Francis Xavier | Wikipedia audio article

Francis Xavier | Wikipedia audio article


Francis Xavier, S.J. (; born Francisco de
Jasso y Azpilicueta; Latin Franciscus Xaverius; Basque: Frantzisko Xabierkoa; Spanish: Francisco
Javier; 7 April 1506 – 3 December 1552), was a Navarrese Basque Roman Catholic missionary,
who was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus. Born in Javier (Xavier in Navarro-Aragonese
or Xabier in Basque), Kingdom of Navarre (in present day Spain), he was a companion of
Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and
chastity at Montmartre, Paris, in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly
in the Portuguese Empire of the time and was influential in evangelization work, most notably
in India. The Goa Inquisition was proposed by St. Francis
Xavier. He also was the first Christian missionary
to venture into Japan, Borneo, the Maluku Islands, and other areas. In those areas, struggling to learn the local
languages and in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. Xavier was about to extend his missionary
preaching to China when he died on Shangchuan Island. He was beatified by Pope Paul V on 25 October
1619 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on 12 March 1622. In 1624 he was made co-patron of Navarre. Known as the “Apostle of the Indies” and “Apostle
of Japan”, he is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries since Saint Paul. In 1927, Pope Pius XI published the decree
“Apostolicorum in Missionibus” naming Saint Francis Xavier, along with Saint Thérèse
of Lisieux, co-patron of all foreign missions. He is now co-patron saint of Navarre with
San Fermin. The Day of Navarre (Día de Navarra) in Spain
marks the anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier’s death, on 3 December 1552.==Early life==Francis Xavier was born in the royal castle
of Xavier, in the Kingdom of Navarre, on 7 April 1506 according to a family register. He was the youngest son of Juan de Jasso y
Atondo, seneschal of Xavier castle, who belonged to a prosperous farming family and had acquired
a doctorate in law at the University of Bologna. Juan later became privy counsellor and finance
minister to King John III of Navarre (Jean d’Albret). Francis’s mother was Doña María de Azpilcueta
y Aznárez, sole heiress of two noble Navarrese families. He was through her related to the great theologian
and philosopher Martín de Azpilcueta.In 1512, Ferdinand, King of Aragon and regent of Castile,
invaded Navarre, initiating a war that lasted over 18 years. Three years later, Francis’s father died when
Francis was only nine years old. In 1516, Francis’s brothers participated in
a failed Navarrese-French attempt to expel the Spanish invaders from the kingdom. The Spanish Governor, Cardinal Cisneros, confiscated
the family lands, demolished the outer wall, the gates, and two towers of the family castle,
and filled in the moat. In addition, the height of the keep was reduced
by half. Only the family residence inside the castle
was left. In 1522 one of Francis’s brothers participated
with 200 Navarrese nobles in dogged but failed resistance against the Castilian Count of
Miranda in Amaiur, Baztan, the last Navarrese territorial position south of the Pyrenees. In 1525, Francis went to study in Paris at
the Collège Sainte-Barbe, University of Paris, where he would spend the next eleven years. In the early days he acquired some reputation
as an athlete and a high-jumper.In 1529, Francis shared lodgings with his friend Pierre Favre. A new student, Ignatius of Loyola, came to
room with them. At 38, Ignatius was much older than Pierre
and Francis, who were both 23 at the time. Ignatius convinced Pierre to become a priest,
but was unable to convince Francis, who had aspirations of worldly advancement. At first Francis regarded the new lodger as
a joke and was sarcastic about his efforts to convert students. When Pierre left their lodgings to visit his
family and Ignatius was alone with Francis, he was able to slowly break down Francis’s
resistance. According to most biographies Ignatius is
said to have posed the question: “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and
lose his own soul?” However, according to James Broderick such
method is not characteristic of Ignatius and there is no evidence that he employed it at
all.In 1530 Francis received the degree of Master of Arts, and afterwards taught Aristotelian
philosophy at Beauvais College, University of Paris.==Missionary work==On 15 August 1534, seven students met in a
crypt beneath the Church of Saint Denis (now Saint Pierre de Montmartre), on the hill of
