St. Francis Xavier Church Goa
St. Francis Xavier Church Goa
In this land of beautiful churches, the Church of St. Francis Xavier has a prominent place. This place Tisawadi, though situated in a secluded part of Goa, is very much famous for this church. A visit to this place is surely worthwhile because of the opportunity it offers to witness a fine architectural masterpiece.
The devotion for St. Francis Xavier can be found penetrating deep into the state of Goa. The remote taluka of Tisawadi, where the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are kept, stands a testimony to this fact. It is in this land that the famous St. Francis Xavier preached, about 450 years ago.
A solitary road behind the St. Paul’s College leads you to the Church of St. Francis Xavier. The wooden rafters have only one altar, but this hollowed place has more than just visual beauty. It exudes a sanctity that slowly descends straight into the deep recesses of your heart. Here you can experience a kind of serenity which you may not have experienced before.
Apart from its holy relevance, the Church of St. Francis Xavier has intrinsic architectural beauty. The church is built in Dorian style and is adorned with tiled roof. History tells us that the chapel of St Xavier was originally dedicated either to St. Anthony or to St. Jerome.
St. Francis Xavier came to Goa at the request of St. Ignatius Loyola, who was the founder of the Society of Jesus. At the very start, St. Francis preached the neo converts and the uninitiated. When the rainy months were over, he returned to lead the Santa Fe Theology College, which went on to become the famous College of St. Paul.
The Church of St. Francis Xavier was initially in the premises of College of St. Paul and in the later years, it was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier or ‘Goencho Saab’, which means the Lord of Goa. The chapel fell into ruins in 1570 after the outbreak of epidemic and subsequent negligence. The present church was rebuilt in 1884. This is the place which is famous for a miracle – if you look into the well in the premises of this chapel, then you may find a cross and two burning candles!
The Church of St. Francis Xavier is nestled in a remote part of old Goa. This small part of land is on the banks of the beautiful river Mandovi, in Tisawadi taluka. You can take the national highway to get to this church. The church is open from 6 in the morning till 6.30 in the evening.
If you want to visit a beautiful but secluded church in Goa then a visit to The Church of St. Francis Xavier is a must. In the plethora of churches in Goa, this church has its own unique place. A visit to this place fills you with awe at its intrinsic beauty, which is an excellent example of the impact of Portuguese culture in the church architecture of Goa.
Feast of St. Francis Xavier
The body of St Francis Xavier lies in a silver casket in the Church of Bom Jesus in Goa. Ceremonies to honor his death are performed on December 3, the day he was buried.
St Xavier was a great Catholic missionary, who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Asia.alt
Born in Spain on April 7, 1506, he came to India with the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa in 1543, and immediately undertook the task of influencing the Goan people.
He went from street to street with a hired town crier, asking people to attend his meetings and listen to his sermons. Though he did not master the local language, he took the help of Goan scholars and translated the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Ave Maria.
The Healing Power
Pieces of the hand were distributed to various parts of the world, under orders of the Pope. Every ten years until 1994, on the anniversary of his death, St Xavier’s body would be brought out and kept in a glass case, with the feet exposed, for all to see and worship. For the exposition, people from all over India would flock to the church for a glimpse of the saint.
The last exposition was held in 1994. Since the condition of the body had deteriorated visibly, it was decided by the church that the body would not be displayed anymore. There are many stalls selling trinkets and souvenirs in the fair that is held on the occasion.
A wide variety of food and drinks are also available. The pilgrimage turns into a picnic for quite a few families, as they shop in the little lanes decorated with streamers. The ambience of the church site is happy and festive.