Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus (literally, ‘Good (or Holy) Jesus’)in Old Goa is one of the oldest churches of India. It is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Goa may be known for its beaches and most tourists visit Goa just for beaches but this monument is definitely worth a visit. Built in 1594 and consecrated in May 1605, the monument is maintained well, though partially in ruins the remaining is still in good condition. It got the status of ‘minor basilica’ in 1946.

It was one of the week days when I was there so didn’t find many tourists around. The guide took us around explaining its origin and many little stories associated with the church. Below is a small virtual tour of the interiors of Basilica of Bom Jesus. As you enter to the right is an altar of St. Anthony, the work around it is very rich, the paintings around it are old and faded off.

To the left is this exceedingly well-carved wooden statue of St. Francis Xavier. The fine design on the pillars stunned me and to think it is more than 4 centuries old!

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Here is the final resting place of St. Francis Xavier. He died on 3rd December 1552, on the Chinese island of Shangchuan, at the age of 46. His body was buried in three different countries. Each time the body was exhumed, it was found to be fresh. The sight of the holy body through the glass pane can be scary.

Lonely Planet mentions: The three-tiered structure is constructed of jasper and marble, flanked with stars, and adorned with bronze plaques that depict scenes from the saint’s life. The casket is designed by Italian Jesuit Marcelo Mastrili and constructed by local silversmiths in 1659, whose sides were originally encrusted with precious stones which, over the centuries, have been picked off.

The interiors are otherwise simple; even the ceiling looks quite bare. A projecting gallery, intended for the use of dignitaries on solemn occasions, runs along the two longer sides of the Church.

Our World Tuesday 

Facade of Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa
Donning the Chef's Cap at Spice Studio

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