Saint Francis Xavier is one of the patron saints of those sent on Christ’s mission. He arrived in the Far East, full of zeal to share the good news and died in China.

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Saint Francis Xavier was born in Spain in 1506 to an aristocratic family. As a young man he met Ignatius of Loyola who was to found the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Francis Xavier together with six others joined Ignatius in the act of founding the Society of Jesus when they took vows together in Montmartre in Paris in 1534.

In response to an appeal by the Pope, the Jesuits agreed to send Francis Xavier to the Far East. He arrived in Goa, India in 1542 and never left the Far East, travelling far and wide in order to preach the Gospel. In 1549 he reached Japan where he stayed for over two years, learning the language and explaining the faith. He died in China on December 3, 1552.

Saint Francis Xavier was known for his zeal and determination, a model for all who work for the faith in foreign lands.