I’ve alluded to the whole novena to St. Francis Xavier before my first TZ trip, but just realized I never actually told the story. Don’t worry, its not a very long one.
My Sophomore year at LCU I signed up to go on a mission trip to Tanzania.. If you’ve been reading awhile, or if you know me personally lol, you know that already. Long story short though, I got so distracted by other events that year that I did nothing to prepare for the trip during the first semester and was shocked when Amy approached me that January. I really thought the trip was out. But it wasn’t… so all the sudden I had very little time to raise the money.
I don’t remember too many details of all of that, but I do remember worrying quite a bit… I looked up patron saints to see if there was any that could help me pray. I found two saints listed as patron saints of missionaries. One was St. Francis Xavier. So over the next 9 days I prayed a novena… and at the end of it I heard from my Parish, they’d granted my request and were helping out w/ the trip. Not the full amount, but still. I was thrilled. Things were coming together.. and obviously I did manage it although I don’t really remember how lol.
That year we had a much larger team than the next few. We were all from different schools too (like several mini teams from several schools). So before heading over we were scheduled to have a layover in Amsterdam where we would meet up and get to know each other a little.
Honestly 4 days in Amsterdam is 4 days too many for me lol. There were a few things/places I enjoyed seeing, but still. But that’s beside the point.
So one of those 4 days we were walking up and down the streets, pretty much aimlessly just randomly picking which way to go. At one point we stopped in front of one (of many) of the Churches. I saw the sign and my jaw about dropped.
That’s right, St. Francis Xavier.
I still can’t help but smile when I think of it.
Yes I do have pics, but I can’t get to them right now.