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St. Francis Xavier


December 3

Francis was born of a noble family at Xavier in the diocese of Pamplona. In Paris, he joined the companions and disciples of St. Ignatius, and in a short time became a shining example of austerity of life and untiring contemplation of divine things. Paul III made him apostolic nuncio to India, and he traveled about through countless provinces, always on foot and often barefoot.

He brought the faith to Japan and six other regions. In India, he converted many hundreds of thousands to Christianity, cleansing many princes and kings in the holy waters of baptism. His humility was so great that, when he wrote to St. Ignatius, his general, he always did so on his knees.

By many and wonderful miracles, the Lord confirmed his zealous work in spreading the Gospel. Finally, on the Chinese island of Sancian, he died on the 2nd of December, rich in merits and worn out with his labors. Gregory XV enrolled him among the Saints, and Pius X appointed him the heavenly patron of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and of its work.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1647-1648.

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Epistle and Gospel for December 3