The feast of Saint St Francis Xavier, popularly known as Goencho Saib, was celebrated on Monday with great pomp, joy and gaiety at old Goa with lakhs of devotes being a part of the feast mass,
Bishop Anil Couto, Archbishop-elect of Delhi was the main celebrant along with Archbishop Goa and Daman Felippe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop Emeritus Raul Gonsalves and Bishop Alwyn Barreto of Sindhudurg and hundreds of other priests
In his homily speech Bishop Anil Couto said “We are in the year of faith which pope Benedict XVI inaugurated on October 11 2012 in rome and which will conclude on November 24 , 2013 this year of faith is a beautiful opportunity for us to renew our personnel relationship with our lord jesus Christ and our fidelity to the teachings of the Christ
The church is called to be a sign of god’s kingdom in this world and we will be such a sign only when we remain faithful to the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ and walk on that path despite the pain and difficulties it entails …
The world in which we are living today calls for courage to live a life contrary to the prevailing materialistic consumerist and hedonistic culture that does not believe in eternal values but considers the gratification of all sensual appetites as the primary and most important value .
Individualism selfishness and greed are the pillars on which this culture is based end justifies the means is the basic slogan by which it sustains itself in the midst of such a situation , Christians are called to live another set of values the values of kingdom of god which Christ or lord has proclaimed …
They are the sure way to eternal life and a witness to the truth of all that Christ has taught , st francis Xavier gladly embraced the path of kingdom of god in all its radicalism and so has become a model of Christian discipleship for all of us as we celebrate the 460th anniversary of his saintly death we are ready to say the same yes to Christ as he did although in our own different contexts let us look deep in to our hearts for the answer for it lies there “
Thanking Bishop Anil Couto for having accepted the invitation to be a part of the feast of St Francis Xavier Arch Bishop Felipe Neri Ferrao in his speech said “We thank Bishop Anil Couto and invoke gods abundance blessings on his future Episcopal ministry as the new archbishop of Delhi and also thanked specially the rector of basilica fr savio baretto who coordinated all the efforts of organizing the novenas and feast with lot of patience and also acknowledged by the help led by volunteers to collect the donations for the the kruis of milagres spiritual renewal project and also thanked the basilica committee for allowing the volunteers to do so and for having offered them the necessary facilities”
Bishop ferrao also said “I wish all those present a truly spiritually joyful and graceful feast of saint francis xaiver and I wish and pray that this year which would end at the end of this liturgical year on 24th November 2013 the year of faith may be for all of us a privilege time of gods grace to experience as a holy fathers says the profound beauty and the perennial newness of our faith in Jesus to celebrate it in more devoutly in the liturgy and to witness with more joyfully more courageously in our day to day life may god bless all of us ..
Also present on the occasion were governor of goa bharat vir wanchoo, minister for fisheries avertano furtado, st andre mla Vishnu surya wagh, fatorda mla vijai sardessai, vasco mla carlos almeida, aldon mla glen ticlo and other’s,
The state government has tightened security, deploying hundreds of police personnel and traffic personnel around old goa so that proper law and and order along with traffic arrangemnts are maintained.
On the feast day mass had started as early as 4 am in the morning followed by 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 with the feast mass at 10.30 am later followed by 12.30 pm in the afternoon and later at 4.15, 5.15 and 6.15 in the evening ….