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Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus

The Basilica of Bom Jesus also known as Borea Jezuchi Bajilika is a catholic cathedral and is located in Old Goa, the capital of the state during the Portuguese era. This revered cathedral has also been enlisted in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The church is located in Old Goa, which was the capital of Goa in the early days of Portuguese rule. The literal meaning of the name of the church Bom Jesus is Good or Holy Jesus, which is the used for calling infant Jesus.

The construction of the cathedral started in 1594 and was completed in 1605. The church keeps the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary to India and Japan, in 1541. The learned man came here with the mission of spreading Christianity among the Portuguese in the East.

Standing as one of the richest churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is constructed out of marble in its exterior and is studded with precious stones, wood, gold and frescos which portray the life events of St. Francis Xavier. The basilica is also acknowledged as the finest model of baroque architecture in India. It is almost 150 years, when the body of St. Francis Xavier was brought to Goa, after his death. The patron saint of Goa died on December 2, 1552, while on his sea expedition to China. It was his wish that his mortal remains were brought to Goa, in 1553.

It was only in 1946 that the Basilica of Bom Jesus became the first church of India to be elevated to the status of Minor Basilica. It is believed the while transferring the remains of St. Xavier, the body was as fresh as it had been on the first day after his death. This phenomenal reaction can be seen today as well, which attracts many tourists to pay their homage to the patron saint. The public viewing of the body is done in every ten years. It is also believed that till today even the relics of the saint has mi8raculous powers, which was discovered when in 1878 the Nizam of Hyderabad came for the Exposition of the saint’s body.

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