Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, India

Basilica of Bom Jesus is also well known as the Basilica of good Jesus. This church holds the fatal remains of St. Francis Xavier. This is referred to as 'Goencho Sahin' that means 'Lord of Goa'. When it comes to St. Francis Xavier emotions of all the Goan's run high. This church is situated in Old Goa, India and is world famous. This was the first ever church that was raised to the status of minor Basilica in the year 1946. Construction of this church was stated in the year 1594 and completed on 15 May 1605 by Fr. Aleixo De Menezes. This church is dedicated to the infant Jesus and is the most honored among the Goans. St. Francis came to India in the year 1542 and was a member o f the Society of Jesus. He was there in Goa only for four months but he kept on coming to Goa again and again. He visited Goa frequently as Goa was the headquarters of society of Jesuits in the eastern parts of World. He passed away on 3rd December 1552 in China. His body was buried in China itself but later his body was bought back to Goa after 2 years as per his wish. At that time it was then discovered that his body was still intact. First his body was laid in St. Paul's Church and as St, Francis Xavier's church was completed it was shifted there in the year 1662. His body is open for public after every ten years and this event attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world.

This is declared as the world heritage site and is one of the finest examples of Jesuits architecture. The design of this church was similar to St. Paul's church but this church is in ruins now. There is a professed house in the same compound that was built by the Jesuits. This profession is a double storeyed building made up of lime plaster and laterite. This church is facing towards west and is a triple storeyed structure; this stands 78 feet tall and 75 3/5 feet wide. The frontage of this church is a visual pleasure and is magnificent. It has a combination of Doric, Corinthian and ionic styles in their columns. The ground floor of the church has about 3 portals and above them are three corresponding windows. On the second floor there are windows that are circular in shape. The top most part of this frontage which forms quadrangle is carved in basalt. This forms a medallion illustrating the symbol of Society of Jesus.

This is one of the richest churches of Goa; the flooring of this church is made up of marbles and is laid with stones. Within the domicile are the main and huge altar, a belfry, a sacristy and two chapels that are at the either side of the transept. There is a projecting gallery in the 2nd row that is supported by columns; this is meant for dignitaries. To the end of the naval there is a main altar, that is rich with gilded work in gold and this is dedicated to infant Jesus. There is a holy transept on the either side of the main altar and this is dedicated to our lady of hope and St. Michael. All the altars in church are rich in guild work and baroque in style. There is a chapel in the northern part of the transept and this chapel is of Blessed Sacrament. This is the chapel where St. Francis Xavier used to lie in a silver casket that is lavishly decorated with painting and carving. There is a tomb of St. Francis Xavier that is made up of rich marbles of different colors which took about ten years to complete.

Travel route

Airways: There is a domestic airport situated in Goa. This airport is in Dabolim which is about 27 kilometers away from Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Railway station: Nearest railway station is the Margo station in Goa that is about 30 kilometers away from Basilica of Bom Jesus. There are regular trains that are running from here to all the major parts of India.

Road ways: There are state transport and luxury bus services available from Goa to all the major parts of India. There are also local bus and taxi services available from bus station to Basilica of Bom Jesus.