Saint Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier (1506–1552) was born in his family castle in Navarre in what is today Spain. While studying in Paris he met St. Ignatius of Loyola and joined him in the foundation of the Society of Jesus. Instead of devoting himself to academic pursuits as he had planned, and in which he enjoyed great success, he became the first Jesuit missionary priest. His missionary activity began in Goa, India and extended across the Orient. St. Francis Xavier was known throughout the Far East for his humility, care of the poor, and miracles including healings, speaking in tongues, and prophetic powers. His passion for Christ and zeal for souls won him many converts to the faith. It is said that during his missionary journeys he baptized over 40,000 people. He is considered by many to be one of the Church's greatest missionaries since St. Paul the Apostle. In his travels he left behind flourishing churches that were the foundations of the Catholic Church in Asia. He is the patron saint of navigators, missionaries, African missions, India, Japan, China, and New Zealand. St. Francis Xavier's feast day is December 3rd.
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