Montmartre, overlooking Paris. They were Francis, Ignatius of Loyola, Alfonso
Salmeron, Diego Laínez, Nicolás Bobadilla from Spain, Peter Faber from Savoy, and Simão
Rodrigues from Portugal. They made private vows of poverty, chastity,
and obedience to the Pope, and also vowed to go to the Holy Land to convert infidels. Francis began his study of theology in 1534
and was ordained on 24 June 1537. In 1539, after long discussions, Ignatius
drew up a formula for a new religious order, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Ignatius’s plan for the order was approved
by Pope Paul III in 1540.In 1540 King John of Portugal had Pedro Mascarenhas, Portuguese
ambassador to the Holy See, request Jesuit missionaries to spread the faith in his new
possessions in India, where the king believed that Christian values were eroding among the
Portuguese. After successive appeals to the Pope asking
for missionaries for the East Indies under the Padroado agreement, John III was encouraged
by Diogo de Gouveia, rector of the Collège Sainte-Barbe, to recruit the newly graduated
students that would establish the Society of Jesus.Ignatius promptly appointed Nicholas
Bobadilla and Simão Rodrigues. At the last moment, however, Bobadilla became
seriously ill. With some hesitance and uneasiness, Ignatius
asked Francis to go in Bobadilla’s place. Thus, Francis Xavier began his life as the
first Jesuit missionary almost accidentally.Leaving Rome on 15 March 1540, in the Ambassador’s
train, Francis took with him a breviary, a catechism, and De Institutione bene vivendi
by Croatian humanist Marko Marulić, a Latin book that had become popular in the Counter-Reformation. According to a 1549 letter of F. Balthasar
Gago from Goa, it was the only book that Francis read or studied. Francis reached Lisbon in June 1540 and, four
days after his arrival, he and Rodrigues were summoned to a private audience with the King
and the Queen.Francis Xavier devoted much of his life to missions in Asia, mainly in
four centres: Malacca, Amboina and Ternate, Japan, and China. His growing information about new places indicated
to him that he had to go to what he understood were centres of influence for the whole region. China loomed large from his days in India. Japan was particularly attractive because
of its culture. For him, these areas were interconnected;
they could not be evangelised separately.===Goa and India===
Francis Xavier left Lisbon on 7 April 1541, his thirty-fifth birthday, along with two
other Jesuits and the new viceroy Martim Afonso de Sousa, on board the Santiago. As he departed, Francis was given a brief
from the pope appointing him apostolic nuncio to the East. From August until March 1542 he remained in
Portuguese Mozambique, and arrived in Goa, then capital of Portuguese India, on 6 May
1542, thirteen months after leaving Lisbon. The Portuguese, following quickly on the great
voyages of discovery, had established themselves at Goa thirty years earlier. Francis’s primary mission, as ordered by King
John III, was to restore Christianity among the Portuguese settlers. According to Teotonio R. DeSouza, recent critical
accounts indicate that apart from the posted civil servants, “the great majority of those
who were dispatched as ‘discoverers’ were the riff-raff of Portuguese society, picked
up from Portuguese jails.” Nor did the soldiers, sailors, or merchants
come to do missionary work, and Imperial policy permitted the outflow of disaffected nobility. Many of the arrivals formed liaisons with
local women and adopted Indian culture. Missionaries often wrote against the “scandalous
and undisciplined” behaviour of their fellow Christians.The Christian population had churches,
clergy, and a bishop, but there were few preachers and no priests beyond the walls of Goa. The Velliapura family of Velim, Goa, of the
St Thomas Christians sect, welcomed the missionaries. Xavier decided that he must begin by instructing
the Portuguese themselves, and gave much of his time to the teaching of children. The first five months he spent in preaching
and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. After that, he walked through the streets
ringing a bell to summon the children and servants to catechism. He was invited to head Saint Paul’s College,
a pioneer seminary for the education of secular priests, which became the first Jesuit headquarters
in Asia. Xavier soon learned that along the Pearl Fishery
Coast, which extends from Cape Comorin on the southern tip of India to the island of
Mannar, off Ceylon (Sri Lanka), there was a Jāti of people called Paravas. Many of them had been baptised ten years before,
merely to please the Portuguese who had helped them against the Moors, but remained uninstructed
