03-12-2013 : … the feast of saint Francis Xavier was celebrated with great pomp and religious fervor on Tuesday at the basilica of Bom Jesus with The theme: inspired by ‘the faith of St Francis Xavier let us build the body of Christ’.
Saint Francis Xavier was a member of the Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius of Loyola. He is regarded as one of the Catholic church’s greatest missionaries of all times. St. Francis was born in Navarre, on April 7, 1506 and died on Shangchuan Island near the Chinese coast on December 2, 1552. He first landed in Goa on May 6, 1542 during the Portuguese rule, with his work lasting for around 10 years from 1542 to 1552. He is held in reverence by Christians and a large section of Hindu population too.
The main celebrant of the feast mass was Fr. Derrick Fernandes, Archbishop of Karwar. He was accompanied by Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao and several other bishops and priests. The feast and Novenas, which had begun on November 24, focused on elements of faith from the encyclical Lumen Fidei of Pope Francis.
There was a big fair outside the feast venue with traditional sweets and grams which is a tradition at Goan feasts. Many other stalls selling clothes, toys and various eatables have also been erected.
There is also a tradition at the saint’s feast to light candles and offer wax models as part of thanksgiving in acknowledgment of the favors granted by the saint.
After the high mass, people queued up to kiss the mausoleum where the relics of saint Francis Xavier are kept in a silver casket at the basilica of bom Jesus