St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was a friend of St. Ignatius Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits. He was also the first Jesuit missionary, travelling to India and Japan, among other places in the East Indies. He dreamed of starting a Jesuit mission in China, but he died before the voyage was completed. When he and his followers entered mission territory, they learned the local language and customs and worked toward the education of local clergy to lead these new churches in the future. Some say that Francis Xavier is responsible for more conversions to Christ than anyone since St. Paul. His feast day is December 3.
“They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like — even to India.” — St. Francis Xavier
Questions for Reflection:
What do you think is today’s mission territory? Where is there no one to share the good news? Where might God send you to share his love?