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Francis Xavier
Thursday , 18 July 2019 , 22:36:12 CDT

Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta (7 April 1506 – 3 December 1552) was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre (now part of Spain) and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits, dedicated at Montmartre in 1534.[1] He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local languages in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. It was a goal of Xavier to one day reach China.

Early life 
Francis Xavier was born in the family castle of Xavier (Xabier, toponymic name whose origin comes from "etxaberri" meaning "new house" in the Basque language) in the Kingdom of Navarre on 7 April 1506 according to a family register. He was born to an aristocratic family of the Kingdom of Navarre, the youngest son of Juan de Jaso, privy counselor to King John III of Navarre (Jean d'Albret), and Doña Maria de Azpilcueta y Aznárez, sole heiress of two noble Navarrese families. He was thus related to the great theologian and philosopher Martín de Azpilcueta. Notwithstanding different interpretations on his first language,[2] no evidence suggests that Xavier's mother tongue was other than Basque, as stated by himself and confirmed by the sociolinguistic environment of the time. 

Missionary work  
Francis devoted much of his life to missions in Asia, after being appointed by King John III of Portugal to take charge as Apostolic Nuncio in Portuguese India, where the king believed that Christian values were eroding among the Portuguese. After successive appeals to the Pope asking for missionaries for the East Indies under the Padroado agreement, John III was enthusiastically advised by Diogo de Gouveia, rector of the Collège Sainte-Barbe, to draw the newly graduated youngsters that would establish the Society of Jesus.[5] Leaving Rome in 1540, Francis took with him a breviary, a catechism and a Latin book (De Instituione bene vivendi) written by the Croatian humanist Marko Marulić that had become popular in the counter-reformation. The breviary and the book by Marulić accompanied Xavier on all of his voyages, and was used as source material for much of his preaching. According to a 1549 letters of F. Balthasar Gago in Goa, it was the only book that Francis read or studied.[6]