St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier, priest of the Society of Jesus, confessor and Apostle to the Indies. He is the patron saint of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and of all missionaries. He rested in peace on the day before this. – Roman Martyrology for December 3

St. Francis Xavier was one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus. St. Ignatius Loyola, the leader of the Society, sent him to the far east, where he evangelized with some success for ten years. The painting of his death below uses a number of symbols expressive of his missionary zeal.
Francisco Antonio Vallejo, The Death of St. Francis Xavier, 1764.
See the description page for a commentary.
The painting follows the pattern of two works on the same subject by Carlo Maratti and Giovanni Battista Gaulli in the late 17th century, and the same pattern was also followed in this 20th-century fresco.

Prepared in 2018 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University.




  • Feast day: December 3
  • Lived 1506-52