New Exhibi to Mark the 500th Anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier

Visitors can come explore the Lisbon of Saint Francis at a new exhibit at one of the city’s finest museums. In “Saint Francis Xavier – His Life and Times” at the Cordoaria Nacional Museum explore the politics and economy, art, society and religion of the city where missionaries set off bound for all corners of the Portuguese empire of the 1500s.

Lisbon, Portugal – If you’re planning a trip to Portugal in the next coming months, consider visiting the Cordoaria Nacional museum in Lisbon to visit its new exhibit “Saint Francis Xavier – His Life and Times.”

This 300-piece exhibit was created to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552), the “Patron Saint of All Foreign Missions.” Paintings, sculptures, gold-crafted pieces and other materials were compiled from public and private collections throughout Europe to tell the story of the life and times of Saint Francis Xavier.

Visitors can come explore the Lisbon of Saint Francis; the politics and economy, art, society and religion of the city where missionaries set off bound for all corners of the Portuguese empire of the 1500s.

Come witness the hardships of Saint Francis’s life as a missionary member of the Society of Jesus and Papal Legate in the Portuguese Padroado in the East. Learn more about King John III’s unconditional support for Saint Francis, and how his work never failed to respect other cultures and religions.

Saint Francis was born in his family’s Castle of Xavier in the Spanish territory of Navarre in 1506. He attended the school of Saint Barbara in Paris where he met Saint Ignatius Loyola. Leaving Paris, Saint Francis headed for Venice to tend to the sick.

He later received holy orders with Saint Ignatius and was sent to Rome. It was there that they founded the Society of Jesus. Saint Francis was then appointed by King John III of Portugal to evangelize the people of the East Indies. His missionary work took him throughout the Far East and he eventually died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China in December of 1552. Saint Francis was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1619 and canonized with Saint Ignatius by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622.

“Saint Francis Xavier – His Life and Times” will run from February to April 2006 at Cordoaria Nacional. The exhibit is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays and Bank Holidays. Cost is $2 person. Senior Citizens are $1. Admission is free for children under the age of 12, school groups and teachers, members of ICOM, ICOMOS, APOM, and anyone named Francis Xavier. More information available at

The landmark exhibit is sponsored in part by the Portuguese Trade and Tourism Office, a public institute and a distinct legal entity with administrative and financial autonomy and its own assets. The ITP’s activity is exercised under the aegis of the Ministry of the Tourism and its objectives are to direct or indirect support for strengthening, modernization and development of the business structures of the tourism sector and the promotion of the development of infrastructures and investment in the tourism sector, as part of the construction of a strategic partnership between public policy and the initiatives of private economic agents. For more information about Portugal, visit , or call 1-800-Portugal.

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