St Francis Xavier
A Spanish academic, Francis was converted to the missionary life after his encounter with St Ignatius of Loyola. St Francis Xavier’s life and work are situated in a time of the reform in the Church and a struggle against Protestantism, Europe had started taking up maritime expeditions, and he took the opportunity, taking a voyage to the East.
His missionary travels were a physical, intellectual, and spiritual challenge. The travel conditions were gruesome, the languages and cultures were foreign, living conditions were grim, and local religious communities were hostile. For his efforts in bringing the faith to the Asia, he was declared Patron of the East and Patron of the Propagation of the Faith. He is also Principal Patron of the Archdiocese of Bombay.
While still being open and accepting towards a diverse people, St Francis managed to spiritually hold his own. He stayed connected with Ignatius and his community, which strengthened his spiritual fidelity.
Extraordinary Missionary Month, October 2019