Basilica of Bom Jesus Church - History
Basilica of Bom Jesus is a big and one of the oldest church in India which was constructed during the Portuguese rule in Goa. Bom Jesus means good Jesus or infant Jesus and the church is dedicated to him. The construction of the church was started in 1594 and ended in 1605. The church was declared as sacred in1605 by Alexio de Menezes.
Saint Francis Xavier
Saint Francis has been buried in the church. He died in Sancian island or Shangchuan island when he was going to China. His body was taken to Portuguese Malacca but after two years it was brought to Goa. It is said that the saint’s body was fresh when it was brought to Goa.
People of all communities can come here to visit the church as it is believed that saint has miraculous power of healing. People are given a chance to see the body of the saint after every 10 years.
Feast of Saint Francis Xavier
Every year on 3rd December, feast of Saint Xavier is celebrated in which many pilgrims come to visit the church. A pilgrimage is made to the church nine days before the feast or on the day of the feast is a must. Non-Christians also come to visit the church during this period.
Alexio de Menezes
Alexio de Menezes was the archbishop of Goa who declared the church as sacred in 1605 after its construction. Alexio lived from 1559 to 1617. He was also the archbishop of Braga in Portugal and also the viceroy of Portugal during the rule of Philippine dynasty in Portugal. He became the archbishop of Goa in 1595 and of Braga in 1612. After his death in 1617, he was buried in Populo Church.