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December 3rd - St Francis Xavier

St Francis Xavier
Feast Day: December 3rd 
Born: Xavier, Spain 1506
Died: Shangchuan IslandTaishan, Guangdong 1552
Known For: Missionary
Patron: All Foreign Missions

Born to a noble family, Francis aspired to academics from an early age. He asked and was granted permission to move to Paris where he would attend University. There he would meet two of the most influential people of his life, Ignatius of Loyola and Peter Favre. Ignatius would become what Francis would call "the Father of my soul."

Ignatius wanted to create a society that would become great missionaries and teachers of the faith. He sought the assistance of Peter and Francis. While Peter willingly accepted the proposal, Francis originally turned it down. He liked being a nobleman. He would allow himself to listen to Ignatius and it would be Ignatius who would convert him to his cause. 

Francis went on to become one of the greatest missionaries of the Church. Some even consider him to be the greatest missionary within the Church's 2000 years of existence. He would travel from Lisbon, Spain, to Africa, to India, to Japan, and to China. These are a few of the many places he would go to spread the faith. It was said that he baptized tens of thousands and made a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands while he was still alive. 

One of my favorite stories about his life revolves around the way that he would introduce himself to a town. When he would go, he would travel through the roads ringing a bell. Of course children were the most curious about this. They would come to listen to his stories and see the things that he would do. These children would drag their parents along to listen to this man who literally lived his faith by word and action.