Old Goa Church | Feast of St. Francis Xavier | Places to visit in Goa

old goa church
Feast of St. Francis Xavier

Location: Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa. (10 km from Panjim)

Date: 3rd December

Feast of St. Francis Xavier (Goenchya Saibache Fest) is celebrated annually on every 3rd of December. He was canonized as a Saint, and is commonly known as 'Goencho Saib' (Lord of Goa) by the Goans.

The Saint was a great Catholic missionary and was well known for his sermons and miraculously healing people. Today his body is kept at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in a glass container in the silver casket. However the right forearm of the saint was detached and is currently displayed in Rome Italy.

This silver casket was constructed by a Goan Silversmith with perfect blend of Italian and Indian Aesthetics. It also has 32 silver plates on all four sides depicting different episodes in his life. 

One of the astonishing fact about the incorrupt body of the Saint is that, even after around 470 years of his death, his body did not decompose. 
                                                                                                                
However, since now the body has deteriorated it was decided by the church to display it for public viewing only once in every 10 years. Previously it was brought out in the year 2014 for public viewing, so the next date for when the casket will be brought out is in the year 2024.

This feast starts with Novena (special prayers for nine successive days) which starts from 24th November to 2nd December, and is offered in more than 10 languages. Thousands of people from across the world gather for theses Novena and other ceremonies offered.

If you are visiting Goa just before the feast and see people walking by the side of road, now you know where they are heading to.

This celebration continues for about a month and millions of worshipers visit to worship and pray. If you are interested in visiting Goa then this place is a must on your checklist

Also if you are visiting during the feast do not forget to give a visit to the roadside fair. It is a heaven for street shoppers. Many vendors put stalls all around the church. These stalls have almost everything, from clothes to jewellery, from kitchen appliances to sweets and what not, and with modest prices.

Furthermore, the architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus is a sight to see. You can also explore the nearby Church of St. Francis Xavier of Assisi, Se-Cathedral and the Archaeological Museum of Goa. 

Moreover, with coming up of great celebrations like Christmas and New Year, Goa becomes the perfect destination for vacationing in the month of December, with beautiful beaches like Baga Calangute, Miramar, music festivals like Sunburn festival 2019, and many more places to have fun. So do visit.

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