慶日 / Feast day
1845年，香港開教之初，便於今日秀華坊的山坡建有小堂，命名為聖方濟各堂；且於1864年擴建於今日「進教圍」(St. Francis Yard)。從此，福音便開始廣傳於灣仔。當時，天主教會在灣仔建有孤兒院、聖方濟各醫院、收容所及聖方濟各醫院等。沿着山坡聖方濟各醫院的路，便稱為聖佛蘭士街（St. Francis Street）。
Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
Xavier was born in Navarre, Spain, in 1506. When he was studying in Paris, he met Ignatius Loyola (Iñigo Lopez de Loyola) and became good friends. Four other students also became close friends with Ignatius, who was a spiritual guide and inspired the whole group to go to the Holy Land in 1534. In the chapel of Saint-Denis in Montmartre, they pronounced private vows of poverty, chastity and going to the Holy Land to convert infidels. Xavier was one of the original seven members of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Society of Jesus.
In 1537, Xavier was ordained a priest. In 1541, Xavier started travelling to the Far East. He proclaimed the Gospel in India, China, and Japan, bringing 30 000 souls to Christ.
In January 1552, Xavier was asked to return to Rome to report on the mission. However, he decided that the visit could wait until he had first gone to China. In April 1552 Xavier set out from India and entered the Bay of Canton in September. He landed on Sancian Island which was both a hideout for Chinese smugglers and a base for Portuguese traders. None of the smugglers was willing to risk taking the Jesuit missionary over to China. A few months later, he came down with a fever and fell into a coma. He died on the morning of December 3 and was buried on the island.
He was canonized in 1622 and made patron of the Propagation of the Faith in 1910 and in 1927 was named patron of the missions.
O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier
won many peoples to yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
English text: Daily Roman Missal, 2011