Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

12:34 pm

The main alter.

Like I mentioned in the post , I am deleting my other blog altogether. Out of the only two entries that I wrote in that blog, this was the last one written in July this year. I'm basically pasting it over here and deleting my other blog.

I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the famed cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa on a Christmas morning. I always thought that "Bom Jesus" meant "baby Jesus" in some language but the guide there told us that "Bom Jesus" means "Good Jesus" and is usually a term used while referring to the Baby Jesus. This beautiful 17th Century cathedral is among the oldest in all of India and is a World Heritage Monument.

Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous all over the world for containing the relics of the body of the famous saint, St. Francis Xavier. It is said that it was St. Xavier's wish to be buried in Goa after his death. He eventually died somewhere far from Goa en route to China and his body was buried in Malacca. However, one year later, as per his wishes, his remains were transported to Goa. Even though I did not see St. Xavier's relics (I heard from someone that it is displayed once every ten years and the year I went was not the year), I did see the beautiful silver casket it was kept in. The casket ha gorgeous carvings an is placed at an angle inside the cathedral where everyone can view it. Below is the picture of the casket.

Since it was Christmas Day, the entire cathedral was decorated. There was an adorable little Baby Jesus statue in front of the main alter and He was wearing this beautiful garland. I couldn't help but smile and say "happy birthday". Throughout the cathedral, I saw beautiful displays of scenes from Bethlehem at the time of Jesus's birth. Here is a picture of two such scene displays and then, the picture of the Baby Jesus statue.

Basilica of Bom Jesus is open all seven days of the week. People can click pictures freely (or at least we were when we went there) as long as you don't hold out or disturb the worshippers. There are candles available for you to light. Outside, there will be a line of tourist guides ready to explain to you the architecture and history of the place in exchange of money. All in all, this is a wonderful place to visit and it leaves you with a smile on your face.

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