Basilica of Bom Jesus - Old Goa, Goa

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 Reviews

Old Goa Rd, Near Gandhi Circle, Old Goa, Goa, 403402, India 0832 228 5790

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    The Casket
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    Body of St. Francis Xavier
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  • JessH's Profile Photo

    BOM JESUS BASILICA

    by JessH Updated May 25, 2006

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    This world heritage monument was built in 1695. It contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier; a pupil of the soldier-turned-saint, Ignatius Loyola (the founder of the Order of Jesuits), who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2nd 1552. The church is located in Old Goa, about 10km from the city of Panjim.
    The main altar in the church of Bom Jesus is known for its artistic woodwork in Boroque style. The church itself is a fine example of Jesuit architecture.

    Even though we toured the basilica during daylight hours, it was still quite dark inside, which can make it difficult to take pictures (this probably has a welcome effect on the cash flow at the gift shop, where you can purchase books, small statues, religious items and of course: postcards of the interior of the church). However, I wasn't too bothered by this obvious "tourist-trap" and happily purchased some postcards which were cheap (between 2 - 5 Rupees).

    This church is one of the richest in Goa, with marble flooring, precious stones & grand golden framed paintings. Apart from the elaborate gilded altars, the interior of the church is otherwise quite simple & basic.

    Even if you're not interested in historic sight-seeing, I do recommend dragging yourself away from the beaches for a day & taking a tour around Old Goa.
    We found a super taxi driver who showed us 4 different Hindu temples, 1 Buddhist temple and both the famous churches all in 1 day!

    Inside Bom Jesus Basilica, Goa Main altar in Bom Jesus church, Goa The sacred remains of St Francis Xavier (Goa) Side view of Bom Jesus Basilica, Goa Coffin with St Francis Xavier's remains, Goa
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    Bom Jesus Basilica

    by tere1 Updated Jun 18, 2007

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    Goa's famous and magnificent churches are largely a legacy of Portuguese colonization. Located at Old Goa, 10 kilometres east of Panaji, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument.

    This magnificent edifice stands as a superb example of Baroque architecture in Goa. The church is called "Bom Jesus" meaning 'good Jesus' or 'infant Jesus' to whom it is dedicated.

    The Basilica of Bom Jesus also houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier. St Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa, died on December 2, 1552, while on a sea voyage to China. Honoring his final wishes, his mortal remains were transferred to Goa in 1553. While transferring his remains, the saint's body was discovered to be as fresh as it had been on the day of the burial.

    Opening hours:

    Sunday: 10.00 to 18.30 hrs. Weekdays: 09.00 to 18.30 hrs

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    Old Goa

    by regina.williams Written Oct 20, 2007

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    St Xavier's Chruch. This is most amazing & peaceful chruch in goa. This is very important church in old goa to visit. You can see St Xavier's body placed on the top which is nearly 500 years old.
    If you're going for the first time to st Xavier's Chruch i would like to suggest to take the information from the guide in the chruch. And don't miss to see the Art Gallary .

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    Old Goa: Basilica de Bom Jesus

    by Donna_in_India Updated Aug 11, 2011

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    The Basilica of Bom (the good) Jesus is a World Heritage Site that contains the remains of St. Francis Xavier and is revered by Christians around the world. Built by the Jesuits in 1594, it is a mixture of various architectural styles including Baroque and Corinthian. In 1946 it became the first church in South Asia granted the status of Minor Basilica (by Pope Pius XII).

    The gilded altar and wooden pulpit are quite elaborate but the rest of the interior is very simple. But it is the marble and jasper tomb of St. Francis that draws people from all over the world. Francis Xavier was sent to Goa in 1542 by Dom Joao III, the Portuguese King. Over the next few years he converted 30,000 people. When he died on a voyage off the coast of China in 1552, he was buried on an island. Three months later his body was dug up and showed no signs of decay. His body was prinstine a year later when his body was enshrined in the Basilica. This was delcared a miracle and he was caononized in 1622.

    Every ten years (usually starting in December), an exposition of St. Francis' relics takes place for 10-12 days and draws thousands of pilgrims. The next one is set for 2014.

    Masses in Konkani: 7 a.m. & 8 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. & 9:15 a.m. Sunday.
    No photography allowed during mass.
    Please dress properly.

