This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3 -- St. Francis Xavier

Nothing to be snarky about with this saint. A founding member of the Jesuits, whose mission was to bring intelligence and reason to the debate between Catholics and Protestants, FX traveled the world, preaching, teaching, and offering pastoral care. To quote a source (

Tremendously successful missionary for ten years in India, the East Indies, and Japan, baptizing converts. His epic finds him dining with head hunters, washing the sores of lepers in Venice, teaching catechism to Indian children, baptizing 10,000 in a single month. He tolerated the most appalling conditions on long sea voyages, enduring extremes of heat and cold. Wherever he went he would seek out and help the poor and forgotten. He traveled thousands of miles, most on his bare feet, and he saw the greater part of the Far East.

Some readers concerned about privilege, power, and imperialism may be encouraged to know that he busted the chops of his patron, King John of Portugal, over the slave trade: “You have no right to spread the Catholic faith while you take away all the country’s riches. It upsets me to know that at the hour of your death you may be ordered out of paradise.”

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