About Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier was one of the co-founders of the Society of Jesus; he is the patron saint for missionaries. He was encouraged by his close friend, Ignatius of Loyola, to commit his life to spreading the Gospel message and to devote his life to the service of others. Read more about Francis Xavier below.
It is in this spirit of Francis Xavier that we enter into this lecture series recognizing the importance of being present, openly listening to the stories of others and learning how to walk in solidarity with our local and global family. These lectures allow us to strengthen our awareness through the shared experience of those working on behalf of the marginalized, not only on the front lines of poverty, but also through the academics of teaching others to do the same.
Stay tuned! New lectures will be announced in the Fall!
More About Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier was born in the Basque region of Spain. He was a member of a noble family, privileged with education. His childhood was disrupted by his father’s death and by political turmoil in his region of Spain. He traveled to Paris to pursue his education, which is where he met Ignatius and six other men who came together to form the Jesuit community.
Ordained in 1534, he spent his first years of vocation in Italy. In 1542, he was assigned to missionary work in Asia, arriving first in Goa, India where he stayed for five years to work alongside the poor and to help reestablish the Christian community that had ties to the early church as far back as St Thomas. He learned the languages of the countries that he traveled to which helped him work together with the poor. His travels took him to Ceylon, Malaysia and Japan; he died before reaching the mainland of China near Canton in 1552. Although his life was shortened by illness, Francis Xavier was able to make a huge impact on the universal church during his ten years of missionary work and life of solidarity with the poor. He is known as the second great evangelizer of the church following St Paul.
St Francis Xavier teaches us that we are called to share the Gospel by being living witnesses of faith to our families, friends, school, and community. Furthermore, his vocation challenges each of us to work for justice on behalf of those who cannot do so themselves.