then Spanish province of Navarre, in a castle named after his own family (1). He was the son of one of the most powerful men beneath King John III of Navarre, and his mother was herself the offspring of two of the most illustrious families in that province. (2) Our pious saint traded all of this wealth and prestige so that he might humbly serve the Church and live as J.C. Barreto Mirada described; “surrounded by luxuries which could stand comparison with the regal magnificence of the great potentates of Asia.” He was, in the words of Father Dominique Bohours, “living proof of Christianity.”(3) This man, if it be lawful to call him a man, was primarily engaged in spreading the pseudonymous word(s) of the legendary, if not mythical, Jesus Christ, to the lands inhabited by “barbarians” in Asia, among which included, Japan, China and India.(4)
In one of his many letters, this saint, renowned for both his compassion and love, said of the Indians and their gods:
…the Indians being black themselves, consider their own color the best, they believe that their gods are black. On this account the great majority of their idols are as black as black can be, and moreover are generally so rubbed over with oil as to smell detestably, and seem to be as dirty as they are ugly and horrible to look at.(5)
Goa was graced by his arrival on May 6th 1542, but having little success in converting the Indians of Goa to his religion, perhaps due to his lack of charm and his overtly racist religious ideology, in 1560, he, under the auspices of the King of Portugal, instituted one of the fiercest inquisitions in recorded history.
In his letter to the King, he suggested that the only way to increase the number of Christians in India would be through the use of the secular power of the state. The King responded by issuing orders that in Goa and other Portuguese settlements, Hindu idols shall be sought out and destroyed, and severe penalties shall be “laid upon all such as shall dare to make an idol or shall shelter or hide a Brahmin.” He also ordered that financial and material privileges be granted to Christians, to lure the unconverted Indians with the temptation of earthly treasures, in order that they might be inclined to submit themselves to the yoke of Christianity upon the pretence of a materialism expressly forbidden by the very scriptures which formed the foundation of their egocentric faith(Matthew 6:19). (6)
Here began Christianity’s relentless campaign of violence in Goa and it is here that we might reveal the identity of this insane saint. His name is, or was, thankfully, Saint Francis Xavier, and his monstrous behaviour and pathological apathy would make even the most dysfunctional and disturbed psychopath blush.
The carnage and chaos that ensued at the behest of Xavier was so severe and in the primary historically sourced words of the Christian historian and head of the History Department at Lusophone University in Portugal, Dr. T. R. De Souza:
The Inquisition Laws filled 230 pages and the palace where the Inquisition was conducted was known as the Big House and the Inquisition proceedings were always conducted behind closed shutters and closed doors. The screams of agony of the victims (men, women, and children) could be heard in the streets, in the stillness of the night, as they were brutally interrogated, flogged, and slowly dismembered in front of their relatives. Eyelids were sliced off and extremities were amputated carefully, so that a person could remain conscious even though the only thing that remained was his torso and a head. (7)
To be continued…
- Father Dominique Bohours (trans. Mr Drydan) The Life of Saint Francis Xavier, of the Society of Jesus, Apostle of the Indies and of Japan. (1688). p. 2.
- Ibid. p. 1.
- Zuloaga. SJ, Ismael G., Francis Xavier, Founder of the Jesuit Mission in Asia, Jesuit Asia Pacific Conference.
- Henry James Coleridge, of the Society of Jesus. The Life and Letters of Saint Francis Xavier. Burns and Oates. (1881). p. 160.
- Julius Richter. History of Missions. Nabu Press. (2010). p. 54.