Basilica of Bom Jesus

The Bom Jesus basilica is located in Old Goa – the first Christian colony in the Indias. This basilica in India is announced for an object of the world heritage of UNESCO. The Bom Jesus basilica is known also and as the basilica of saint Francis Xavier, since he lived in Goa and was buried in the basilica.

Althara

Source: By Aviatorjk – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia

In the Bom Jesus basilica are preserved the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier, who was a very close friend of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Francis Xavier passed away on 13 December 1552 on Sanchian island during a journey to China. The remains of the saint still attract enormous number of tourists from all over the world (no matter of their religion), especially during the public exhibition of his body in every ten years (this happened for the last time in 2014).

The Jesuitical basilica Bom Jesus is the first small basilica in India and is considered for one of the best examples for baroque architecture in India.

The construction works as per the church started in 1594. The Bom Jesus basilica was sanctified in May 1605 by the archbishop Dom Fr. Alexio de Menezes. This monument of the world heritage is considered for a reference point in the Christianity.

The Bom Jesus basilica is one of the oldest churches in Goa and India. The church was built in a cross-shaped form, as in its architecture are distinguished Ionian, Dorian, Corinth and mixed styles. The church has at its disposal three elegant entrances, which are crowned with three enormous rectangular windows, followed by three smaller windows and everything passes into a beautifully carved central fronton.

The floor of the basilica is out of marble, encrusted with precious stones. If the complex gold-plated altars are excluded, then the interior of the church is considered for pretty simple. The main altar is gold-plated and is done in baroque style. A big statue of Saint Ignatius of Loyola is put on it, who is one of the fellow-travellers of Francis Xavier.

The look of the gilded statue of Ignatius of Loyola is directed upwards, radiating admiration to Jesus. Besides there distinguishes and the gilded emblem of the Jesuits, embraced in radiating beams. Above the emblem is located the Saint Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit. The altar table is gilded and decorated with the figures of Jesus and his apostles during the Secret dinner.

Besilica of Bom Jesus

Source: By Shruti Dada – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia

In the Bom Jesus basilica are located paintings with scenes from the life of Saint Francis Xavier. The mausoleum, where is located the silver coffin with the body of Sant Francis Xavier is the gift by Cozimo III, the great duke of Tuscany.

The mausoleum of Saint Francis Xavier is designed by the Florentine sculptor from XVII century Govanni Battista Foggini and it took him ten years in order to do it. The coffin, containing the body of the saint, is elaborated completely out of silver and is a magnificent combination of the Italian and Indian art. The sacred remains of the saint are exhibited every ten years on the occasion of the anniversary from the saint’s death. His liturgical holiday is 3 December.

In the Bom Jesus basilica is accommodated an art gallery, which contains the works of art of the surreal artist Dom Martin.

Location