Chico Xavier, Francisco de Paula Candido Xavier,

 Medium Chico Xavier


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 Chico Xavier Medium

Francisco de Paula Candido Xavier,

April 2, 1910 - June 30, 2002

Chico Xavier, born Francisco de Paula Candido  was a popular Medium in Brazil's Spiritism movement who wrote 412 books, ostensibly using a process known as psychography or Automatic Writing.

Xavier was born in the city of Pedro Leopoldo, State of Minas Gerais and is popularly known as Chico Xavier (Chico is the Brazilian nickname for Francisco). Heavily influenced by works of Allan Kardec, Xavier professed that his hand was guided by Spirits. Xavier called his spiritual guide Emmanuel, who according to Xavier, lived in ancient Rome as Senator Publius Lentulus, was reincarnated in Spain as Father Damian, and later as a professor at the Sorbonne.

Xavier's work produced religious teachings, novels and works of philosophy and science. His books sold an estimated 50 million copies, the profits of which were all channelled into charity work. In 1981 and 1982, he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

Xavier believed he was only a channel for the work of the Spirits; that he was not able to produce any miracle, such as healing people, and he could not contact someone that was dead, unless that person was willing to be contacted. His appearances on TV talk shows in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped to establish Kardecist Spiritism as one of the religions professed in Brazil. Xavier's popularity remained unchanged in Brazil throughout his life. Despite health problems he kept working up to his death, on June 30, 2002 in Uberaba. In 2010, a movie biography entitled Chico Xavier was released in Brazil. Directed by Daniel Filho, the film dramatized Xavier's life.

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Some idea of the esteem in which Chico Xavier was held can be gleaned from his being voted Citizen of the Century in his Brazilian home state. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

When he passed in 2002, 120,000 people filed past the coffin and 3,000 joined the funeral procession.

Through his mediumship 458 books were written. By last year sales had topped 50 million. He also passed on countless written messages from the Spirit world. In at least three murder trials, evidence from the victims through Chico, to the effect that death had been accidental, was accepted by the Court. One defendant was acquitted and two were convicted of a lesser offence.

Who then was this incredible, deeply spiritual man who remains largely unknown outside Brazil?

Francisco Candido Xavier was born on April 2, 1910 in Pedro Leopoldo in the central state of Minas Gerais. His mother passed when he was only five and he saw her materialised form shortly after. By the time he started primary school aged eight, he was accustomed to hearing Spirit Voices, feeling their presence and doing what they said he should do.

One day, when the class was asked to write an essay on Brazilís history, he saw a spirit visitor beside him offering dictation. Otherwise barely literate, he began with the sentence: Brazil, discovered by Pedro Alvares Cabral, may be compared to the most precious diamond in the world, which was soon to be set on the Crown of PortugalÖ

Challenged to write on another subject, with his invisible friendís help, he showed similar eloquence. Yet he left school at thirteen. Having worked part time since the age of eleven, he held several jobs before joining a branch office of the Ministry of Agriculture. There he remained until his retirement in 1961.

In 1927 one of his sisters appeared to go insane. A local Spiritist healing Medium cured her. The family were so impressed that they renounced their Catholic faith and became Spiritists. That year he began practising as a Medium.

His biographer, Guy Lyon Playfair, is at pains to point out that the terms Spiritist and Spiritualist are not interchangeable. Unlike the latter, Spiritists are essentially Christian and wish to restore Christianity to its original state, before the development of Church and clergy. They follow the teachings of Alan Kardec (1804-1869). They all accept reincarnation and it is central to their teaching.

He spent five hours a day after work doing what we would call automatic writing while in trance. (Brazilian Spiritists distinguish between automatic writing, which they hold to be from the subconscious, and psicografia, or psychography, which is from a separate entity entirely. Chico was a psychographer.)

In 1970 a visitor wrote a description of his manner of working. Picking up a pencil with his right hand on a sheet of paper and his left hand over his eyes, he sat in silence for a couple of minutes. Then his hand slid over the paper at tremendous speed. It never went over the edge of the paper, and as each page was filled, a lady sitting next to him would remove the sheet and put another one in its place. He filled a page at the rate of one a minute.

