Saint Francis Xavier (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Francis, who suffered many physical and mental hardships in order to bring the Christian message to countries of the Far East, was one of the first seven members of the Roman Catholic Church’s Jesuit Order as well as its most successful missionary.
The youngest of a family of several children, Francis Xavier was born to a prosperous nobleman, Don Juan de Jasso of Navarre, and a mother whose connection with the Xavier family brought property into her marriage. Francis’ parents focused on his education early in his life, and, since they determined he had a real love for learning, he was allowed to go to the College of Saint Barbara at the University of Paris, where, in 1530, he received a master of arts degree. After being graduated, Francis taught Aristotelian philosophy at the same institution. Francis was known to be a generous, helpful, and stirring lecturer, having a thorough knowledge of his subject. Yet it was his sense of adventure, combined with a serious, searching, and scholarly nature, that drew students to him and made him ready to embark on daring journeys to little-known or unknown lands.
It was Ignatius Loyola (Later Saint Ignatius of Loyola), a fellow student of Francis at the University of Paris, who helped Francis find his calling—that of Christian missionary work. For three years, Ignatius prodded Francis to dedicate his life to God rather than to the vain...
(The entire section is 2284 words.)
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