St Francis Xavier Church (GPS: 13.77797, 100.50493: Thai: วัดนักบุญฟรังซีสเซเวียร์ ) is a Roman Catholic church in the Dusit area of Bangkok. It is located along Soi Samsen 11 (aka Soi Mitrakam), behind St Gabriel's School, off Samsen Road.
The St Francis Xavier Church was named after the Catholic priest who made his journey through the Orient in the 16th century. The church itself was built during the reign of King Rama III, in 1834. The king had donated the land for the setting up of a church, to serve the religious needs of Vietnamese refugees who came to settle there following two wars with Siam and religious persecution back home.
The leaders of the St Francis Xavier Church had maintained a close relationship with the monarchy. The French priest Monsignor Pallegoix had taught Latin to the then Prince Mongkut (younger brother to King Rama III), while the prince, then serving his monkhood, taught Pali to the priest. When Prince Mongkut ascended the throne as King Rama IV, he provided land for the church to build a new builting for the St Francis Xavier Church.
How to reach the St Francis Xavier Church
From Samsen Road, take Soi Samsen 11 with St Gabriel's School on your left. Follow the lane to the end and you will see the church in front of you. If you continue down the road, you will arrive at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, an even older church of the same Catholic community.
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