Our Patron

Francis Xavier was born to John and Mary as their last son, in the castle of Xavier, in the Kingdom of Navarre (part of present day Spain), on 7 April 1506. He was a member of a noble family. He never aspired to become a soldier as his male siblings. It took a bitter turn after his father expired and he was in pressure to take control of Navarre. In 1525, Xavier went to study at the University of Paris and won many prizes in Sports and Academics. At Paris, he met Peter Faber and Ignatius (of) Loyola, who had experienced a religious conversion while recovering from a war wound. Ignatius wanted these young and energetic youths to walk with him in the path of sainthood. Xavier was hesitant in the beginning as he eyed his life upon name, fame & wealth. Ignatius then told him a verse from the Bible – “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Xavier contemplated on this seriously and then decided that “worldly desires are minute but eternal happiness is forever”. He opened up his conscience to Ignatius and he was a new-born Christian. This way Ignatius Loyola started the Jesuit Congregation in 1534 with 7 educated men, among whom Xavier was one of them. They all met the Pope at Rome and eventually on June 24 1537, Xavier was ordained as a priest. He became a close associate of Ignatius and together they served the poor, the sick and the needy. The Jesuit brothers would contemplate on a few questions Ignatius had put forward to them –
1. What have I done for Christ?
2. What am I doing for Christ?
3. What can I do for Christ?
This way Xavier would sacrifice himself to be a soldier in the army of Jesus Christ.

At the same time, the King of Portugal, John III was in search of talented and active missionaries within his boundaries, in India and other Northern states and territories to proclaim Christ. Through the Pope, he asked for at least 6 priests from the newly started Jesuit Order of Ignatius. Out of the 10 priests, Ignatius selected 2 of them to be sent to the King – Fr Simon Rodriguez and Fr Nicholas Bobadilla. They were supposed to travel to Lisbon from Rome and then by ships to other Northern areas. On the way to Lisbon, Bobadilla fell sick and Ignatius, without hesitation and further thought, sent Xavier in Bobadilla’s place. Xavier agreed right away and on April 7 1541, he set sail to India with Fr Paul Camerino and Br Francis Mancilla. After 13 months, Xavier reached Goa from Lisbon after a tedious and dangerous voyage landed on 6 May, 1542. He would go through the streets ringing a little bell and inviting the children to hear the word of God. He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of Western India and converting many. He had to face many cruel persecutions from some kings of the country as well. He served as a missionary for 10 years in Goa, Tuticorin, Kochi, Mailapuram and Nagapattinam.

In 1552, he bid his last adieu to Goa and visited Malacca (Malaysia) and reached China in the later part of 1552. He arrived at the small island of Shangchuan, near the coast of China. During his journey, he develops a very high temperature. He is then lowered from the ship and kept on a mound of sand. With a small crucifix in his hand, Xavier has only one prayer – “My God, My All”. This way he breathes his last on December 2 1552. The captain of the ship, George Alvaris orders to bury the body of Xavier in the same place he died. In order to take back the skeletal remains, they bury the body with Limestone for faster decomposition. But, on February17 1553, when the grave was opened, the body was still fresh and lively. They were shocked and astonished, yet they took the body back to Goa in their ship. They kept it in the Church of Mother Mary at Malacca and then to Goa.

Xavier was a true missionary in proclaiming the Word of God and Deeds of Christ. He served for 15 years. Since 450 years, this Holy saint has his non-decomposed body enshrined at Goa. Xavier was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1619, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.

St Francis Xavier
Mass Timings
Monday - Thursday - 6:45 am
Friday - 6:45 am and 5:30 pm
Saturday - 6:45 am and 4:30 pm
Sunday - 7:30 am and 10:00 am