Church of St. Francis Xavier, Melaka

Church of St. Francis Xavier is a Catholic church in the historic town centre of Melaka, also known as Malacca, facing onto the Malacca River.

Church of St. Francis Xavier in Melaka
Church of St. Francis Xavier in Melaka

The Church of St. Francis Xavier is open to visitors every day from 09:00 to 17:00 and admission is free.

About the Church of St. Francis Xavier


The Church of St. Francis Xavier was constructed between 1849 and 1856 on the site of a much older Portuguese church built in 1553.

Inside the Church of St. Francis Xavier
Inside the Church of St. Francis Xavier

The church is built in a Neo-Gothic style and is believed to have been based on the Montpellier Cathedral of Saint Peter largely because of the similarity in the style of the two towers at the front of the church and the cathedral in Montpellier. The Church of St. Francis Xavier is the largest and grandest church in Melaka, although less well visited than the more centrally located Christ Church.

Transept in the Church of St. Francis Xavier
Transept in the Church of St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier, after whom the church is named, played a very important part in the establishment of Catholic religious belief in Asia. St. Francis Xavier, who lived from 1506 to 1552, was one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits. St. Francis Xavier is best known for his missionary work to Asia. He is credited with being the first Catholic missionary to Japan, Borneo, and the Maluku Islands. He also spend around 9 months in Melaka from 1545 to early 1546. The initial purpose of the Catholic mission to Asia was to remind the first European settlers in Asia, largely former convicts and destitute men from Lisbon conscripted to undertake long and dangerous voyages to the Far East, of the beliefs and practices of Christianity. St. Francis Xavier went beyond that brief by preaching to those who weren’t already converted with moderate levels of success in India and virtually none in Japan. St. Francis Xavier was made into a saint in 1622 and later made the Patron of Missionary work.

Location of the Church of St. Francis Xavier


  • The Church of St. Francis Xavier is located at 12, Jalan Banda Kaba, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.

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