St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary to the East, arrived in Malacca in 1545 and served the sick and the children there. He left shortly afterwards, but came back to the town in 1547, when a military victory was attributed to him. He traveled to many countries and stopped by Malacca whenever he was around the region.
His fame spread far throughout Asia. In 1574, the saint died in a ship before he could reach China, a place that he was anxious to Christianize. People found his body perfectly in-corrupt, and sailed it to Malacca. The body of St. Francis Xavier was later shipped to Goa in India, after parts of the relics were stolen or taken by different people. Today, most of his remains still rest in The Basilica of Bom-Jesus in Old Goa.
Francis Xavier Church, Melaka, Malaysia was built by Father Farvé, in 1856, in honor of St. Francis Xavier. It was at one time the largest church built by the MEP (Paris Foreign Missionary) in the Malay Peninsula. The Resident Councillor of the East India Company in Malacca, in a reply dated 16th April 1849 to Bishop Boucho, made an offer to sell a parcel of land for the expressed condition of buildings of religious and educational purposes. The offer was the site of the ruins of The Dominican Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary and the ramparts of the A Famosa near the Bastion of St. Domingo. The offer was accepted and Fr Favre began the work of building a new church based on a Neo-Gothic Design, believed to be based on the model of The Cathedral Of St. Peter in Montpelier, Southern France.
Finally in 1856, the church was completed for general use and Bishop Boucho blessed the new church on 13th January 1856. The finishing touches to the church were completed in 1859 by Fr Allard. In 1874, the present day presbytery was built. St Francis Xavier’s Church still serves its function as a Catholic church, with regular mass services being held.
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