Saint Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier
The patron saint of missionaries and one of the founders of the Jesuit order, Saint Francis Xavier sought religious converts throughout Asia during the 1500s.
Saint Francis Xavier was born on April 7, 1506, in a castle near Sangüesa in Navarre (part of present-day Spain). With encouragement from his friend Ignatius of Loyola, Xavier devoted himself to religious service and became one of the founders of the Jesuit order. Much of his life was spent tending to missions in areas such as India and Japan. He was 46 when he died on China's Shangchuan Island on December 3, 1552.


Early Life
On April 7, 1506, Francis Xavier was born in Xavier Castle, located near Sangüesa, in the kingdom of Navarre (part of present-day Spain). He was a member of a noble]# family, and his childhood was one of privilege—however, it was disrupted by his father's death, as well as by outside efforts to take control of Navarre.

 
Forming the Jesuit Order
In 1525, Xavier went to study at the University of Paris. There, he encountered Ignatius of Loyola, who had experienced a religious conversion while recovering from a war wound. Loyola did his utmost to convince Xavier to join him on the same path of devotion.