By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics will remember the life and works of Saint Francis Xavier (San Francisco Javier) on Tuesday, December 3, the patron saint of foreign missions and co-founder with Saint Ignatius de Loyola of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order).
On December 1, Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa celebrated a high mass in his honor at 9 a.m. at the St. Francis Xavier Parish in Novaliches, Quezon City. A solemn procession was held at 3 p.m.
Commemorative rites will also be celebrated in Nasugbu, Batangas.
St. Francis was the first Jesuit missionary priest. The Catholic Church considers him to have converted more people to Christianity than anyone since St. Paul.
Born in Pamplona, Spain in the year 1506, he was ordained priest in 1537. He was one of the first seven followers of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He converted thousands to the faith as he preached in several countries including India and Japan. St. Francis died in 1552 and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622.