St. Francis Xavier

06 May 2019  Mon

Today on this day in 1542, one of the greatest missionaries, St. Francis Xavier reaches Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese India at the time. He was instrumental in the establishment of Christianity in India, the Malay Archipelago, and Japan.

Francis Xavier was born in the kingdom of Navarre in the royal castle of Xavier, on 7th April 1506. After elementary education in Spain, he joined the University of Paris in 1525, where he spent the next eleven years.

He traveled and preached in many Asian countries, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time. He also considers as the first Christian missionary to venture into Japan, Borneo, the Maluku Islands, and other areas.

Xavier was about to extend his missionary preaching to China when he died on Shangchuan Island. His body was buried in an island near the coast of China and later on, removed to Malacca and finally in 1554 to interred in the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

To honor this great saint, India Postal Department has issued 25 Paise commemorative postage stamp in 1974. The design of the stamp shows the statue of St. Francis Xavier. In the background can be seen the silver casket in which his body is interred.

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