Location: Old Goa, 10 kilometers from the city of Panjim
Highlights: World Heritage Site, Preserved body of St. Francis
How to Reach: The Bom Jesus church is a very popular tourist
attraction and can be reached from Panaji or any other place nearby by
hiring a taxi, auto, or even a bus.
One of the most popular churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus
truly deserves to be given the status of a World Heritage Site. It is
located in Old Goa which was the capital city during the Portugal rule.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous for the preserved mortal remains of
St. Francis Xavier. He was the member of Society of Jesus and came to
India to spread Christianity with the Portuguese. The Basilica of Bom
Jesus is India's first minor cathedral and is supposed to be the best
example of decorative architecture in India.
The name of the Church, Bom Jesus basically means "Good Jesus"
and is used for Jesus when he was an infant. The Bom Jesus church was
constructed around 1695 and it became an important milestone in the
historical legacy of Christianity. St. Francis Xavier was a member of
the Society of Jesus who preached the enlightening teachings of
Christianity when he came to India along with the Portuguese. While on a
voyage to China from India, he died on the ship on 2nd December, 1552.
It is said that the following year when the body of the saint was being
transferred to Goa as per his wishes, the people were shocked to find
his body fresh as ever. This was claimed to be a miracle and his body
was preserved in an air tight coffin made of glass and placed inside a
silver casket. Every year thousands of devotees visit the Basilica of
Bom Jesus on 2nd December to see the mortal remains of the saint that is
displayed publicly. Now, the practice has been stopped to prevent the
body from deterioration.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the richest churches located in
Goa. The interiors of the church are as beautiful and extravagant as the
exteriors. The floor of the church is made of pure white marble,
decorated with semi-precious stones. The altar of the church is adorned
elaborately and covered with gold. It measures around 54 feet high and
is 30 feet broad. The church's interior is strikingly charming yet
simple and is built in the Mosaic-Corinthian style. The tomb where the
body is kept was carved intricately by Giovanni Battista Foggini, who
was a 17th century sculptor. The walls are decorated with old paintings
of the saint. A trip to Basilica of Bom Jesus is a must when you visit