Saint Francis Xavier was a 16th century Jesuit priest and missionary. He was one of the companions of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, and was one of the first missionaries to bring the Gospel to the non-Christian peoples of Asia.
Xavier was born in 1506 in Navarre, Spain. He studied at the University of Paris and joined the Society of Jesus in 1534. In 1541 he was sent on a mission to Asia by Pope Paul III, with the mission of converting non-Christian peoples to the Catholic faith.
Xavier began his mission in India, where he worked for several years converting Hindus and Muslims. He also traveled to China and Japan, where he also worked to spread the Catholic faith.
Despite the difficulties and dangers he faced, Xavier continued his mission with determination and devotion. He became known as one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the Catholic Church and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.
Saint Francis Xavier is celebrated annually on December 3 and is venerated by many Christians around the world. He is often depicted in religious art, usually wearing missionary garb and preaching the gospel to non-Christian peoples.