St. Francis Xavier, Missionary & Co-Founder of the Society of Jesus (Feast day – December 3rd)
Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre, he was sent to the University of Paris, met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who founded the Society of Jesus.
He travelled to Goa, India in 1542 with Fr. Paul of Camerino an Italian, and Francis Mansihas, a Portuguese. There he began preaching to the natives and attempted to reform his fellow Europeans, living among the natives and adopting their customs on his travels. During the next decade he converted tens of thousands to Christianity.
Working against great difficulties, language problems ( contrary to legend, he had no proficiency in foreign tongues ), inadequate funds, and lack of cooperation, often actual resistance, from European officials, he left the mark of his missionary zeal and energy on areas which clung to Christianity for centuries.
Pray for us, St. Francis Xavier!