Saint, Missionary and co-founder of the Societas Jesu. He was born at the Castillo de Javier near Pamplona. From 1525 on he studied at the Sorbonne where he met Peter Faber and Ignatius de Loyola. Together with four other students they founded the Jesuits in 1534 in a little chapel at Montmartre. He was ordained in 1537 and worked together with Ignatius on the first draft of the Jesuit rules. In 1539 Joao III of Portugal asked Pope Paul III for missionaries for his territories in east-India. Francis was named papal nuncio for Asia and left Lisbon in 1541. In May 1542 he landed in Goa and was initially very successful with his work, but many of the christened Indians soon returned to their old religion. To preserve the purity of the faith he asked the King of Portugal to send the Inquisition to India. He continued his missionary work in Malakka and on the Moluk islands and then went to Japan where he founded the first Christian community. In 1551 he left Japan to preach the gospel in China but as a foreigner he was not permitted to enter the Chinese mainland. He died on the island of Shangchuan and was buried on the beach there. After a 150 years lasting journey his body was buried in Velha Goa in 1554. In 1615 his right arm was brought to Rome. Pope Paul V beatified him in 1619 and Gregory XV canonized him in 1622. He is usually depicted as a Jesuit with a cross in one hand. He is patron saint of India, missionaries and sea travelers.
Bio by: Lutetia