Francis Xavier, or Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, was born on 07/04/1506, in a Xavier Castle, situated near Sangüesa in Navarre. With great encouragement from Ignatius of Loyola – his buddy, Xavier dedicated himself to the religious service, and became one of the well-known founders of the Jesuit order. His whole life was nearly spent tending to the missions in areas, like India and Japan. Sadly, he’s 46 years of age when dying on Shangchuan Island of China on 03/12/1552.
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How Did Francis Xavier Form The Jesuit Order?
In 1525, Francis Xavier went to study at the University of Paris. Here, he encountered Ignatius of Loyola – who had experienced the religious conversion whilst recovering from a war wound. At that time, Loyola tried his utmost to convince Xavier to engage him on the same routine of devotion.
Although being still hesitant at first, he was strongly inspired by the typical example from his buddy. On 15/08/1534, in the Montmartre section of Paris, Loyola, Xavier, and 5 others agreed to pledge themselves to the Society of Jesus, or simply called the Jesuits. Apart from vows of poverty and celibacy, they also promised to pay a visit to the Holy Land.
Whereas waiting for departing for the Holy Land in Venice, Italy, Xavier truly worked in a hospital with the aim of helping those who were in need of support. On 24/06/1537, he also became an eminent priest. When a battle between Venice and the Ottoman Empire seemed to make a journey to Jerusalem impossible, instead, he decided to go to Rome where he and others in the society provided their services to the pope.
What To Know About Missionary Work?
Being greatly impressed by the Jesuits, King John III of Portugal required the order for missionaries to set their work in his empire. Although Loyola firstly chose others for the task, Francis Xavier tended to step in once a fellow priest became ill. On 15/03/1540, he left Rome, and arrived in Goa, India, on 06/05/1542. He came to be highly admired in this country, thanks to his ability to live and work with the poor side by side. Looking for more converts, the great man continued his trip, and his stops were comprised of Ceylon, the Banda Islands, the Malay Peninsula, and the Molucca Islands.
On 15/08/1549, he landed at Kagoshima, Japan. When doing his other missions, Xavier adapted to the local mores, and then arranged for the translation of the religious texts. Such the unique steps even aided him in reaching more converts in the year, and a half he seemed to spend in Japan.
It’s Time To Talk About Xavier’s Last Mission And Legacy!
China was his next concentration for the missionary work. He stepped into Sancian (Shangchuan) Island, located near Canton. Unluckily, he’s not able to get access to the mainland since the borders had been closed to the foreigners. Before Francis Xavier might find a way inside the country, illness was likely to incapacitate his ability. He died on the island on 3/12/1552, at the age of 46. After that, his body was taken to Goa.
Although he passed away at a very young age, Xavier had achieved much in his lifetime. In addition to becoming a founding member of the Jesuit order – in 1540, the Society of Jesus was formally recognized by Pope Paul III – he baptized an estimated amount of 30,000 people. In 1619, Francis Xavier was also beatified by Pope Paul V, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. Being known as a reputable and influential missionary priest, he is the patron saint of missionaries at the present time, and we are able to hear his name in any church!
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