Basilica of Bom Jesus Bainguinim



Address : Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim

City/District : Bainguinim

State : Goa

Introduction

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Goa, India, and is part of the Churches and convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basilica is located in Old Goa, former capital of Portuguese India, and holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.

Details

Construction work on the church began in 1594. The church was consecrated in May 1605 by the archbishop, Dom Fr. Aleixo de Menezes. This world heritage monument has emerged as a landmark in the history of Christianity. It contains the body of St. Francis Xavier, a very close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Francis Xavier died on Sancian Island, Chuandao , Taishan while en route to continental China on (3 December 1552).

The body of Francis Xavier was first taken to Portuguese Malacca and two years later shipped back to Goa. It is said that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. The remains of the saint still attract a huge number of tourists (Christian and non-Christian alike) from all over the world, especially during the public viewing of his body every ten years (last held in 2014). The saint is said to have miraculous powers of healing.

This is one of the oldest churches in Goa and in India. The floor is of marble inlaid with precious stones. Apart from the elaborate gilded altars, the interior of the church is simple. The main altar holds a large statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and one of Francis Xavier's companions whose words drew him to a reformed life. "What does it profit a man," Ignatius had asked Francis, "if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?"

The Baroque style main altar is gilded and bears the statue of Ignatius of Loyola standing between Solomonic pillars above which is the name of Jesus in the IHS monogram and the Holy Trinity.

The image shows the location in the church where the sacred body of St. Francis Xavier is preserved wtihout any chemical formulas. It is brought down once in every 4 years.

Upon entering, we can witness beautiful woodwork and carvings which adds further attraction to the history of the location.