On the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Jojo organized a pilgrimage to the island of Shangchyun, where St. Francis Xavier died. You should go by land and sea, and the place is about 120 kilometers from Macao. Let him tell us this adventure:
This year on December 2nd we went on a pilgrimage to Shangchyun island where St. Francis Xavier died. We were 66 of us from 7 nationalities and started our journey with the celebration of the Eucharist. After the mass we were suppose to take a ferry from Macau to mainland China.
Fr. Jojo Celebrating the Mass at the site
where St. Francis Xavier diedBecause of the bad weather and traffic some of us were late to reach the immigration department and to our surprise it happened that, that day immigration officers too came late and we were able to cross the boarder as scheduled and catch the ferry as planned. While we were on the ferry we received a phone call informing us that due to bad weather no ferry to Shangchyn island and to cancel our pilgrimage. Well we informed them that we will go there and if weather is bad we just have a glance at the Shangchun island and come back.
Pilgrims at the tomb of St. Francis XavierWell we reached there and the climate changed and there was a ferry for us to go there and the same way to come back. Well we all believe that this "miracle" happened because of the powerful intercession of St. Francis Xavier.
Christmas 2012 becomes more meaningful for me with very many reasons. I would like to share few of my personal experiences during these few days. On 20th I received a phone call from our Indian Consulate in Hong Kong, requesting our help to accommodate a person here in Macau and I agreed to help out. On 21st evening the concerned person came here to Macau and on 24th before she left she had this to tell me: "Father I am not a Catholic but you accommodated me here in your house and now I have no words to express my thanks and gratitude for all what you have done. Now I do understand the meaning of Christmas. Well Christmas is a celebration of Love". When she said these words baby Jesus was already born in my heart.
On 28th we had a Christmas celebration and Mass at Macau prison. After the holy communion all inmates started to cry out of Joy and gratefulness and after the mass there was veneration of baby Jesus each one spending few moments in prayer and kissing the baby Jesus. It was a heart touching experience to see each of them praying and crying with real repentance. Before we left the prison they told us that it was the first time that they had an opportunity to join a mass in the prison. With a grateful heart they told us thank you for coming to celebrate Christmas with us. Today we understand what Christmas means to us. It is a celebration of Love and sharing. This was another particular moment in which I felt Jesus was again born in my heart.