top of page

An analysis and explanation of the symbols in the mural on the front elevation of St. Francis Xavier Church



St. Francis Xavier is best known as a missionary who traveled far in his desire to spread Catholicism.  The elements used in the design pertain to his travels and missionary work.


The Baptismal font in the design symbolizes Holy Baptism, the most important aspect of missionary work. 


The pilgrim’s Staff symbolizes St. Francis’s travels to foreign lands: the East Indies, Japan, China, India, Ceylon, and the Philippine Islands.  His travels are quite remarkable considering the relatively short span of time he spent as a missionary: 1542-1552.


The ship symbolizes the Church and her influence over the world.  The sails bear the Greek Chi Rho monogram, the identification of Christ.


The outline of the islands of Japan symbolizes the ambition and desire of St. Francis Xavier to bring Christianity to the Asian World. 


The lily is the symbol of celibacy. 


Courtesy of Mr. Leo Schodorf



bottom of page