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How did St Francis Xavier go about his journeys?

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  • Saint Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jaso y Azpilicueta (7 April 1506, Javier, Navarre – 3 December 1552, Shangchuan Island, China) was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre (Spain) and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Saint Ignatius Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who dedicated themselves to the service of God at Montmartre in 1534.[1]
  • He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Asian Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local language of the indigenous people in the face of opposition, he had less success.
  • He attempted to use the methods of Matteo de Ricci, a contemporary Jesuit; that is, integration of Christianity into the local culture, along with adaptation of the local culture


  • As the first Jesuit in India, Francis had difficulty procuring success for his missionary trips. Instead of trying to approach Christianity through the traditions of the local religion and creating a nativised church as the Jesuit, Matteo Ricci, did in China, he was eager for change [citation needed]. His successors, such as de Nobili, Ricci, and Beschi, attempted to convert the noblemen first as a means to influence more people, while Francis had initially interacted most with the lower classes (later though, in Japan, Francis changed tack by paying tribute to the Emperor and seeking an audience with him).[6] However Francis' mission was primarily, as ordered by King John III, to restore Christianity among the Portuguese settlers. Many of the Portuguese sailors had had illegitimate relationships with Indian women; Francis struggled to restore moral relations, and catechized many illegitimate children

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