Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies

3 December -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Missionaries, page 503

Francis was born at the castle of Xavier in Spanish Navarre in 1506. He was educated in Paris and, with Ignatius of Loyola, became one of the group of seven who took vows as the first members of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. Since preaching the gospel overseas was an integral part of the Jesuit vocation, Francis sailed for Goa, on the west coast of India, in 1541. He travelled all over the East Indies, evangelising and establishing the Church in Ceylon, Malacca, Malaya and notably in Japan, where he left behind two thousand converts. He was on his way to China when he died on board ship in December 1552.