Basilica of Bom Jesus, Velha Goa that houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier

e Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa ( Velha Goa )

The term 'Bom Jesus' (meaning 'Good or Holy Jesus') is the name used for the Ecce Homo in the Portuguese colonies,  The construction work on the basilica was started in the year 1594 and it took 1several  years to complete the monument.  Father Alexia de Menezes consecrated the Church in May 1605 which is in the Old Goa - Velha Goa area. It was the erstwhile capital of the Portuguese establishment in the early days of their rule in India.

Goa location map.

Basilica of Bom Jesus   mortal remains St. Francis Xavier  enshrined

The Basilica of Bom Jesus was given the status of a Minor Basilica in the year 1946 and it is the first Minor Basilica of India. The basilica, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Monumentis one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in the country and it represents the  heritage of early Christianity in India. This famous church is being visited by lots of tourists, particularly  westerners, as Goa is a world famous tropical paradise on the west coast of India.

Basilica of Bom Jesus  ornamented entrance to the

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is approximately 183 ft in length, 55 ft in breath and 61 ft in height. Its main altar rises to a height of 54 ft and is 30 ft wide. It has  pristine white marble flooring and  nicely  gilded altars decorated with frescoes and inlay work. The imposing  façade has the letters ‘HIS’ displayed on the top, which are the first three letters of Jesus in Greek. The beautiful ornate pillars with minute details and other embellishments were meticulously made from basaltic rocks (Volcanic rocks available in the Deccan area). It is one among the churches in this region with inspiring and imposing façade.

The main feature is the basilica contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier; a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded by Ignatius Loyola. The casket, in which the body of St. Francis is kept, is made of pure silver. The casket was the gift of the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. 

Relics of St. Francis Xavier at Basilica of Bom Jesus,

 St Francis is considered the patron saint of Goa and the Apostle of the Indies.  It is said the saint's body is still as fresh as the day it was buried. Every ten Every  ten years, the body of Francis Xavier's is displayed at the basilica, on his death anniversary, for public viewing. The last display was held in the year 2004. 

The big Basilica, a famous heritage site  need periodic repairs and restoration as centuries have gone by since its inception. The exterior walls need special attention as they are exposed to changing weather, particularly during the SW monsoon season - June to end of August. It brings in copious rains.