During their voyage down the Mississippi River, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, were the first Europeans to set foot on land that would later become Missouri.
Around 1700, the first white settlement in Missouri, Ste. Genevieve, was established by Canadian settlers and Jesuit Missionaries.
Known as the Mission of St. Francis Xavier, they were named for Francis Xavier, a Spanish Jesuit and one of the most prolific missionaries in the history of the Catholic Church. He was made a saint on March 12, 1622.