Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies
3 December -- Commemoration
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.
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival,
Common of Missionaries, page 503