    Body of St. Francis Xavier
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    The Basilica of Bom Jesus

    by adite Written Jul 12, 2003

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    The holiest of churches is the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa where the remains of St. Francis Xavier are preserved in a silver casket since 1560. Unlike the other churches in Goa, which are all painted white, this church's red laterite material with which it is constructed is clearly visible. The silver casket containing the saint's body was made by Goan craftsmen in 1636 and depicts scenes from the life of the saint. It was once studded with precious stones. The body of the saint, while mostly preserved, even after 450+ years, has nonetheless suffered considerable damage. According to one story, a lady who was so overcome by her devotion bit off one of the toes while praying!She carried it away in her mouth and its is still a prized possession of her family in Lisbon. In the 17th century, a part of the arm was sent to Rome in 1615 where it is kept in the Church of Gesu, and another part of the right hand is kept in Japan since 1619.

    Old Goa's most famous church
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    Basilica of Bom Jesus

    by bpwillet Written Dec 27, 2005

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    Most well known fact about this church is that is houses the remains of St. Francis Xavier, founder of the Jesuit Order and Patron saint of Goa. This is the only church in Old Goa without a plaster finish. Apparently a zealous Portuguese conservationist stripped off the plaster in 1950 believing that the church would be strengthened if exposed to the elements. Despite convincing evidence of the contrary-no one has gotten around to fixing it.

    The cathedral was finished in 1605, just 11 years of building. The front facade has many different architectural styles in its columns and the inscription "IHS". The layout is standard and the reredo's behind the altar quite nice. Just to the right of the altar is the remains of St. Francis Xavier. They bring out the remains for public display about every 10 years. Lately, they have been rethinking this as the minute exposure is beginning to make the remains, which have remained in tact up to now, deterioriate.

    The remains are held in quite an ornate catafalque made of marble, jasper, and silver.
    The House of the Jesuits is next door to the basilica and is the place where the Jesuit missions to the east began.

    Front facade, Basilica of Bom Jesus-Old Goa Central nave, Basilica of Bom Jesus-Old Goa Coffin of St. Francis Xavier-Basilica of Bom Jesus Exterior Basilica of Bom Jesus-Old Goa Exterior of Basilica of Bom Jesus-Old Goa
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    St Francis Xavair

    by Pete.Gibson Written Oct 22, 2005

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    Every ten years st Francis Xavier’s mortal remains are bought down in his silver casket for veneration, I was lucky enough to be in Goa and went and queued up with all the locals for a chance to file past his casket and say a prayer

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    The Incorrupt Body of St. Francis Xavier

    by kenmerk Written Jan 1, 2005

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    Well there are a couple reasons why you may not want to list this tip in the "Must See" Section: (1) If you dont get to Goa to see it by Feb. you will have to wait another 10 years to do so, (2) the lines are so long that you may never get the chance to body (I never even saw the end of the line...), and (3) its not the most pleasant thing to look at... (after seeing bodies floating in the Ganges in Varanas, I myself really wasnt in the right spirits to go and see this....)

    St. Francis Xavier was a Christian missionary who died in China in 1552. His body was then transported to Melaka and later to Goa. For reason deemed a miracle, his body did not decay, which was one of the reasons he was later beautified by the Catholic church.

    The old town of Goa puts the body on display every 10 years for the faithful to witness. (it is usually stored in silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus, also in Old Goa...)

    Feet of St. Francis Xavier...

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    Old Goa - Basilica of Bom Jesus

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 19, 2009

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    This basilica is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world as it contains the tomb and mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, the so-called Apostle of the Indies, who started the Jesuit order in 1534. He arrived in Goa in May 1542 and in 1552 persuaded the viceroy to allow him to plan an embassy to China, a mission that his death cut short. His body was returned to Goa where people declared its preservation to be a miracle. A medical examination was performed in 1556 to establish that the body had not been embalmed. This was carried out by the viceroy's physician who declared that all the internal organs were still intact and that no preservation agents had been used.

    Construction of this church began in 1594 and it was completed in 1605. The church is the only one in Old Goa that is not plastered on the outside as the lime plaster was removed in 1950. The facade has elements of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian design and features the Jesuit emblem 'IHS', which is the abbreviation of the words for Jesus the Saviour in Greek.

