A commemorative postage stamp on ‘Apostle to the Far East‘ Saint Francis Xavier, a Navarrese Roman Catholic missionary and a co-founder of Society of Jesus :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 24, 1974
Issued for : The body of St. Francis Xavier was then exposed for public veneration since November 23, 1974 to January 5, 1975. The Posts and Telegraphs Department deem it their privilege to issue a commemorative stamp during this period in honour of this great Saint.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp shows the image of St. Francis Xavier. In the background can be seen the silver casket in which his body is interred. The colour transparency on the basis of which the design has been prepared is received by courtesy of the Taj Group of Hotels. The first day cover design shows a view of See Cathedral.
Type : Block of 4 Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 25 Paise
Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms.
Printing Size : 3.36 X 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 40,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta
Born on Apr 7, 1506 at Javier, Kingdom of Navarre [now in Spain]
Died on Dec 3, 1552 at Shangchuan Island, Chuanshan Archipelago, Taishan, China
- St. Francis Xavier was born in Navarre in Spain in the castle of Xavier on 7th April, 1506. After elementary education in Spain, he joined the College of St. Barbara in Paris and took M.A. Degree in 1530. He was appointed teacher in the same college to teach Aristotelian philosophy. He was however moved by the words of Christ: “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose the salvation of his soul ?“, quoted to him repeatedly by a companion of his, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. He, therefore, left the chair of Lecturer in Paris University and followed St. Ignatius.
- He came over to India in May 1542 at the instance of the King of Portugal and preached the Gospel of Christ for ten years. His fields of work were Goa, the coromandel coast and the west coast upto Cape Comorin. Living a life of strict austerity he set about serving the poor. He prayed much and set the example of Christ before all.
- St. Francis is acclaimed the second Apostle of India as he followed the footsteps of St. Thomas. St. Francis Xavier through his strenuous efforts revived the Gospel message. He spent himself to share his faith and conviction with the people of India who from time immemorial had been manifesting a deep appreciation for spiritual values. In 1545 he sailed to Malacca and therefrom to Japan in 1549. From Japan he went to China in 1552 and it was during this journey that he breathed his last in early December 1552. His body was buried in an island near the coast of China and later on removed to Malacca and finally in 1554 to Goa where it was interred in the Basilica of Bom Jesus.