in the faith. Accompanied by several native clerics from
the seminary at Goa, he set sail for Cape Comorin in October 1542. He taught those who had already been baptised,
and preached to those who weren’t. His efforts with the high-caste Brahmins remained
unavailing.He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of southern
India and Ceylon, converting many. He built nearly 40 churches along the coast,
including St. Stephen’s Church, Kombuthurai, mentioned in his letters dated 1544. During this time, he was able to visit the
tomb of Thomas the Apostle in Mylapore (now part of Madras/Chennai then in Portuguese
India). He set his sights eastward in 1545 and planned
a missionary journey to Makassar on the island of Celebes (today’s Indonesia). As the first Jesuit in India, Francis had
difficulty achieving much success in his missionary trips. His successors, such as de Nobili, Matteo
Ricci, and Beschi, attempted to convert the noblemen first as a means to influence more
people, while Francis had initially interacted most with the lower classes; (later though,
in Japan, Francis changed tack by paying tribute to the Emperor and seeking an audience with
him).===South East Asia===
In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Portuguese Malacca. He laboured there for the last months of that
year. About January 1546, Xavier left Malacca for
the Maluku Islands, where the Portuguese had some settlements. For a year and a half he preached the Gospel
there. He went first to Ambon Island, where he stayed
until mid-June. He then visited other Maluku Islands, including
Ternate, Baranura, and Morotai. Shortly after Easter 1547, he returned to
Ambon Island; a few months later he returned to Malacca.===Japan and China===In Malacca in December 1547, Francis Xavier
met a Japanese man named Anjirō. Anjirō had heard of Francis in 1545 and had
travelled from Kagoshima to Malacca to meet him. Having been charged with murder, Anjirō had
fled Japan. He told Francis extensively about his former
life, and the customs and culture of his homeland. Anjirō became the first Japanese Christian
and adopted the name of ‘Paulo de Santa Fe’. He later helped Xavier as a mediator and interpreter
for the mission to Japan that now seemed much more possible. In January 1548 Francis returned to Goa to
attend to his responsibilities as superior of the mission there. The next 15 months were occupied with various
journeys and administrative measures. He left Goa on 15 April 1549, stopped at Malacca,
and visited Canton. He was accompanied by Anjiro, two other Japanese
men, Father Cosme de Torrès, and Brother João Fernandes. He had taken with him presents for the “King
of Japan” since he was intending to introduce himself as the Apostolic Nuncio. Europeans had already come to Japan: the Portuguese
had landed in 1543 on the island of Tanegashima, where they introduced matchlock firearms to
Japan.From Amboina, he wrote to his companions in Europe: “I asked a Portuguese merchant,
… who had been for many days in Anjirō’s country of Japan, to give me … some information
on that land and its people from what he had seen and heard. …All the Portuguese merchants coming from
Japan tell me that if I go there I shall do great service for God our Lord, more than
with the pagans of India, for they are a very reasonable people. (To His Companions Residing in Rome, From
Cochin, 20 January 1548, no. 18, p. 178).Francis Xavier reached Japan on
27 July 1549, with Anjiro and three other Jesuits, but he was not permitted to enter
any port his ship arrived at until 15 August, when he went ashore at Kagoshima, the principal
port of Satsuma Province on the island of Kyūshū. As a representative of the Portuguese king,
he was received in a friendly manner. Shimazu Takahisa (1514–1571), daimyō of
Satsuma, gave a friendly reception to Francis on 29 September 1549, but in the following
year he forbade the conversion of his subjects to Christianity under penalty of death; Christians
in Kagoshima could not be given any catechism in the following years. The Portuguese missionary Pedro de Alcáçova
would later write in 1554: In Cangoxima, the first place Father Master
Francisco stopped at, there were a good number of Christians, although there was no one there
to teach them; the shortage of labourers prevented the whole kingdom from becoming Christian. He was hosted by Anjirō’s family until October
1550. From October to December 1550, he resided
in Yamaguchi. Shortly before Christmas, he left for Kyoto
but failed to meet with the Emperor. He returned to Yamaguchi in March 1551, where
