In 1537, St. Francis Xavier was ordained as a priest in Venice, Italy. Prior to this accomplishment, Xavier was studying at the University of Paris where he achieved a Master of Arts degree in philosophy. It was the nudge of his good friend and fellow student St. Ignatius of Loyola that helped guide Xavier in the direction of Christ when they both vowed to become Jesuits.
St. Francis Xavier offered his services to the Pope for a short while in Rome, and then in 1542 after setting sail for the East Indies, landed in Goa, India where he would start his historical journey. By 1522, St. Francis Xavier had traveled from Rome to India and from India to Japan, where he began the first Christian mission in that country.
After over 2 years in Japan, Xavier traveled further to set out on the first Christian mission in China. Unfortunately, he was not allowed on China’s mainland and spent nearly 3 months off the coast on a small island called Canton.
St. Francis Xavier never stepped foot on mainland China after getting sick and dying at the age of 46 while waiting on Canton. His remains reside in the Church of Good Jesus in Goa, India where he spent his missionary travels for several years.
Wherever St. Francis Xavier went, he worked and lived with the poorest of people, which gained him the most respect and adoration. He always set high standards for himself and influenced many others along the way.
Although St. Francis Xavier died young, he had baptized over 30,000 people during his priesthood. He lived and worked with the poorest people while on his travels, living in the most difficult situations. Through all of this sadness of living during the missions, St. Francis Xavier always kept a positive attitude and a smile on his face.
Jesus said, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.'” -Matthew 28:19