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PronouncedPron.ZAY-vyər English
ig-ZAY-vyər English
GZA-VYE French
shu-VYER European Portuguese
sha-vee-ER Brazilian Portuguese
shə-bee-E Catalan

Meaning & History

Derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria meaning "the new house". This was the surname of the Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552) who was borne in a village of this name. He was a missionary to India, Japan, China, and other areas in East Asia, and he is the patron saint of the Orient and missionaries. His surname has since been adopted as a given name in his honour, chiefly among Catholics.
VariantsXzavier, Zavier, Xavior English Javier Spanish
DiminutiveXavi Catalan
Feminine FormsXavia, Xaviera, Zavia English Javiera Spanish
Other Languages & CulturesXabier, Xabi Basque Saveriu Corsican Xabier Galician Xaver German Saverio Italian Ksawery Polish


The Vision of Francis Xavier by Giovanni Battista GaulliThe Vision of Francis Xavier by Giovanni Battista Gaulli


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Entry updated February 12, 2018