Jesuit Priest and Missionary (1506-1552)
+ Francis was born in Spain in 1506. As a student in Paris, where he was studying philosophy, he became acquainted with Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
+ Inspired by his friend, Ignatius, Francis became one of the first members of the Society of Jesus. Ordained a priest in 1537, he was among the first to make vows as a Jesuit and, in 1541, he set sail for India.
+ Francis’ efforts to proclaim the Gospel took him to India, Malaysia, Indonesia’s Sulawesi Islands, the Maluku Islands, and Sri Lanka. In each place he converted large numbers to Christianity.
+ In 1549, Francis traveled to Japan, where he established a flourishing Christian community. After two years, he returned to India. In 1552, he decided to travel to China. On November 20, he was taken ill with fever. Left alone and abandoned by the ship’s crew, he died on the shore of Sancian on December 2, 1552.
+ Saint Francis Xavier was canonized with Saint Ignatius Loyola in 1622. Along with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, he is honored as the patron saint of missionaries.
For prayer and reflection
“Christ’s love was the strength that drove him to the furthest frontiers, with constant toil and danger, overcoming setbacks, disappointments and discouragement; indeed, giving him consolation and joy in following and serving Him to the end. May Saint Francis Xavier, who did all these great things, in much poverty and with such courage, give us some of this zeal, of this zeal to live the Gospel and to proclaim the Gospel.”—Pope Francis
On this day we also remember the bishop Blessed Johan Nepomuk von Tschiderer. Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1800, he served in rural mountain parishes in the Tirol Mountains of Italy before being appointed as a professor in the seminary in Trent. In 1832, he was appointed bishop of Innsbruck, Austria. Known as a faithful pastor who spent much of his time preaching, writing, serving the poor and sick, and working to make the sacraments widely available, he also built more than 60 churches and promoted Christian education for both boys and girls. Blessed Johan Nepomuk von Tschiderer died in Trent, Italy, in 1860, and was beatified in 1995.
The Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary: https://www.saveriane.it/en/
O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier
won many peoples to yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.