the daimyo of the province gave him permission to preach. However, lacking fluency in the Japanese language,
he had to limit himself to reading aloud the translation of a catechism. Francis was the first Jesuit to go to Japan
as a missionary. He brought with him paintings of the Madonna
and the Madonna and Child. These paintings were used to help teach the
Japanese about Christianity. There was a huge language barrier as Japanese
was unlike other languages the missionaries had previously encountered. For a long time Francis struggled to learn
the language. Having learned that evangelical poverty did
not have the appeal in Japan that it had in Europe and in India, he decided to change
his approach. Hearing after a time that a Portuguese ship
had arrived at a port in the province of Bungo in Kyushu and that the prince there would
like to see him, Xavier now set out southward. The Jesuit, in a fine cassock, surplice, and
stole, was attended by thirty gentlemen and as many servants, all in their best clothes. Five of them bore on cushions valuable articles,
including a portrait of Our Lady and a pair of velvet slippers, these not gifts for the
prince, but solemn offerings to Xavier, to impress the onlookers with his eminence. Handsomely dressed, with his companions acting
as attendants, he presented himself before Oshindono, the ruler of Nagate, and as a representative
of the great kingdom of Portugal, offered him letters and presents: a musical instrument,
a watch, and other attractive objects which had been given him by the authorities in India
for the emperor.For forty-five years the Jesuits were the only missionaries in Asia, but the
Franciscans also began proselytising in Asia as well. Christian missionaries were later forced into
exile, along with their assistants. Some were able to stay behind, however Christianity
was then kept underground so as to not be persecuted.The Japanese people were not easily
converted; many of the people were already Buddhist or Shinto. Francis tried to combat the disposition of
some of the Japanese that a God who had created everything, including evil, could not be good. The concept of Hell was also a struggle; the
Japanese were bothered by the idea of their ancestors living in Hell. Despite Francis’s different religion, he felt
that they were good people, much like Europeans, and could be converted.Xavier was welcomed
by the Shingon monks since he used the word Dainichi for the Christian God; attempting
to adapt the concept to local traditions. As Xavier learned more about the religious
nuances of the word, he changed to Deusu from the Latin and Portuguese Deus. The monks later realised that Xavier was preaching
a rival religion and grew more aggressive towards his attempts at conversion. With the passage of time, his sojourn in Japan
could be considered somewhat fruitful as attested by congregations established in Hirado, Yamaguchi,
and Bungo. Xavier worked for more than two years in Japan
and saw his successor-Jesuits established. He then decided to return to India. Historians debate the exact path he returned
by, but from evidence attributed to the captain of his ship, he may have travelled through
Tanegeshima and Minato, and avoided Kagoshima because of the hostility of the daimyo. During his trip, a tempest forced him to stop
on an island near Guangzhou, China, where he met Diogo Pereira, a rich merchant and
an old friend from Cochin. Pereira showed him a letter from Portuguese
prisoners in Guangzhou, asking for a Portuguese ambassador to speak to the Chinese Emperor
on their behalf. Later during the voyage, he stopped at Malacca
on 27 December 1551, and was back in Goa by January 1552. On 17 April he set sail with Diogo Pereira
on the Santa Cruz for China. He planned to introduce himself as Apostolic
Nuncio and Pereira as ambassador of the King of Portugal. But then he realized that he had forgotten
his testimonial letters as an Apostolic Nuncio. Back in Malacca, he was confronted by the
capitão Álvaro de Ataíde da Gama who now had total control over the harbour. The capitão refused to recognize his title
of Nuncio, asked Pereira to resign from his title of ambassador, named a new crew for
the ship, and demanded the gifts for the Chinese Emperor be left in Malacca. In late August 1552, the Santa Cruz reached
the Chinese island of Shangchuan, 14 km away from the southern coast of mainland China,
near Taishan, Guangdong, 200 km south-west of what later became Hong Kong. At this time, he was accompanied only by a
Jesuit student, Álvaro Ferreira, a Chinese man called António, and a Malabar servant
called Christopher. Around mid-November he sent a letter saying
