Pope Francis spent his last morning in Japan at the Jesuit-run Sophia University, celebrating Mass with his Jesuit confreres, visiting aged members of the Jesuit community and addressing students and staff.
Once again he invoked the spirit of St Francis Xavier, the famed 16th-century missionary to Japan, and the spark of his own, never-realised desire as a young Jesuit to be sent as a missionary to the Land of the Rising Sun.
In his speech to students and staff on 26th November, he focused on the meaning of a Catholic university education, especially in a fast-paced, prosperous society.
“For all the efficiency and order that mark Japanese society,” he said, “I have sensed a yearning, too, for something greater: a profound desire to create an ever more humane, compassionate and merciful society.”
Sophia University can help provide a response, he said, by ensuring professors and students seek “sophia,” the Greek word for wisdom.
Picture: Pope Francis receives a welcome banner from the theology faculty at Jesuit-run Sophia University in Tokyo on 26th November 2019. (CNS photo/Vatican Media via Reuters).