Consider the following statements:
- Francis Xavier was one of the founding members of the Jesuit Order.
- Francis Xavier died in Goa and a church is dedicated to him there.
- The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated in Goa each year.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Francis Xavier, a patron saint of missionaries and one of the founders of the Jesuit order, was born on April 7, 1506 in Xavier Castle, located near Sanguesa, in the kingdom of Navarre (part of present-day Spain). Hence, Statement 1 is correct.
- He arrived in Goa, India on May 6, 1542 and over the next 12 years led a series of overseas missions in the Portuguese Empire, including Mozambique, Malacca, and notably Goa.
- He was the first Christian missionary to travel to Japan and on to Borneo and the Moluccan Islands.
- Statement 2 is incorrect as Francis Xavier died of fever on the island of Sancian (Shangchuan, off the Chinese coast) on December 3, 1552.
- Statement 3 is correct as the Feast of St. Francis Xavier is indeed observed on December 3rd annually in Goa, and it is a regional public holiday in both the northern Spanish community of Navarra and the Indian state of Goa.
Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.