Saint Francis Xavier
Jesuit priest; friend of St Ignatius Loyola, Apostle of the Far East
Patron Saint of the Missions (along with St Thérèse of Lisieux)
Born on 7 April 1506 in Xavier, Kingdom of Navarre (now Spain)
Died on 3 December 1552 in the Portuguese Base at São João Island (now China)
Beatified by Paul V in 1619; canonized by Gregory XV on 12 March 1622, at the same time as Ignatius Loyola.
Proclaimed "Patron of Catholic Missions" by Pius XI
Feast Day - 3 December
3 2us by Father John Edwards SJ
"St Francis Xavier is one of the patrons of the missions .. when he turned to Jesus, he was ambitious for Jesus. The thing is he was totally unselfish which is the vital thing. Unselfishness is really almost what we mean by charity, by love: not having self first. Incredible journeys in those 10 years in the East, massive responsibility, India, Malaysia, islands of the East Indies, Japan, very nearly China; greatest hardship and through it all immense prayer life, immense charity, immense love."