Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Tomb of St. Francis Xavier

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa Road, Bainguinim, Goa, Indija

Website of the Sanctuary

00 91 832 228 5790

Every day: from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Located in Old Goa, India, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is called “Bom Jesus” meaning ‘good Jesus’ or ‘infant Jesus’ to whom it is dedicated.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in Goa.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

The Tomb of St. Francis Xavier

In Basilica of Bom Jesus Old Goa, the body was kept on the third floor of the residential wing of Bom Jesus Church,Old Goa called Casa Professa de Bom Jesus.

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In 1622, the Catholic Church canonised Francis but the news reached Goa in 1623 and the occasion was solemnized in 1624. At that time the body of St. Francis was taken to the Chapel of St. Francis of Borgia in the Bom Jesus Church and the coffin was in a silver casket.

By 1637 the body of the Saint had been placed in a new silver casket. This casket was made by Goan silversmiths between 1636-37. There are 32 silver plates on all four sides of the casket depicting different episodes from the life of the Saint. In 1659 the silver casket was taken to the chapel opposite to the chapel of St. Francis of Borgia.

In 1698 a magnificent Florentine Mausoleum was erected in Old Goa and the silver casket containing the coffin was placed on top of it. The tomb of St. Francis Xavier has three parts, namely, the altar, the Florentine mausoleum and the silver casket.

St.Francis Xavier

St.Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, on 7th April 1506 was the sixth and last child born to Dr. Joao de Xavier and Maria d’Aspilcueta at Xavier castle, Navarra(now part of Spain).

He was a Roman Catholic missionary who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Asia and was the co-founder of the Society of Jesus.

Francis Xavier was beatified by Pope Paul V on 25th October 1619, and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV on 22nd March 1622.

Pope Pius XI proclaimed him the “Patron of Catholic Missions”. His feast is celebrated on 3rd December.

The body of St Francis Xavier which miraculously defied the laws of nature, of turning into dust, lies till this day in a silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, India. Ceremonies to honor his death are performed on December 3rd, all over the World, the day he was buried.

St. Francis Xavier Missions

Impressed by the Jesuits, King John III of Portugal asked the order for missionaries to travel to Portuguese India, where the king believed that Christian values were eroding among the Portuguese. Though Loyola initially selected others for the task, Xavier stepped in when a fellow priest became ill. He left Rome on 15th March 1540 for Lisbon.

The zealous Francis now appointed by Pope as His Nuncio, for the remote East, embarks for India on 7th April 1541 and arrived in Goa on 6th May 1542.

He visited the Bishop who was highly pleased with Francis’ humility in spite of his being the Pontifical Nuncio. Leaving aside special invitations Francis chose to reside in the Royal Hospital and spent his days nursing the sick and teaching Christian doctrine.

In 1542 Francis was requested to hold the rectorship of the newly established institute named College of St. Paul, for the priestly formation of local candidates. However his heart was longing for the souls who had never a chance to listen to the message of Jesus.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The body of St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier died on 3rd December 1552, on the Chinese island of Shangchuan, at the age of 46.

Before his final resting place in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in 1624, his body was buried in three different countries. Each time the body was exhumed, it was found to be fresh and incorrupt.
St Francis was regarded as a saint during his lifetime, and was canonized in 1662. The body, having resisted extensive decay, is now in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, where it was placed into a silver casket on December 2, 1637. The silver casket is lowered for public viewing only during the public exposition which occurs for a duration of 6 weeks every 10 years, the most recent of which took place in 2004.

For the first time the Body of St. Francis Xavier was exposed for public veneration in the Church of S. Paulo in an open coffin, on March 16, 17 and 18 of 1554 soon after it was brought to Goa. On the fourth day it was buried near the main altar. It was exhumed six years later and never buried again. In 1665 the relics was taken to the present Chapel. Over the years there have been numerous private and public expositions of the scared relics of St. Francis Xavier.

The vestments of the saint, the coffin where is lays, the casket that hold the coffin and the tomb where his relics rest have also undergone changes over the years. Numerous miraculous healings have been recorded and verified on many occasions.

