Javier Castle
Saint Francisco Javier
Mayor's greetings

Saint Francisco Javier


Born on 7th April in the Castle of Javier. Francisco Javier was the youngest of five children in the family formed by Juan de Jasso y Atondo, Doctor of Laws from the University of Bologna and president of the Royal Council of Navarra and the noble María Aznárez Azpilcueta. Javier Castle was the stronghold of the Kingdom of Navarre against the lands of Aragon

The troops of King Ferdinand of Castile invaded Navarra. The monarchs of Navarra, John and Catherine of Albret left the territory and settled in Merindad de Ultrapuertos. (a historical division in Navarra). As a result of the war in 1516 the Javier Castle was demolished in 1523 and Javier's older brothers, Michael and John were sentenced to death, (although they were pardoned later) and the family was dispossessed of their goods.

At 19, Javier left to be a student in Paris, studiying in the Santa Barbara college. He graduated in philosophy at the Sorbonne and from 1530, worked as a teacher at school Beauvais.

On 15th August, Ignatius, Javier and others took their religious vows in Montmatre, laying the foundation of the Society of Jesus. A complete inner transformation, driven by his intense friendship with Ignatius of Loyola, led Francisco to change the course of his life and to participate in the founding the Jesuits.

Javier renounced the position as canon in the cathedral of Pamplona and along with his companions, embarked on a voyage to Italy, crossing the Alps. He toured various cities in Italy: Venice, Bologna, Vicenza and Rome.

Francisco Javier arrived in Venice and was ordained a priest. While waiting to board ship as a pilgrim to the Holy Land the journey was made impossible due to the war with the Turks. He spent his time attending to the terminally ill.

Spending his time Preaching to students and helping the needy in the city of Bologna. From there he moved to Rome, where he became active in the formation of the Society of Jesus, and became its first Secretary.

Pope Paul III acceded to the request of the king of Portugal to send Jesuit missionaries to travel to the East Indies. The illness of his companion Bobadilla suddenly changed Javier's plans, who was appointed to the mission and immediately left for Lisbon.

Set sail from Lisbon, the same day he turned 35, on the long journey to the East.

After skirting the African continent, stopping in Mozambique, Malindi and Socotra, he reached Goa in India on 6th May, where he began his apostolic work in the East. In October he began his journey to Cape Comorin. Reaches the Fishery Coast.

Javier arrives at Madras, site of the tomb of the apostle St. Thomas and later undertookthe journey to Malacca, royal city of the Malays and an important Portuguese port.

Javier spent a year and a half traveling the Maluku archipelago and covered various locations of the "Spice Islands" - Amboino, Ternate Islanders Moro- avoiding the dangers and threats and then returning to Malacca, where he remained for six months.

Javier returned to India, visits Ceylon, and stayed several months in Goa, planning his trip to Japan.

Goa: On 15th April, Javier undertook the journey that took him to Japan, following a stopover of one month in Malacca. On 15th August he landed in Kagoshima and began his journey through various regions of Japan, almost unknown in the West, only to Europeans who had heard of Marco Polo, known as Cipango. He was the first Westerner to enter Japanese territory, to deal with his people, wear their clothes, eat their cooking, to discover and admire their customs. Through letters from Francisco, the West received the first news of the existence of this new world.

After traveling Kagosima, Hirado, Kyoto, Yamaguchi and Bungo, Javier came to the Japanese capital Miyako (Kyoto) to request permission to preach to the Emperor. As they refused to receive him, Javier returned to Yamaguchi and was received by the daimyo Ouchi Yoshitaka, who allowed him to teach Christianity. In this way Javier acquired great popularity among the public and became a representative of Western civilization, hitherto unknown in Japan.

Died on the 3rd December. After returning to Malacca and then to India, Javier planned a trip to China, although the entry of foreigners was punishable by death, but he believed that it was the key to the evangelization of the East. On 17th July, after being named Eastern Provincial of the Society of Jesus, he went to Malacca where he has a serious argument with Alvaro de Ataide, senior captain, who prevented him from traveling to China as an envoy of the king of Portugal. After crossing the Straits of Singapore, in late August he reached Sancian Island, where he hoped to have the opportunity to go through the closed doors of China and get to Canton. Whilst waiting, he died suddenly 3rd December 1552.

His body, initially buried on the beach at Sancian was transferred in February 1553 to Malacca, where it rested five months before being brought to Goa, to the church the Bon Jesus, which at that time was equally revered by Christians, Hindus and Muslims. The Catholic Church declared him to be a saint and named him patron of youth and missions. In his homeland, Navarra, he was declared patron of the Kingdom. From there the memory and veneration for Francis Xavier spread across all continents and today remains an unavoidable reference in universal culture.