Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Francis Xavier, Feast Day Dec. 3


Preaching St. Francis Xavier By Carlone Gesu Public Domain Image
Preaching St. Francis Xavier
By Carlone Gesu
Public Domain Image

The feast day of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated on December 3.  He is the patron saint of foreign missions and the co-founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.

St. Francis Xavier was born in the Kingdom of Navarre (now part of Spain). He was born in the Basque area, on April 7, 1506. He studied at the University of Paris.

When he met Ignatius of Loyola, they became friends and Francis became a student of St. Ignatius. He then became a co- founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), with Ignatius. With St. Ignatius, he was ordained a priest in 1537. In 1956 Francis left Paris to join Ignatius in Venice. The Society was recognized by the Pope in 1540.

Francis preached in India, Japan, Borneo, and Moluccas. Over a period of ten years, he baptized roughly 30,000 people to Christianity. He is said to have converted more people to Christianity than anyone other than St. Paul.

In 1552 he set out for China landing on the Island of Shangchuan.. He died from a fever before he reached the mainland while waiting to be taken to China. He was first buried on a beach at Shangchuan Island. His incorrupt body was taken from the island in 1553 and temporarily buried in St. Paul’s Church in Portuguese, Malacca.

St. Francis Xavier was known as the “Apostle of the Indias.”

The Novena of Grace was a popular devotion to Francis Xavier and typically prayed for nine days before Dec. 3.



“I love You, not because You have the power to give heaven or hell,

but simply because You are You…my kin and my God.”

Quote of St. Francis Xavier

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St. Francis Xavier in Art

December is the Month of the Divine Infancy



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