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St. Francis Xavier

Saint Francis Xavier


Francis Xavier was born to a noble family in the Kingdom of Navarre in the year of Our Lord 1506. Unlike his more militant older brothers, Francis favored an academic career. While studying and then teaching in Paris, the worldly and ambitious Francis was challenged and gradually converted by a pious older student named Ignatius, and in 1534 Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Peter Faber, and four others gathered on the Feast of the Assumption to form what would eventually become the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. Francis exemplified the missionary aspect of the Jesuit order. On behalf of the King of Portugal, the saint preached Christ throughout India, and eventually travelled as far as Japan, earning the title “Apostle of the Indies”. In a mere decade of missionary work he converted countless souls and worked numerous miracles, and perhaps more than any other he is truly the patron saint of missionaries. Francis died of a fever in 1552, at 46 years of age, and was canonized less than one hundred years later.

Traditional Roman Martyrology for December 3rd

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER, confessor, of the Society of Jesus, who died on the 2nd of this month.

In Judea, the holy prophet Sophonias.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Claudius, tribune, and Hilaria, his wife, with Jason and Maurus, their sons, and seventy soldiers. By the command of the emperor Numerian, Claudius was fastened to a large stone and precipitated into
the river; the soldiers and the sons of Claudius were condemned to capital punishment. But blessed Hilaria, after having buried the bodies of her sons, and whilst praying at their tomb, was arrested by the Pagans, and shortly after departed for heaven.

At Tangier, in Morocco, St. Cassian, martyr. After having been a recorder for a long time, at length, through the inspiration of heaven, he deemed it an execrable thing to contribute to the massacre of the Christians, and therefore abandoned his office, and making profession of Christianity, deserved to obtain the triumph of martyrdom.

Also, in Africa, the holy martyrs Claudius, Crispinus, Magina, John, and Stephen.

In Hungary, St. Agricola, martyr.

At Nicomedia, the Saints Ambicus, Victor and Julius.

At Milan, St. Mirocles, bishop and confessor, sometimes mentioned by St. Ambrose.

In England, St. Birinus, first bishop of Dorchester.

At Coire, in Switzerland, St. Lucius, king of the Britons, who was the first of those kings who received the faith of Christ, in the time of pope Eleutherius.

At Siena, in Tuscany, St. Galganus, hermit.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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