Xavier, Saint Francis (1506-1552), was a Spanish Jesuit missionary. He is called the "Apostle of the Indies." Most of his work was done in Asia.
Saint Francis Xavier was born Francisco de Xavier near Sanguesa, Spain. His study in Paris brought him acquaintance with Ignatius of Loyola, with whom he helped to found the Society of Jesus. He accompanied Ignatius to Italy, doing hospital and missionary work, and was ordained a priest in 1537. He remained in Rome as secretary to the Jesuit society until 1540. The next year, Xavier was sent by John III of Portugal to the Portuguese possessions in India.
He landed in Goa, on the Malabar Coast, in 1542. His preaching in Travancore, in Melaka, and in Japan gained many converts to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1551, the Vatican named him provincial of the province of India. He planned a mission to China, but died on the island of Shangchuan while trying to gain admission to the mainland. His body lies in a shrine in Goa. He was declared a saint in 1622.
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