Church of St. Francis Xavier


Church of St. Francis Xavier, Old Goa, India

Introduction:

Church Of St. Francis Xavier is located in a secluded region of Goa, India. This is the most famous and most visited place of Goa. This church is dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier. This is located on the bank of the river Mondovi. This chapel was built in the year 1545. There was an eruption of epidemic and due to this, consequently people had to vacate the college of St. Paul. After this the chapel had fallen into ruins, the new church was rebuilt in the year 1884.

The chapel was designed in the Dorian style of architecture in its own unique piece of construction. Saint Francis Xavier was a patron saint of Goa. People used to call him as 'Lord of God'. He died in the year 1552 on his way to China. His body was brought back to Goa in the year 1554 and is preserved in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The sacred relic of his is housed in a silver casket in the Bom Jesus cathedral. The mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier are brought to public after every ten years and this can be seen through a glass in the chapel.

Saint Francis Xavier was born in the year 1506 on 7th April; he was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary, in the kingdom of Navarre in Spain. Saint Francis Xavier was a student of Saint Ignatius Loyola and he was the one out the seven Jesuits who had dedicated their entire life in the services of God at Montmartre in the year 1534. He was considered as the person who had spread and maintained the values of Catholicism in most notably in India.

He began his work of missionary in Portuguese in the year 1542. He gained great success in the state of Goa for a period of five months. After this he further proceeded to south India and even Sri Lanka, there he converted thousands of people to accept Christianity as the religion hence forth. In the year 1552 he was about to return to Goa with a proper plan to introduce his missionary and values of Christianity in China. Finally on his way to Goa he died on December 3rd in 1522. He was buried in Shang Chuan Island on one of the beaches. From there in the year 1553 his body was taken to St. Paul's Church in Malacca and finally from there it was shipped to Goa on 11th December 1553. This body of Saint Francis Xavier is still preserved here for more than 400 years that also in a non-decomposing state. He is honored as one the greatest missionaries of all time till date. In his honor, Saint Francis was declared as the patron of Orient in the year 1748, patron of all missionary in 1927, Patron of Faith in the year 1904. He was also declared as the patron of sailors.

Feast and Festival:

3rd December is considered as the greatest day of celebration in the history of Christians, as this is celebrated as the death anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier. There is a celebration in old Goa on this auspicious day. There is a very grand celebration and there are thousands of people who come to seek the blessing of Saint Francis Xavier. This chapel is decorated with lights and flowers all over. People of all religions visit this chapel breaking the man made barriers of caste, creed and religion. Besides the feast that is celebrated here, Easter and Christmas are also celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. After every ten years his body is open for the public to have a look and seek his blessing. Even on these days the cathedral is decorated with flowers and lighting. People light candles and pray for good health of their near and dears ones.

Travel Route:

Airport: Nearest airport is the Dabolim airport which is at a distance of about 29 kilometers away from Church Of St. Francis Xavier. There are regular flights from here to all the major cities of India. There are international as well as domestic airports in Goa.

Railways: Nearest railway stations are the Vasco da Gama and the Margo station, these stations are at a distance of about 30 kilometers away from church of St. Francis Xavier. There are regular trains that are operated from here to all the major cities of India. These railways stations are well connected with Konkan Rail lines.

Road ways: There are state transports and luxury bus services that are available from here to all the major cities of India. There are even local bus and taxi services available from bus station to Church of St. Francis Xavier. There are many other transportation facilities available in Goa.