ST FRANCIS XAVIER AND HIS 460 YEARS OLD MORTAL REMAINS AT OLD GOA, INDIA
The Bom Jesus Church is located in Goa, India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one and only church in Old Goa, which is not plastered on the outside. The church holds 460 years old mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, who died in 1552. The church is located in Old Goa which was the capital of Portuguese India. Bom Jesus Church is India’s first "minor basilica" and it is one of the best examples of "baroque architecture."
St Fransis Xavior was a Spanish missionary, who born in Navarra on 07th April 1506. On 1525 he enrolled College of Sainte- arbe at Paris and completed his MA on March 1530. He also worked as an instructor in The College of Beauvais. He began missionary works in Portuguese India with the aim of converting Hindus to Christians. After his success in Goa, he extended his missionary works to south India and Sri Lanka, where he converted thousands of Hindus to Christians. He then led his missionary works to Malacca. He continued this success in Malacca too. In 1552 he returned to Goa with a plan to introduce the religion Christianity into China. Unfortunately in the meantime, entrance to china was restricted to foreigners by the King , he persuaded the Portuguese authorities to send an embassy to china, of which he would be a member, to the Chinese emperor.
The embassy departed from Goa to China but unfortunately St Francis Xavier was died in Sancian, Chinese Island on 3rd December 1552. He had high fever and the doctors advised him to rest on the ship board. One of his Chinese friend Antonio de Santa buried his body in a Chinese wooden coffin and covered the body with lime to decompose the flush quickly. It was done at the request of St Francis himself, who desired that his remains should be taken to Goa. They buried him and marked the grave with stones on the head side.
After Two and half months, when the ship was about to sail for Malacca , they opened the grave. It was noticed that the body was fresh as it was buried. They realized this was an extraordinary phenomenon. The ship Sant cruz carried away the coffin to Malacca where thousands of people had gathered to receive the body. The Vikar general examined the body astonished, the cloth that cover the dead body was full of blood. The body was again buried there without coffin. The mortal remains of St Francis Xavier was unearthed and placed in a coffin and took it to Goa on December 1553 and the same reached Goa on On 15th March 1554.
The funeral carried out in the college of St Paul. Later, when the Bom Jesus Church was built, with the residential wing called Casa Professa de Bom Jesus, St Francis Xaviers’ body kept on the third floor of Casa Professa. Catholic church canonized Francis Xavier In 1622, but the news reached Goa in 1623 only. The occasion was solemnized with great pomp. At that time the body of St Francis Xavior was taken to the Bom Jesus Church. A book was also printed in the newly established press presenting a detailed description of the feast. The only extant copy of the book is preserved in Rome
The mortal remains of St Francis Xavier is more than 460 years old and still in non-decomposing state. His body is enshrined in a glass container encased in a silver casket at the Basilica of Bom Jesus or the Church of the Good Jesus at Old Goa.