St. Francis Xavier Church and Convent School, Bangkok, Thailand

St. Francis Xavier Church, Bangkok, Thailand

St. Francis Xavier Church - one of many churches named after Asia's most famous saint

St. Francis Xavier Church, is named after the Spanish priest, missionary, and scholar who traveled and preached extensively in Asia in the 16th century. His ministry took him to Malacca, Macau, Goa, Japan, Borneo, and China. There are churches named after the Spanish saint all across Asia. He's also the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order), to which Pope Francis belongs. In my opinion, Bangkok's St. Francis Xavier Church is one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in the city.

sanctuary interior at St. Francis Xavier Church, Bangkok, Thailand
sanctuary interior at St. Francis Xavier Church, Bangkok, Thailand
The church dates back to 1834 when King Rama III donated land and funds to construct a church for Bangkok's growing Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrant population. In the past, these immigrant communities worshiped at the nearby Church of the Immaculate Conception, the oldest Catholic church in Thailand, but as the centuries went on, the congregation outgrew the small church.

statues of the holy family at catholic church bangkok thailand
The Holy Family
When you step into the sanctuary, the church immediately feels bright, in immediate contrast to the beautiful yet somber Assumption Cathedral. The interior of the church is light and cheerful, with white and gold decorations and a star-studded ceiling above. In place of a crucifix, a statue of the community's patron saint stands behind the altar.

st. francis xavier church bangkok interior altar
In place of a crucifix, a statue of the parish's patron saint stands behind the altar at St. Francis Xavier Church.
The church is attached to a convent school, Joan of Arc School. I visited in October, during the term holiday in Thailand. There were no students there at the time, but the nuns who run the school were still hard at work preparing for the upcoming term.

Like all Catholic churches in Bangkok, St. Francis Xavier is expectantly excited for the upcoming visit by Pope Francis in November 2019. It will be the first time that a Pope has come to Thailand since the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1984!

the ceiling at st. francis xavier church in bangkok, Thailand white with golden stars
the star-studded ceiling of St. Francis Xavier Church

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Getting to St. Fransis Xavier Church

  • The church is located in Bangkok's Dusit District. There are bus lines that go near the church, but the closest BTS station (Victory Monument) is too far to walk. Your best bet is to take a taxi. Alternately, you can take the public boat along the river, alighting at Thewat (Devas) Pier and then walking.
  • 92 Soi Samsen 11, Wachira Phayaban, Dusit District, Bangkok 10300


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