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 travelled 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 incorrupt, and sailed it to Malacca. People in Malacca were in deep mourning at the funeral. On the day of the funeral, the saint, after his life on earth, performed a miracle and stopped a plague that had been causing many deaths every day.
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 rests in the Basilica of Bom-Jesus in Old Goa. He is the patron of the Indies and is called “the apostle of the East”.
The present St. Francis Xavier Church was completed in 1856.