Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most popular churches located in Goa, the Beach State of India. One of the most revered churches of the world, the basilica is famous for preserving the body of St. Francis Xavier. He was the member of the member of the Society of Jesus and had come to India to propagate Christianity with the Portuguese. The basilica is a popular pilgrimage site in Goa and visited by large number of devotees as well as tourists every year. Explore some interesting and fun facts about Basilica of Bom Jesus.
Interesting & Fun Facts about Basilica of Bom Jesus
- Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is more than 400 years old.
- The basilica is recognized as a World Heritage Site.
- Construction work on the church, which later became a basilica, began in 1594 and it was consecrated on 15th May, 1605 by the Archbishop, Dom Fr. Aleixo de Menezes.
- 'Bom Jesus', literally meaning 'Good or Holy Jesus', is the name used for the infant Jesus.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus is India’s first Minor Basilica and is considered as one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India.
- The design of the basilica was inspired from St. Paul Church, but that church stands in ruins now.
- In 1946, the Basilica of Bom Jesus became the first church in India to be elevated to the status of Minor Basilica.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus contains the body of St. Francis Xavier; a very close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola, with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
- The basilica is one of the oldest churches in Goa. It stands carpeted with marble flooring and inlaid with precious stones.
- The mausoleum, on the top of which is the silver casket that holds the body of St. Francis Xavier (1696), was the gift of the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III, The Grand Duke of Tuscany.
- Though St Francis Xavier died on his voyage to China and was buried there, his body was brought back to Goa after two years, in accordance with his wish. It was then discovered that the body was still intact.
- The body of St Francis Xavier, when brought to Goa, was laid in St. Paul's church. It was after St. Francis Xavier was canonized, in 1662, that the body was shifted to Basilica of Bom Jesus, where it remains till date.
- Public viewing of the body of St. Francis Xavier is held every ten years. This event attracts lakh of pilgrims from around the globe.
- Attached to the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a modern art gallery, the Bom Jesus Church art gallery.
- The basilica also has a rich collection of paintings, related to the life of St. Francis Xavier.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus has been built as per Baroque style, complete with curves and embellishments. Its facade stands adorned with pillars and carvings. The layout is simplistic, inspired by Renaissance style.
- The top most part of the facade of the basilica, forming a quadrangle, is carved in basalt, to give the look of a medallion that illustrates the emblem of Society of Jesus.