that a man had agreed to take him to the mainland in exchange for a large sum of money. Having sent back Álvaro Ferreira, he remained
alone with António. He died from a fever at Shangchuan, Taishan,
China, on 3 December 1552, while he was waiting for a boat that would take him to mainland
China.==Burials and relics==Xavier was first buried on a beach at Shangchuan
Island, Taishan, Guangdong. His incorrupt body was taken from the island
in February 1553 and was temporarily buried in St. Paul’s church in Portuguese Malacca
on 22 March 1553. An open grave in the church now marks the
place of Xavier’s burial. Pereira came back from Goa, removed the corpse
shortly after 15 April 1553, and moved it to his house. On 11 December 1553, Xavier’s body was shipped
to Goa. The body is now in the Basilica of Bom Jesus
in Goa, where it was placed in a glass container encased in a silver casket on 2 December 1637. This casket, constructed by Goan silversmiths
between 1636 and 1637, was an exemplary blend of Italian and Indian aesthetic sensibilities. There are 32 silver plates on all the four
sides of the casket depicting different episodes from the life of the Saint: Francis lies on the ground with his arms and
legs tied, but the cords break miraculously. Francis kisses the ulcer of a patient in a
Venetian hospital. He is visited by Saint Jerome as he lies ailing
in the hospital of Vicenza. A vision about his future apostolate. A vision about his sister’s prophecy about
his fate. He saves the secretary of the Portuguese Ambassador
while crossing the Alps. He lifts a sick man who dies after receiving
communion but freed from fever. He baptises in Travancore. He resuscitates a boy who died in a well at
Cape Comorin. He cures miraculously a man full of sores. He drives away the Badagas in Travancore. He resuscitates three persons: a man who was
buried at Coulao; a boy about to be buried at Multao; and a child. He takes money from his empty pockets and
gives to a Portuguese at Malyapore. A miraculous cure. A crab restores his crucifix which had fallen
into the sea. He preaches in the island of Moro. He preaches in the sea of Malacca and announces
the victory against the enemies. He converts a Portuguese soldier. He helps the dying Vicar of Malacca. Francis kneels down and on his shoulders there
rests a child whom he restores to health. He goes from Amanguchi to Meaco walking. He cures a dumb and paralytic man in Amanguchi. He cures a deaf Japanese person. He prays in the ship during a storm. He baptises three kings in Cochin. He cures a religious in the college of St.
Paul. Due to the lack of water, he sweetens the
sea water during a voyage. The agony of Francis at Sancian. After his death he is seen by a lady according
to his promise. The body dressed in sacerdotal vestments is
exposed for public veneration. Francis levitates as he distributes communion
in the College of St. Paul. The body is placed in a niche at Chaul with
lighted candles. On the top of this casket there is a cross
with two angels. One is holding a burning heart and the other
a legend which says, “Satis est Domine, satis est.” (It’s enough Lord, it’s enough)The right forearm,
which Xavier used to bless and baptise his converts, was detached by Superior General
Claudio Acquaviva in 1614. It has been displayed since in a silver reliquary
at the main Jesuit church in Rome, Il Gesù.Another of Xavier’s arm bones was brought to Macau
where it was kept in a silver reliquary. The relic was destined for Japan but religious
persecution there persuaded the church to keep it in Macau’s Cathedral of St. Paul. It was subsequently moved to St. Joseph’s
and in 1978 to the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier on Coloane Island. More recently the relic was moved to St. Joseph’s
Church.In 2006, on the 500th anniversary of his birth, the Xavier Tomb Monument and Chapel
on the Shangchuan Island, in ruins after years of neglect under communist rule in China,
was restored with support from the alumni of Wah Yan College, a Jesuit high school in
Hong Kong. From December 2017 to February 2018, Saint
Francis Xavier’s first class relic of his arm toured in various locations in Canada. The faithful, especially students participating
with Catholic Christian Outreach at Rise Up 2017 in Ottawa, venerated the relics. The tour continued to every city where CCO
and/or the Jesuits are present in Canada: Quebec City, St. John’s, Halifax, St. Francis
Xavier University in Antigonish (neither CCO nor the Jesuits are present here), Kingston,
Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and Montreal before returning
to Ottawa. The relic was then returned to Rome with a
Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at the Church of the
Gesu.==Veneration=====Beatification and canonization===
Francis Xavier was beatified by Paul V on 25 October 1619, and was canonized by Gregory
XV on 12 March (12 April) 1622, at the same time as Ignatius Loyola. Pius XI proclaimed him the “Patron of Catholic
Missions”. His feast day is 3 December.===Pilgrimage centres=======Goa====
Saint Francis Xavier’s relics are kept in a silver casket, elevated inside the Bom Jesus
Basilica and are exposed (being brought to ground level) generally every ten years, but
this is discretionary. The sacred relics went on display starting
on 22 November 2014 at the XVII Solemn Exposition. The display closed on 4 January 2015. The previous exposition, the sixteenth, was
held from 21 November 2004 to 2 January 2005. Relics of Saint Francis Xavier are also found
in the Espirito Santo (Holy Spirit) Church, Margão, in Sanv Fransiku Xavierachi Igorz
(Church of St. Francis Xavier), Batpal, Canacona, Goa. and at St. Francis Xavier Chapel, Portais,
Panjim.====Other places====
Other pilgrimage centres include Saint Francis Xavier’s birthplace in Navarra, Church of
Il Gesu, Rome, Malacca (where he was buried for 2 years, before being brought to Goa),
Sancian (Place of death), and more. Saint Francis Xavier is a major venerated
saint in both Sonora and the neighbouring U.S. state of Arizona. In Magdalena de Kino in Sonora, Mexico, in
the Church of Santa María Magdalena, there is reclining statue of San Francisco Xavier
brought by pioneer Jesuit missionary Padre Eusebio Kino in the early 18th century. The statue is said to be miraculous and is
the object of pilgrimage for many of the region. Also Mission San Xavier del Bac is a pilgrimage
site. The mission is an active parish church ministering
to the people of the San Xavier District, Tohono O’odham Nation, and nearby Tucson,
Arizona.===Novena of grace===The Novena of Grace is a popular devotion
to Francis Xavier, typically prayed either on the nine days before 3 December, or on
4 March through 12 March (the anniversary of Pope Gregory XV’s canonisation of Xavier
in 1622). It began with the Italian Jesuit missionary
Marcello Mastrilli. Before he could travel to the Far East, Mastrilli
was gravely injured in a freak accident after a festive celebration dedicated to the Immaculate
Conception in Naples. Delirious and on the verge of death, Mastrilli
saw Xavier, who he later said asked him to choose between travelling or death by holding
the respective symbols, to which Mastrilli answered, “I choose that which God wills.” Upon regaining his health, Mastrilli made
his way via Goa and the Philippines to Satsuma, Japan. The Tokugawa shogunate beheaded the missionary
in October 1637, after undergoing three days of tortures involving the volcanic sulphurous
fumes from Mt. Unzen, known as the Hell mouth or “pit” that had supposedly caused an earlier
missionary to renounce his faith.==Legacy==Saint Francis Xavier is noteworthy for his
missionary work, both as organiser and as pioneer, reputed to have converted more people
than anyone else has done since Saint Paul. Pope Benedict XVI said of both Ignatius of
Loyola and Francis Xavier: “not only their history which was interwoven for many years
from Paris and Rome, but a unique desire — a unique passion, it could be said — moved
and sustained them through different human events: the passion to give to God-Trinity
a glory always greater and to work for the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ to the
peoples who had been ignored.” By consulting with the earlier ancient Christians
of St. Thomas in India, Xavier developed Jesuit missionary methods. His success also spurred many Europeans to
join the order, as well as become missionaries throughout the world. His personal efforts most affected Christians
in India and the East Indies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor). India still has numerous Jesuit missions,
and many more schools. Xavier also worked to propagate Christianity
in China and Japan. However, following the persecutions of Toyotomi
Hideyoshi and the subsequent closing of Japan to foreigners, the Christians of Japan were
forced to go underground to develop an independent Christian culture. Likewise, while Xavier inspired many missionaries
to China, Chinese Christians also were forced underground and developed their own Christian
culture. A small chapel designed by Achille-Antoine
Hermitte was completed in 1869 over Xavier’s death place on Shangchuan Island, Canton. It was damaged and restored several times,
with the most recent restoration in 2006 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his birth. Francis Xavier is the patron saint of his
