Francisco Javier was born in 1506 near Pamplona in Navarre. A companion to St. Ignatius whom he met at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris, St. Francis Xavier participated in the foundation of what was to become the Society of Jesus on August 15, 1534, on the hill of Montmartre.
Ordained a priest in Venice, he traveled to Rome to receive the approval of the Church from Pope Paul III.
In 1541, he sailed for Goa where he began baptizing pagans by thousands, then evangelized the Comoros Archipelago, Ceylon, Malacca (Malaysia) then the Moluccas (Indonesia). He was the first priest to set foot in Japan, landing in Kagoshima on August 15, 1549.
A confessor of the Faith, a tireless missionary, the great apostle of the Indies and Japan ended his earthly days on the island of Sanxian on December 3, 1552, as he was preparing to set sail for China. His body lies in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa.
He was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV at the same time as St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Isidore the Farmer and St. Philip Neri.