Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
St. Francis Xavier
Feast day: December 4
Francis Xavier was Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in
the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7. He was sent to the
University of Paris in 1525, secured his licentiate in 1528, met
Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who in 1534, at Montmartre
who founded the Society of Jesus.
In 1536 he left Paris to join Ignatius in Venice, from whence they all
intended to go as missionaries to Palestine (a trip which never
materialized). He was ordained there in 1537, went to Rome in 1538, and
in 1540, when the pope formally recognized the Society, was ordered,
with Fr. Simon Rodriguez, to the Far East as the first Jesuit
King John III kept Fr. Simon in Lisbon, but Francis, after a year's
voyage, six months of which were spent at Mozambique where he preached
and gave aid to the sick eventually arrived in Goa, India in 1542.
Fr. Paul of Camerino an Italian, and Francis Mansihas, a Portuguese
accompanied him.. There he began preaching to the natives and attempted
to reform his fellow Europeans, living among the natives and adopting
their customs on his travels.
During the next decade he converted tens of thousands to Christianity.
He visited the Paravas at the tip of India. In 1552 he set out for
China, landed on the island of Sancian within sight of his goal, but
died before he reached the mainland. Working against great difficulties,
language problems (contrary to legend, he had no proficiency in foreign
tongues), inadequate funds, and lack of cooperation, often actual
resistance from European officials, he left the mark of his missionary
zeal and energy on areas which clung to Christianity for centuries.
He was canonized in 1622 and proclaimed patron of all foreign missions
by Pope Pius X. F. D. Dec. 3.