native Navarre, which celebrates his feast day on 3 December as a government holiday. In addition to Roman Catholic Masses remembering
Xavier on that day (now known as the Day of Navarra), celebrations in the surrounding
weeks honour the region’s cultural heritage. Furthermore, in the 1940s, devoted Catholics
instituted the Javierada, an annual day-long pilgrimage (often on foot) from the capital
at Pamplona to Xavier, where the Jesuits have built a basilica and museum and restored his
family’s castle.===Namesake===As the foremost saint from Navarre and one
of the main Jesuit saints, he is much venerated in Spain and the Hispanic countries where
Francisco Javier or Javier are common male given names. The alternative spelling Xavier is also popular
in the Basque Country, Portugal, Catalonia, Brazil, France, Belgium, and southern Italy. In India, the spelling Xavier is almost always
used, and the name is quite common among Christians, especially in Goa and the southern states
of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. The names Francisco Xavier, António Xavier,
João Xavier, Caetano Xavier, Domingos Xavier et cetera, were very common till quite recently
in Goa. Fransiskus Xaverius is commonly used as a
name for Indonesian Catholics, usually abbreviated as FX. In Austria and Bavaria the name is spelled
as Xaver (pronounced (ˈk͡saːfɐ)) and often used in addition to Francis as Franz-Xaver
(frant͡sˈk͡saːfɐ). Many Catalan men are named for him, often
using the two-name combination Francesc Xavier. In English speaking countries, “Xavier” until
recently was likely to follow “Francis”; in the 2000s, however, “Xavier” by itself has
become more popular than “Francis”, and since 2001 is now one of the hundred most common
male baby names in the U.S.A. Furthermore, the Sevier family name, possibly most famous
in the United States for John Sevier, originated from the name Xavier. Many churches all over the world, often founded
by Jesuits, have been named in honour of Xavier. The many in the United States include the
historic St. Francis Xavier Shrine at Warwick, Maryland, (founded 1720, the school of the
American founding father Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832) – longest living
signer and only Catholic at the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence,
1776), and cousin to the first American-born Bishop John Carroll, Bishop and later Archbishop
of Baltimore, 1790–1815, There are also the American educational teaching order Xaverian
Brothers, the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville, Iowa, and the Mission San Xavier
del Bac in Tucson, Arizona (founded in 1692, and known for its Spanish Colonial architecture).===In art===
Rubens painted St Francis Xavier Raising the Dead for a Jesuit church in Antwerp, in which
he depicted one of St Francis’s many miracles. The Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic,
features a statue of Francis Xavier. In front of Oita Station of Oita City, in
Oita Prefecture, previously known as Bungo Province in Japan, there is one statue of
Francis Xavier. The monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos in
Belém (Lisbon), Portugal, features Francis Xavier image.===Missionary===
Shortly before leaving Xavier had issued a famous instruction to Father Gaspar Barazeuz
who was leaving to go to Ormuz (a kingdom on an island in the Persian Gulf, formerly
attached to the Empire of Persia, now part of Iran), that he should mix with sinners: And if you wish to bring forth much fruit,
both for yourselves and for your neighbours, and to live consoled, converse with sinners,
making them unburden themselves to you. These are the living books by which you are
to study, both for your preaching and for your own consolation. I do not say that you should not on occasion
read written books… to support what you say against vices with authorities from the
Holy Scriptures and examples from the lives of the saints. Modern scholars place the number of people
converted to Christianity by Francis Xavier at around 30,000. And while some of Xavier’s methods have been
since criticised (he forced converts to take Portuguese names and dress in Western clothes,
approved the persecution of the Eastern Church, and used the Goa government as a missionary
tool), he has also earned praise. He insisted that missionaries adapt to many
of the customs, and most certainly the language, of the culture they wish to evangelise. And unlike later missionaries, Xavier supported
an educated native clergy. Though for a time it seemed his work in Japan
was subsequently destroyed by persecution, Protestant missionaries three centuries later