The various expositions have been marked by various events held such as release of stamps in honor of the saint, exhibitions of Sacred Art, Industrial and Agricultural exhibitions. The last exposition was held 10 years ago in 2004 from 21stNovember 2004 to 2nd January 2005 with the theme ” As fellow Pilgrims Nourished by the Eucharist sent to Build Communion “. The exposition of the sacred relics is held every 10 years.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Sunday:

  • 8.00 am
  • 9.15 am (Konkani)
  • 10.15 am (English)
  • 6.00 pm (Konkani)

Weekdays:

  • 7.00 am
  • 8.00 am
  • 6.00 pm

 

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The Basilica of Bom Jesus

Located in Old Goa, India, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The foundation stone was laid on 24th November 1594, and completed on 15th May 1605. It was raised to the status of a minor Basilica in 1946 and is considered to be one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Goa. The church is called “Bom Jesus” meaning ‘good Jesus’ or ‘infant Jesus’ to whom it is dedicated. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in Goa.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

St.Francis Xavier

St.Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, on 7th April 1506 was the sixth and last child born to Dr. Joao de Xavier and Maria d’Aspilcueta at Xavier castle, Navarra(now part of Spain). He was a Roman Catholic missionary who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Asia and was the co-founder of the Society of Jesus. Francis Xavier was beatified by Pope Paul V on 25th October 1619, and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV on 22nd March 1622. Pope Pius XI proclaimed him the “Patron of Catholic Missions”. His feast is celebrated on 3rd December.

The body of St Francis Xavier which miraculously defied the laws of nature, of turning into dust, lies till this day in a silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, India. Ceremonies to honor his death are performed on December 3rd, all over the World, the day he was buried.

St. Francis Xavier Missions

Impressed by the Jesuits, King John III of Portugal asked the order for missionaries to travel to Portuguese India, where the king believed that Christian values were eroding among the Portuguese. Though Loyola initially selected others for the task, Xavier stepped in when a fellow priest became ill. He left Rome on 15th March 1540 for Lisbon. The zealous Francis now appointed by Pope as His Nuncio, for the remote East, embarks for India on 7th April 1541 and arrived in Goa on 6th May 1542.

He visited the Bishop who was highly pleased with Francis’ humility in spite of his being the Pontifical Nuncio. Leaving aside special invitations Francis chose to reside in the Royal Hospital and spent his days nursing the sick and teaching Christian doctrine. In 1542 Francis was requested to hold the rectorship of the newly established institute named College of St. Paul, for the priestly formation of local candidates. However his heart was longing for the souls who had never a chance to listen to the message of Jesus.

Southern India
Xavier soon learned that along the Pearl Fishery Coast on the southern tip of India, there were people called Paravas, many of whom had been baptized ten years before merely to please the Portuguese, who had helped them against the Moors, but remained uninstructed in the faith. Accompanied by several native clerics from the seminary at Goa, Francis went to Cochin, the most important Portuguese province next to Goa and preached the gospel to the Paravas. He organized missionary work in these regions with great zeal. During this time, he was able to visit the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle in Mylapore, (Chennai) then in Portuguese India.

Malacca, Indonesia
In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Malacca. He translated the important articles of faith for the benefit of the local people. Here he met a Japanese called Angero, from whom he obtained much information about Japan. After many visits to the surrounding areas where he had preached Jesus Christ with great success, he returned to Malacca where more missionaries had come at his request.

Japan
In 1548 Francis returned to Goa and started planning his trip to Japan as well as was keenly interested in the formation of the students of College of St. Paul. On August 15th 1549, Xavier landed at Kagoshima, Japan. As he had at his other missions, Xavier adapted to local mores and arranged for the translation of religious texts. But these aroused the ill will of the bonzes, who created difficulties for him. Francis started planning a trip to China. At the same time he was looking after the needs of different missions, sending missionaries from Goa. He left Japan by leaving other priests in-charge of the mission and came back to Goa in 1552.

Sancian
Xavier’s next focus for missionary work was China. In April 1552 traveled to Sancian (Shangchuan) Island, near Canton, but was not able to access the mainland because borders had been closed to foreigners. Before he could find a way inside the country, illness incapacitated Xavier. He died on the island on December 3rd 1552, at the age of 46 where he was alone with two companions.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Posted in Asia & Oceania and India