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Saint of the Day - St. Francis Xavier

Our saint of there day for December 2, 2023 is St. Francis Xavier.was born in the Kingdom of Navarre (now a portion of northern Spain) in 1506. He died on December 3, 1552 somewhere around the Chinese coast. He is the patron saint of African missions, Catholic missions, China, Goa, India and missionaries.

Francis's father was a councillor and finance minister to John III or Navarre. He was the youngest of several children and grew up in a castle. Part of the castle he grew up in still stands.

As a young child, Francis was surrounded by war. The Kingdom of Navarre was attacked and eventually conquered by Ferdinand of Aragon.

When Francis reached the age of majority, he was sent to study at the University of Paris. Francis's roommate was none other than his friend, Peter Favre. While in Paris, the two met St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius encouraged the young Francis to become a priest. Francis earned a master's degree in philosophy in 1530 and went on to teach at the University of Paris. Peter and Francis made vows of chastity, poverty and obedience on August 15, 1534. Francis would be ordained in 1537. He and Peter planned to travel to the Holy Land to convert nonbelievers.

The formation of the Society of Jesus was approved in 1540. Today, we call them the Jesuits. Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

During the time that Francis was in formation for the priesthood, Portugal was colonizing India. Many of the Portuguese in India was losing their Christian values in India. As a result, the King of Portugal asked the Pope to send missionaries to India to keep the Portuguese within the Faith.

On his 45th birthday, Francis departed for India. This was in the year 1541. As he was leaving, he was notified that Pope Paul III had appointed him to be a Papal Nuncio to the region, meaning he was widely regarded as a diplomat, since he was the representative of the Pope in India and the far east. He arrived on May 6, 1542.

Upon arriving in Goa, Francis discovered that many of the Portuguese in Goa were not there to lead virtuous lives or spread the Faith. In fact, many were recruited from Portuguese jails or had fled Portugal to escape mistakes they had made there or even to seek adventure exploring a new country and even to make vast fortunes.

First, Francis ministered to the women and children. He soon discovered, however, that many of the Indian natives who had been baptized had never been taught the Faith. Accordingly, he took it upon himself to instruct these natives of India in the Faith. During this time, Francis was often upstaged by his already-Catholic Portuguese people who embarrassed him by acting improperly.

During his time there, Francis built some forty churches along the Pearly Fishery Coast in India. One problem that he often ran into was that he tried to convert the people first; not their leaders. Thus, the leaders were resistant to the building of churches in the region.

At some point, Francis decided to go further east to Malacca to convert the peoples in this area. It was while he was in Malacca that Francis encountered Anjiro. Anjiro was a Japanese man who had escaped Japan after being accused of murder. Anjiro would become the first Japanese man to be converted to the Catholic Faith.

Around 1549, Francis went top Japan. He experienced difficulties in Japan, including ;language, poverty and a people unable to accept the concept of hell as a plaice of eternal torment. Poverty was looked down upon in feudal Japan. In an effort to improve his reputation, mFrancis arranged to be nicely dressed, to have his fellow missionaries wait on him hand and foot and to receive gifts from India. The ruse was successful and his reputation improved.

While on his way back to India, he was asked to meet with the Chinese emperor to seek the release of Portuguese prisoners being held in China. While he agreed to do so, he first decided to return to his See in Goa. On the way, he stopped to receive diplomatic papers at Malacca. However, the port at Malacca was no longer controlled by the Portuguese king. It was now controlled by the Captain of Malacca, Alvaro da Gama (who was also the son of Vasco de Gamma - a Portuguese explorer and the first Portuguese man to reach India). de Game refused to acknowledge Francis as the Papal nuncio, took possession for the gifts intended for the Chinese emperor and replaced the crew with a crew loyal to himself.

Francis was left to fend for himself on an island off the Chinese coats. Eventually, he was able to find a man who was willing to take Francis to China, but for a large amount of money. Francis paid this money. However, Francis took ill while awaiting the boat to take him to China. Francis died on December 3, 1552.

He was canonized by Pope Paul V on October 25, 1619 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622/. Both occurred at Vatican City, which, at the time, was the See of the Papal States.

Join me at 3:30 pm Eastern to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, to hear a little bit about St. Francis Xavier and to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.

If you can't join me live, you can stream this show and all of our shows at

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, O my God, to hear our prayer and grant our desires, in the depths of our hearts through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.


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