Xavier, St. Francis (15061552)

Xavier, St. Francis, a Jesuit missionary, styled usually the “Apostle of the Indies,” born, of a noble family, in the north of Spain; a student of Sainte Barbe in Paris, he took to philosophy, became acquainted with Ignatius Loyola, and was associated with him in the formation of the Jesuit Society; was sent in 1541, under sanction of the Pope, by John III. of Portugal to Christianise India, and arrived at Goa in 1542, from whence he extended his missionary labours to the Eastern Archipelago, Ceylon, and Japan, in which enterprises they were attended with signal success; on his return to Goa in 1552 he proceeded to organise a mission to China, in which he experienced such opposition and so many difficulties that on his way to carry on his work there he sickened and died; he was buried at Goa; beatified by Paul V. in 1619, and canonised by Gregory XV. in 1622 (15061552).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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