St. Francis Xavier on Charles Bridge / Sv. František Xaverský na Karlove moste (Prague)
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
N 50° 05.184 E 014° 24.687
33U E 457896 N 5548402
Quick Description: Depicted Baroque sculptural group of St. Francis Xavier (Sv. František Xaverský) is one of 31 historic statues (...or groups) decorating famous Gothic Charles Bridge (Karluv most) in Prague' centre.
Location: Hlavní město Praha, Czechia
Date Posted: 3/10/2015 3:41:58 PM
Waymark Code: WMNG86
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member puczmeloun
Views: 48

Long Description:

Depicted Baroque sculptural group of St. Francis Xavier (Sv. František Xaverský) is one of 31 historic statues (...or groups) decorating famous Gothic Charles Bridge (Karluv most) in Prague' centre.

What makes Charles Bridge a top tourist attraction is the open air sculptural gallery which adorns it. It was created much later than the actual bridge construction, mostly in 1706-1714 in the expectation of the canonisation of John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký). Despite the partial changes the gallery has undergone since its creation, it is still a great reflection of the history of the Czech lands - there are 31 statues and groups of statues in all on the bridge today with approximately 100 figures, among them also prime works of the great men of central European sculpture Matthias B. Braun and Ferdinand M. Brokoff. Since 1965 the precious originals of the statues have been gradually replaced by replicas. In extent and quality this bridge gallery has no equal in Europe.

Sculptural group of St. Francis Xavier is the 5th one on the left looking from the Old Town Bridge Tower. The Horice sandstone sculptural group, work of Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokoff (1711-1712), was donated by the Theology and Philosophy Faculty of the Prague University. In the lower part of the statuary, there is a group of exotic princes (Chinese, Tatar, Moor and Hindu) baptized by St. Francis Xavier. In the upper part, there is the saint raising a cross in front of the kneeling Hindu prince with pages and reminding the prince about the importance of faith before his baptism. The Latin inscription says Donated by the Theology Faculty and the Philosophy Faculty of the Prague University in 1711 in memory of Francis Xavier from the Society of Jesus, an apostle of Hindus and Japanese and a beloved of God. The composition and make of the statuary is one of the best on the bridge and is considered one of the best statues of the sculptor, even though he was only 23 years old when he created it. The face of the boy below the saint’s hand with a cross is actually the face of the young sculptor.


Francis Xavier, SJ, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta (7 April 1506 – 3 December 1552), was a Basque Roman Catholic missionary born in Xavier, Kingdom of Navarre (now part of Spain), and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a study companion of St. Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre, (Paris) in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in evangelization work most notably in India. He also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Maluku Islands, and other areas which had, until then, not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local languages in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. It was a goal of Xavier to extend his missionary preaching to China but he died in Shangchuan Island shortly before doing so.

St. Francis Xavier was beatified by Paul V on 25 October 1619, and was canonized by Gregory XV on 12 March 1622. In 1624 he was made co-patron of Navarre alongside Santiago. He is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries since St. Paul. He is known as the "Apostle of the Indies," and the "Apostle of Japan". In 1927, Pope Pius XI published the decree "Apostolicorum in Missionibus" naming St. Francis Xavier, along with St. Thérèse of Lisieux, co-patron of all foreign missions. He is now co-patron saint of Navarre with San Fermin. The Day of Navarre (Día de Navarra) in Spain marks the anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier's death on December 3, 1552. [wiki]

Associated Religion(s): Roman Catholic

Statue Location: Sculptural group of is the 5th one on the left looking from the Old Town Bridge Tower.

Entrance Fee: free

Artist: Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokoff

Website: [Web Link]

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