Monday, December 4, 2017

SOLEMNITY OF SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER

The patron saint of missionaries and one of the founders of the Jesuit order, Saint Francis Xavier sought religious converts throughout Asia during the 1500s.
Saint Francis Xavier was born on April 7, 1506, in a castle near Sang├╝esa in Navarre (part of present-day Spain). With encouragement from his friend Ignatius of Loyola, Xavier devoted himself to religious service and became one of the founders of the Jesuit order. Much of his life was spent tending to missions in areas such as India and Japan. He was 46 when he died on China's Shangchuan Island on December 3, 1552.In addition to being a founding member of the Jesuit order—the Society of Jesus was officially recognized by Pope Paul III in 1540—he baptized an estimated 30,000 people. Xavier was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1619, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. A famed missionary himself, he is now the patron saint of missionaries.