St. Francis Xavier was born in the 16th century in modern day Spain. He was a wealthy young man who pursued academic studies. While at school, he met St. Ignatius of Loyola who encouraged Francis to deeper conversion and priesthood. Along with St. Ignatius, St. Francis was one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. 

Originally intending to preach in the Holy Land, the first Jesuits were sent to India to convert the local people and Portuguese immigrants. After much success in India, Francis and the Jesuits made the first known missionary trip to Japan by the Catholic Church. During his time there, Francis had minor successes and was met with much resistance. In the latter half of his life, Francis made multiple journeys between India and Japan, intending to reach China. However, he died at the age of 46 from illness while waiting to be admitted into China. St. Francis baptized more than 30,000 people in his lifetime and is the patron saint of missions.