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Francisco Javier (Xavier, Francis)

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Born: 1506 AD
Died: 1552 AD, at 46 years of age.

Nationality: Spanish
Categories: Missionaries, Religious Leaders

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1506 - Saint Francis Xavier, born on the 7th of April in Xavier Castle, near Sangüesa, Navarre Spain. Spanish  San Francisco Javier, or Xavier  the greatest Roman Catholic missionary of modern times, who was instrumental in the establishment of Christianity in India, the Malay Archipelago, and Japan.

1525 - He journeyed to the University of Paris, the theological centre of Europe, to begin his studies.

1534 - In Paris, he pronounced vows as one of the first seven members of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, under the leadership of Ignatius of Loyola.

1537 - After all the members of the band had completed their studies, they reassembled in Venice, where he was ordained priest on the 24th of June.

1540 - On the 15th of March, he left Rome for the Indies, travelling first to Lisbon. In the following fall, Pope Paul III formally recognized the followers of Ignatius as a religious order, the Society of Jesus.

1545 - News of opportunities for Christianity attracted him to the Malay Archipelago.

1548 - He returned to India, where more Jesuits had since arrived to join him.

1549 - On the 15th of August, a Portuguese ship bearing Francis, the newly baptized Anjiro, and several companions entered the Japanese port of Kagoshima.

1551 - Having received no mail since his arrival in Japan, Francis decided to return temporarily to India, leaving to the care of his companions about 2,000 Christians in five communities

1552 - On the 3rd of December, he died of fever on the island of Sancian (now Shang-ch'uan Tao, off the Chinese coast) as he attempted to secure entrance to the country, then closed to foreigners.

1622 - He has been formally venerated as such by the Catholic Church on the 12th of March.

1927 - He was named patron of all missions.


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Page last updated: 3:30pm, 05th Apr '07