FRANCIS was born in 1506 in Spain of noble parents. He was sent to the College of St. Barbara in Paris and became a teacher. He joined St. Ignatius Loyola and four other men who vowed to work for the conversion of souls. They formed the Society of Jesus.
Before his ordination to the priesthood in Venice, he cared for the sick in a hospital. The King of Portugal wanted six missionaries to preach the Faith in India. One of these was Francis. He journeyed to Goa. There he comforted the sick and walked through the streets ringing a bell, asking the children to come to catechism in the church. Later he preached in public, and soon the whole city was converted. In the south of India he converted thousands of pagans. The burning flame coming forth from his heart is a sign of his burning love for souls. The globe reminds us that he traveled great distances to save them. He is the patron of the foreign missions.
Francis sailed for Japan in 1549. Other missionaries joined him there. He converted many thousands of people. While on a ship going to China, he became very ill with a high fever. The ship stopped at an island, off the coast. He died in an old cabin on December 2, 1552.
O Lord, You won many peoples for Your Church through the preaching of St. Francis. Inspire the faithful today with the same zeal for spreading the Faith, so that everywhere the Church might rejoice in her many children.
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