    The interior features a statue of St Francis Xavier to the left of the entrance. There is a huge floor to ceiling altar that takes pride of place. It shows St Ignatius Loyola protecting a tiny figure of the Christ child. To the right of this is the main highlight within the church - the tomb of St Francis Xavier. His body was moved here in 1622 and this marble construction was built in the 1680s. It features four bronze plaques depicting scenes from the saint's life and is surmounted by a cross with two angels.

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    Basilica Bom Jesus

    by grets Written Jul 4, 2004

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    Well known as the resting place for the remains of St Francis Xavier, the founder of the Jesuit Order.

    The church was built between 1594 and 1605.

    Many pilgrims (and tourists) come here for a glimpse of St Francis Xavier's body.

    Basilica Bom Jesus
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    Basilica Of BomJesus

    by ChuckG Written Jun 23, 2003

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    Very nice church with lots of wood craft and paintings inside, it's worth the drive.

    Inside the church, you will see the Tomb of St Francis Xavier. I heard so much about him, had no clue he migrated to GOA and was burried there.

    Basilica Of BomJesus

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    Old Goa and the Basilica of Bom Jesus

    by clouds111 Updated Oct 12, 2007

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    Old Goa was said once to rival Lisbon as it was so powerful. What remains now are a number of old churches and grand cathedrals. The Basilica of Bom Jesus was my favourite as it was in it's original form - red brick. Inside you will find the mummified remains of Saint Frances Xavier. It was built in 1695. It contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier; a pupil of the soldier-turned-saint, Ignatius Loyola (the founder of the Order of Jesuits).

    On the way in you will bombarded by sellers trying by locals trying to sell you flowers and candles in order for you to go inside. Don't be fooled, you do not need these to get in, although we bought some anyway for next to nothing.

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    Basilica of Bom Jesus

    by abi_maha Written Feb 2, 2009

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    We visited this as part of a one day tour around Goa, I normally do this touristy thing in every new place I go to in order to make up my mind on which part of the place I like best and then go back to the same for longer durations on my own :)
    This church was built in 1605, and now declared a World Heritage Monument. The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa, who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2,1552. The following year, while transferring his remains to Goa, in accordance with his wishes, it was found that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. This miraculous phenomenon continues to attract the devout of all lands and an Exposition or public viewing of his body every ten years attracts lakhs of pilgrims. During the 450 years of Portuguese rule in Goa, St. Francis Xavier was believed to have afforded protection to the rulers who handed over their symbols of office to the saint during every changeover of the office of Governor General. The Saint had miraculous healing powers, which were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878.

    Some restoration work was happening then inside the church
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    Basilica of Bom Jesus

    by JohnniOmani Written Aug 3, 2007

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    The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world. It contains the tomb and remains of St. Francis Xavier who in the 1500s was given the monumental task of spreading Christianity among the people of the Portuguese colonies in the East. His was famous for his journeys and despite travelling through hardship which included rought seas and disease he managed to do to task at hand which is quite remarkable. The remains of the body are housed in a silver casket which used to be covered in jewels. The church was like a pilgrimage site for me because I attended St. Fx university for four years so it was interesting to hear so much about this person and finally see his tomb and church in person.

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    Old Goa

    by jexelot Written Jan 2, 2005

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    This is the most revered and famous of all the churches in Old Goa. It contains the relics of St. Francis Xavier, Patron saint of Goa, Apostle of the Indies and for most Goans " Goencho Saib ". Its construction was begun on the 24th November 1594 out of the funds bequeathed for the purposes by Dom Jeronimos Mascarenhas and was consecrated by the Archbishop Dom Fr. Aleixo de Menezes, on the 15th of May 1605. In 1946 it became the first church in India to be elevated to the status of a minor basilica.
    The Basilica-Exterior
    The three storey facade facing west that is a combination of Doric, Corinthian and composite style architecture. It is built of black laterite stone and is 78 1/2 feet high and 75 3/5 feet broad. Its facade may be divided into four parts; the lowest containing three elegant portals, the part immediately above having three large windows corresponding to the three portals, the third part above with the three circular windows and the fourth part that forms a quadrangle richly embellished with arabesques. All these portions are adorned with pillars and carvings. The pillars and detail are carved from basalt brought in from Bassein, another Portuguese enclave north of Goa.

    Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

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