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Home     Goa Guide     Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

Visitors from India and overseas flock to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, built in 1605, and now declared a World Heritage Monument. The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa, who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2, 1552. The following year, while transferring his remains to Goa, in accordance with his wishes, it was found that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. This miraculous phenomenon continues to attract the devout of all lands and an Exposition or public viewing of his body every ten years attracts lakhs of pilgrims. During the 450 years of Portuguese rule in Goa, St. Francis Xavier was believed to have afforded protection to the rulers who handed over their symbols of office to the saint during every changeover of the office of Governor General. The Saint had miraculous healing powers, which were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878.

Enter the Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa. In the chapel in the right transept, there is a two tier mausoleum of St. Francis Xavier. It was designed in Florence by Giovanni Battista Foggini, and gifted by a devotee of the Saint, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III

On this marble mausoleum is set the silver casket, designed by the Italian Jesuit Marcello Mastrilli and executed by Goan goldsmiths. There within the silver casket, in a crystal urn lie the Relics of the Body of St. Francis Xavier, who died on December 3, 1552.

The Saint affectionately addressed as ?Goencho Saib?, or the Lord of Goa in the local language, is believed to grant the petitions of the devout who pray at his mausoleum. The day of his feast, the 3rd of December, attracts crowds from all over the world.

Visitors from India and overseas flock to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, built in 1605, and now declared a World Heritage Monument. The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa, who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2,1552. The following year, while transferring his remains to Goa, in accordance with his wishes, it was found that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried.

This miraculous phenomenon continues to attract the devout of all lands and an Exposition or public viewing of his body every ten years attracts lakhs of pilgrims. During the 450 years of Portuguese rule in Goa, St. Francis Xavier was believed to have afforded protection to the rulers who handed over their symbols of office to the saint during every changeover of the office of Governor General. The Saint had miraculous healing powers, which were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878.

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