St. Francis Xavier: Feastday December 3

St. Francis Xavier, Confessor (1506-1552)

Apostle of the Far East — Jesuit missionary

 

The Society of Jesus was divinely favoured by counting among its founders the great missionary apostle of the 16th century, St. Francis Xavier. A classmate of St. Ignatius in Paris and won by him for the work of Christ, he was sent to the Far East and became the great apostle of India and Japan. During his missionary journeys, he performed numerous miracles and converted innumerable pagans. He died in 1552, at only 46 years of age, and right before reaching China.

 

St. Francis Xavier was canonized in 1622 and Pope St. Pius X proclaimed him patron of missionaries. His feastday reminds us Christians of our duty to be missionaries and invites us to imitate him by offering prayers and alms for the missionary work of the Catholic Church.

 

Relics of St. Francis Xavier:

* Chiesa del Gesu in Rome, Italy, enshrines the right arm of St. Francis Xavier, with which he baptized and unlocked the gates of heaven to countless multitudes in India and Japan. It is preserved, still incorrupt, in a large oval reliquary on the altar in the right transept.

* The Church of St. Francis Xavier in Paris, France, houses relics of the saint.

* The Basilica Bom Jesus in Goa, India,  houses incorrupt relics of St. Francis Xavier.

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