Francis Xavier: a failure that bore fruit

3 December, the feast of Saint Francis Xavier, the famous companion of Ignatius of Loyola. To Francis’ surprise, as he was getting ready to work as a priest in Rome, Ignatius sent him to Asia. Over there, he will be a tireless missionary in India, Indonesia and Japan.

However, despite all his efforts, he did not achieve his ultimate goal: the evangelisation of China. He was never able to enter into Chinese territory, dying of exhaustion on the island of Shangchuan, only 14 km from the coast of mainland China.

Francis Xavier, a man frustrated by failure? He was so close to his goal! No, he wasn't frustrated. He entrusted himself into the hands of his Master and Lord, he handed over his project... which was in fact God's project. His dream and his efforts bore fruit because China has always remained at the heart of the Jesuits' missionary outlook… from the amazing adventure of Matteo Ricci (circa 1600) to the present day.

Saint Francis Xavier, patron saint of the missions, pray for us and support us in our trials.


Saint Francis Xavier

Francis Xavier (Francisco de Jassu y Javier, 1506-1552), was the first Jesuit missionary...

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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