from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The ability or phenomenon to utter words or sounds of a language unknown to the speaker, especially as an expression of religious ecstasy. Also called glossolalia, speaking in tongues.
M. Note: Except in the life of Pachomius, an Egyptian monk of the fourth century. (see Jortin, Ecc.Hist. i.p. 368, edit. 1805,) and the latter (not earlier) lives of Xavier, there is no claim laid to the gift of tongues since the time of Irenaeus; and of this claim,
From this one language God had ordained that it should be derived, by the care of the ministry, unto the knowledge and use of all nations and people; and this was represented by the miraculous gift of tongues communicated by the Holy Ghost unto the first-designed publishers of the gospel In this case it pleased the wisdom of the Holy Ghost to make use of the Greek language, wherein he writ the whole New Testament originally; for the report, that the Gospel of Matthew and the Epistle to the Hebrews were first written in Hebrew, is altogether groundless, and I have elsewhere disproved it.
It was at that time, properly speaking, when God first communicated to Xavier the gift of tongues in the Indies; according to the relation of a young Portuguese of Coimbra, whose name was Vaz, who attended him in many of his travels, and who being returned into Europe, related those passages, of which himself had been an eye witness.