His first published work was Parnassus From Beyond the Tomb in 1932. It contains 259 poems by 56 Brazilian and Portuguese poets. The literary standard was high and judged to be characteristic of the work of the writers in their lifetime.

Guy Playfair, who has translated many of his works from the Portuguese, poses the question: Could any living English writer publish a volume of new poems by Shakespeare, Keats, Milton, Hopkins and fifty other poets, both major and minor, and convince critics and public that they were not his own work, but those of dead authors? That is exactly what Chico did in Portuguese, in effect.

He adds that he wore out a dictionary translating him and reckons he used every word in the Portuguese language.

Chicoís literary output can be grouped in four major categories. Largest is the Nosso Lar, or Our Home series. It contains many works about life in the spirit world, its interaction with earth life in history and evolution, and the mechanics of mediumship. The second and third categories are historical and modern fiction, and the fourth is survival evidence.

Several of the historical novels are set in ancient Rome. They are so detailed it was thought he must have an extensive library for research. Yet his home contained only magazines, almanacs and books on Spiritism (that he didnít read) given by admirers.

Had he kept the earnings from his royalties, says Playfair, he could have been a member of the wealthy elite with a penthouse overlooking Copacabana beach. Yet he gave away everything, living only on his wages and a modest pension. The books that pass through my hands, he always insisted, belong to the Spiritual Instructors and Benefactors, and not to me.

Some of the money went to numerous Spiritist centres to spend on food, clothing and other items for the poor. The rest went on funding education and welfare projects. It is thought that several million people benefited from his generosity.

As if all this were not enough, he met the public frequently, passing on all manner of communications from the Spirit World. They were dashed off in the usual manner, though he once wrote two pages at once, one with each hand.

There was considerable criticism in Brazil when he was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet his reaction was characteristic and is a fitting epitaph for his lifeís work: I didnít deserve a Nobel prize. Iím just a man of the people.

By his spiritual dedication and love for people everywhere, the Medium of the Century was an outstanding ambassador for Nosso Lar, or the spirit world. As such he deserves far greater recognition. Playfairís labour of love, listing one amazing fact after another, goes a long way to remedy this.

Graham Jennings reviewed a new book by psychical researcher Guy Lyon Playfair on the medium who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Chico Xavier, Medium of the Century by Guy Lyon Playfair is available directly from Roundtable Publishing Ltd UK.


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Despite being predominantly Roman Catholic, Brazil is currently celebrating the centenary and paranormal achievements of an incredible automatic writing medium - Francisco (Chico) Candido Xavier - in a way that no other country has ever done before.

POSTAGE STAMP: the Brazilian Post Office has issued a first class stamp which depicts Chico autographing one of his many books, which Spiritists believe were dictated by Spirits. It is the second time the South American country has featured Chico on its stamps: the first was his 50th birthday.

The new stamp went on sale on 2 April - the day on which he was born 100 years ago - and will continue to be used by the Brazilian postal services until December 2013. It recognises his dedication to others, humility and dignity.

MEDAL: the Brazil Mint has produced a commemorative medal  marking Chico's centenary, which will be issued 16 April - to coincide with the opening of the 3rd Brazilian Spiritist Congress in Brasilia. The congress is part of the Brazilian Spiritist Federation's Chico Xavier Centennial Project.

MOVIES: Chico Xavier: the Movie (see trailer at end of this post) debuted on 2 April - the day of his centenary. The film, which tells Chico's life story, had already caught the imagination of the Brazilian media a month before its release, with a cover story about the famous medium in Brazil's Time magazine.

Later this year, Twentieth Century Fox will release (on 3 September) Nosso Lar (in English, Our Home: the Astral City). This is based on a novel received by Chico from Andre Luiz, a doctor, describing his experiences on waking up in the spirit world (see second trailer). In doing so, it tackles many of the issues that people ask about life, death and the next world - at least, from a Spiritist perspective.

In addition to the above events, Chico's remarkable achievements, both as a medium and a humanitarian, are being celebrated with a host of other events, including more films, TV documentaries, books and exhibitions, throughout Brazil.

