Francis Xavier, Spanish missionary

Francis Xavier, Spanish missionary

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Francis Xavier (1506-1552), Spanish missionary and saint. Xavier was born to an aristocratic family in Xavier, then in the Kingdom of Navarre. He went to Paris in 1525 to study. He then became a Catholic missionary and with five others founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1534. Xavier travelled extensively on missions in Asia, travelling to Portuguese India, Portuguese Malacca (in present-day Indonesia), and Japan. He died of a fever while attempting to reach China. Xavier, who converted thousands to Christianity, was declared a saint in 1622. Artwork from 'Historia da vida do padre Francisco de Xavier' (1600).

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