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 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. As he departed from Lisbon, 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. 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.
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. Francis Xavier was beatified by Pope Paul V on 25 October 1619 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on 12 March 1622.
He is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries since Saint Paul. He has become part and parcel of the Indian state of Goa and his feast on December 3 is celebrated as a state festival. The government of India issued a postal stamp in his honour on December 24, 1974.
India is dotted with educational institutions in honour of this former professor of the University of Paris - the Saint Xavier’s schools, colleges and universities. Saint Francis Xavier has become the most visible icon of education
The Gospels do not hesitate to put us followers of Jesus in a bad light. We, represented by the disciples, can be so dense that we miss something that evil demons know and that even a blind man can see. That is, that Jesus is the presence of the Reign of God among us.