I met Chico briefly when he visited England in 1965. A friendly, simple man with a ready smile and an ill-fitting wig, it was difficult to comprehend just how much impact his mediumship was having on Spiritism and Brazilians in general. He and physician Dr Waldo Vieira, who acted as translator, came to the UK and went on to the US to build relationships with Spiritualist organisations in both countries.

The purpose was also to create a foundation for Spiritism, which is based largely on the teachings of Allen Kardec and has a strong Christian theme as well as belief in reincarnation. His spiritual guide, Emmanuel, was said to have lived as Senator Publius Lentulus in Roman times before being reincarnated as Father Damian in Spain and then as a professor at the Sorbonne.

What made Chico special was his prolific output of books produced by automatic writing, which is known in South America as psychography. Over 400 books were written through his hand, including some in foreign languages in which he was not fluent, and he donated the copyright of all these works to be used by Spiritist charities to help the needy.

Each day, poor people queued outside his home in Uberaba to receive free food and for the opportunity to speak a few words with him. He was regarded by many as a guru and celebrities were among regular visitors to his home seeking advice from him or the spirits who communicated through him.

As for sceptics, Chico's response was simple. The sheer output - around 100,000 handwritten pages - in different styles and on a diversity of subjects made it impossible for him to be the author. He was merely a channel.

Chico at 90

I cannot help wondering what this simple, sincere soul will be making of the celebrations and superstar status that he now has. I think he will be amused and also pleased that the message of survival of death contained in his work is reaching an even wider audience.

Despite his advancing years, he continued to work until his death, on 30 June, 2002, the day on which Brazil won the World Cup. In doing so, he fulfilled an ambition, having said in a TV interview some years earlier that he hoped to die on a very happy day for his country, so that his death would not be remembered with sorrow.

 With slight alterations from

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Brazilian Mental Medium using Psychography


Homage to Our Patron Chico Xavier

Chico Xavier was the greatest Medium of the 20th century. A Spiritist leader born in Brazil in 1910, Mr. Xavier was active as a Medium for 75 years. He was a humble man although he was sought out by thousands and thousands of people from many countries for his wisdom and as a Medium to the World of Spirits. He led a simple life teaching the Spiritist Doctrine by word and example. He wrote several hundred books, which sold over twenty million copies, and all proceeds went to charitable work. His books were written psychographically, a method whereby his hand was guided by Spirits who wanted to communicate a written message, or sometimes entire books. Chico Xavierís books are fundamental to the comprehension of the practical and theoretical aspects of Allan Kardec's doctrine. Chico Xavier's spiritual Guide was called Emmanuel. According to Mr. Xavierís writings, in Roman times Emmanuel had been Senator Publius Lentulus; he had been reincarnated in Spain as Father Damian, and later as a professor at the Sorbonne. Chico Xavier was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He died on June 30, 2002.

Welcome to Chico Xavier Spiritist Society

The Chico Xavier Spiritist Society was founded in April 2006. The Society is an educational non-profit organization incorporated under the State of California and tax exempt under Federal law. Its purpose is the constant study, practice, and dissemination of Spiritism as first compiled by Allan Kardec. The Society is active in conducting spiritual, moral, and material assistance programs to benefit and empower persons in need.

The Society not only has its own objectives in conducting these programs, but also incorporates additional Spiritist values in keeping with the religious, scientific and philosophic aspects of Spiritist doctrine.

The Society conducts groups for Spiritist studies, workshops, seminars and lectures by teachers such as Divaldo Franco, Raul Teixeira, Suely Schubert, Cesar Perri, Carlos Campetti and others who bring messages and guidance from the Spirits of Light.

The Society offers the opportunity to develop and practice mediumship by serious studies, inner reform and fulfilling other obligations within the society. Mediumship is a natural faculty that requires understanding, discipline and systematic study. Our Mediumship Study and Meeting are practiced in a safe and charitable manner by observing the norms and regulations of the Society.

We also recognize the value of other Spiritist, philanthropic and social organizations in helping us better understand the teachings of the Doctrine.

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