Saint Guido Maria Conforti was born on March 30th, 1865, at Ravadese, in the Diocese of Parma (Italy). While attending elementary school in Parma, Guido Maria Conforti had his first prayer conversations with Christ crucified at the Church of Peace. He used to recall:
“That Crucifix gave me my vocation,” and “it seemed like he told me many things.”
As a young man, he was burning with missionary zeal, just like St. Francis Xavier whom he wanted to imitate. After he became a diocesan priest, at the age of 30 he founded in 1895 a new Society, which he conceived as solely and exclusively missionary: the Society of St. Francis Xavier.
In 1899 he was already sending the first missionaries to evangelize China. His cherished dream was to continue the work left undone by St. Francis Xavier, who died on a small island as he was about to bring the Gospel to China.