The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church Location: Old Goa, 10 kilometers from the city of Panjim
The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church Highlights: World Heritage Site, Preserved body of St. Francis Xavier
How to Reach The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church: 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 Church 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 Goa.