Xavier, Francisco Candido (1910-)
Xavier, Francisco Candido (1910-)
Famous Brazilian Spiritist medium. (Spiritism, the Brazilian form of Spiritualism, stems from the teachings of French Spiritist Allan Kardec. ) Known throughout Brazil as "Chico Xavier" (pronounced Sheeko Shaveer ), he was born April 2, 1910, in the town of Pedro Leopoldo in the central state of Minas Gerais. He was one of a family of nine children. His mother died when he was only five, but Chico saw her materialize after her death, and during his period at primary school three years later, he became accustomed to hearing voices and sensing spirit presences.
He won an honorable mention for an essay contest with an entry that appeared to be dictated to him by a spirit form. On being challenged to produce another "spirit essay," he went straight to the blackboard and started writing a profound statement on the theme suggested, after which the teacher recommended he stop talking about spirit voices and pray on conventional Catholic lines.
He became a practicing medium in 1927 soon after one of his sisters was cured of apparent possession through the efforts of a healing medium. The whole Xavier family became Spirit-ists, and the medium's wife, Carmen Perácio, founded an evangelical Spiritist center, where Xavier manifested an ability for automatic writing. At one of these sessions, Perácio had a vision of a priestly spirit, "Emmanuel," who became Xavier's spirit guide thereafter. Xavier's mediumship continued in the form of automatic writing from spirit dictation.
Although nearly blind in one eye through most of his life and with only a rudimentary primary education, Xavier produced a prodigious number of books recognizably in the style of hundreds of deceased Brazilian and Portuguese authors whose works he had never had the opportunity to study.
In addition, he visited invalids in the district and undertook voluntary social work at his Pedro Leopoldo Spiritist Center at Uberaba. Hundreds of visitors came to this center for a personal message delivered by Xavier in trance, with instructions on individual problems, whether spiritual or medical. He has written some 130 books, of which over 3,000,000 copies have been sold in 415 editions. Some of these books have been translated into Spanish, French, Japanese, Esperanto, and English.
His book Evolucão em dois mundos (Evolution in Two Worlds, 1959) was written in collaboration with Dr. Waldo Vieira, who lived 250 miles away. The chapters were written alternately in uniform style and continuity, and the work took only forty days. It contained scientific concepts beyond the medium's understanding, suggesting to many that such information does not come from the medium's subconscious. Brazilian Spiritists follow Allan Kardec in clearly distinguishing between escrita auto-matica (automatic writing involving the medium's subconscious) and psiografia (involving a spirit entity).
In spite of the enormous popularity of his prodigious literary output, Xavier never accepted payment for any of his books and even disclaimed personal credit by the phrase "dictated by the spirit of-" on the title page.
He left Brazil only on two occasions. In 1965 and 1966 he made brief trips to Spiritualist centers abroad and a pilgrimage to the tomb of Allan Kardec in Paris, France. He appeared on Brazilian television programs, but remained a modest, sincere individual who devoted his psychic gift to the service of mankind. He was made an honorary citizen of São Paulo in 1973, and was similarly honored by other cities and towns in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro, Uberada, Campinas, and São Bernardo. In 1977, the government of Brazil endorsed Xavier's half century as a medium by issuing a postage stamp in his honor. This official recognition of Spiritism is unique to Brazil; the government has also issued postage stamps honoring Allan Kardec and his teachings.
Xavier, Francisco Candido. Christian Agenda. London: Regency Press, 1970.
——. The World of the Spirit. New York: Philosophical Library, n.d.