discovered that approximately 100,000 Christians still practised in the Nagasaki area.Francis
Xavier’s work initiated permanent change in eastern Indonesia, and he was known as the
“Apostle of the Indies” where in 1546–1547 he worked in the Maluku Islands among the
people of Ambon, Ternate, and Morotai (or Moro), and laid the foundations for a permanent
mission. After he left the Maluku Islands, others carried
on his work and by the 1560s there were 10,000 Roman Catholics in the area, mostly on Ambon. By the 1590s there were 50,000 to 60,000.===Role in the Goa Inquisition===
Deeply imbued with the theology of the later Augustine, he was fiercely “jealous” of “God’s
greater glory” and deeply suspicious of the “untutored” efforts of man to scale the heights
of the spirit. This world view led him to missionary tactics
that even the Jesuit James Patrick Broderick, though writing an admiring biography, condemns
as Xavier’s “woefully inadequate views about Indian religion and civilization”. It was, however, most common for Catholic
missionaries to have dim hope for the salvation of those who were not baptized, up to the
time of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s The role of Francis Xavier in the Goa
Inquisition is controversial. He had written to King João III of Portugal
in 1546, encouraging him to dispatch the Inquisition to Goa, which he did many years later in 1560. Francis Xavier died in 1552 without living
to see the horrors of the Goa Inquisition, but some historians believe that he was aware
of the Portuguese Inquisition’s brutality. In an interview to an Indian newspaper, historian
Teotónio de Souza stated that Francis Xavier and Simão Rodrigues, another founder-member
of the Society of Jesus, were together in Lisbon before Francis left for India. Both were asked to assist spiritually the
prisoners of the Inquisition and were present at the very first auto-da-fé celebrated in
Portugal in September 1540, at which 23 were absolved and two were condemned to be burnt,
including a French cleric. Hence, he believes that Xavier was aware of
the brutality of the Inquisition.==See also==Catholicism in China
Catholicism in Indonesia Christianity in China
Christianity in Indonesia Goa Inquisition
History of Roman Catholicism in Japan Jesuit China missions
List of Westerners who visited Japan before 1868
Mission San Xavier del Bac — San Xavier District, Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona
Xaverian Brothers — religious order in America Xavier High School (New York City)
Xavier School — Manila, Philippines Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan
de Oro, Philippines St. Francis Xavier University – Antigonish,
Nova Scotia, Canada==Footnotes====References==
This article incorporates material from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion
Attwater, Donald. (1965) A Dictionary of Saints. Penguin Books, Middlesex, England. Reprint: 1981. Brodrick, James (1952). Saint Francis Xavier (1506–1552). London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd. p.
558. Coleridge, Henry James (1872) [1876]. The life and letters of St. Francis Xavier. 1. London: Burns and Oates. Archived from the original on 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2014. De Rosa, Giuseppe (2006). Gesuiti (in Italian). Elledici. p. 148. ISBN 9788801034400. George M. Moraes (1952): St. Francis Xavier,
Apostolic Nuncio (1542-52), Bombay, Konkan Institute of Arts and Science, 35p. Jou, Albert (1984). The Saint on a Mission. Anand Press, Anand, India. Pinch, William R., “The Corpse and Cult of
St. Francis Xavier, 1552–1623”, in Mathew N. Schmalz and Peter Gottschalk ed. Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries,
Appropriations, and Resistances (New York, State University of New York Press, 2011)==External links==
Official website of Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa The Shrine of Saint Francis Xavier
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa The Shrine of Saint Francis Xavier
The Life of St. Francis Xavier The life and letters of St. Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier, Saint, 1506–1552 Coleridge, Henry James, 1822–1893 London: Burns and
Oates, (1872) Saint François Xavier (in French)
Picture of Shangchuan island. The chapel marks the location of his death
The Miracles of St Francis Xavier by John Hardon, SJ
Brief History of Saint Francis Xavier Colonnade Statue St Peter’s Square
Works by or about Francis Xavier at Internet Archive
Works by Francis Xavier at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)

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