Goa

All set for Feast of Old Goa

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The Feast of St. Francis Xavier commemorates the death of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa. Fondly called the Goincho Saib or the Lord of Goa, St. Xavier was a Spanish Jesuit missionary who preached Christianity in many parts of Asia. After achieving great success in Goa, St Xavier set sail for China but breathed his last at the Sancian Island, about 10-km from the mainland of China, on December 2, 1552.

Feast of St. Francis Xavier GoaLegend has it that when the body of St. Xavier was transferred to Goa the following year, the body was found as fresh as the day it was buried. When news of this miracle reached the Vatican, the title of ‘Saint’ was conferred on Xavier. His mausoleum was erected in the Basilica of Bom Jesus church and the mortal remains were kept inside in a silver casket.

The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is held on December 3 every year at the Bom Jesus church in Old Goa. One of the most prestigious Christian festivals in Goa, the St. Xavier feast draws a large number of pilgrims from different corners of the world who descend here to participate in the morning mass. On this occasion the locality reverberates with a festive ambience and the local vendors set up stalls selling a wide variety of items.

NP

One Comment

  1. Oral traditions and popular beliefs are full of appreciation for the hardships embraced by Saint Francis Xavier during his sojourn in our part of the world. Weekly observance of virtues like fasting and long hours spent in walking from hamlet to hamlet are still being fondly recalled by the faithful even centuries after the Xavier phenomenon.

    In remote coastal South India along the eastern seafront fasting is still a cherished value among the members of the maritime communities. So too nearer Goa, people across the Western Ghats faithfully pass on the message of fast and abstinence to their younger generations.

    Bigger places or in tiny less known hamlets like Nettur, Katgalli, Desur, Susanhatti, Santibastwad, Machhe, Jamboti, Halkarni, Tivoli, Nandgad, Khanapur, Belgao, Shahapur, Piranwadi, Tilakwadi, Manchapur, Bhusgalli, Sangargalli and in Gunji one still finds traditional admirers and devotees of Saint Francis Xavier’s culture of fasting.

    So too in neighbouring Shiroda, Reddi, Satarda, Kiranpanni, Ajgao, Banda, Bhedshi, Sawantwadi, Harnai, Chiplun and Ratnagiri devotees and discipline lovers continue to draw strength and inspiration from the model of service and fellowship preached and practiced by Saint Francis Xavier.

    For overall fitness, good health and well being, the Saint Francis Xavier methods and techniques remain the hallmark for believer and non believer alike. Year after year pilgrims show plenty of stamina and enthusiasm as they piously cross the Western Ghats and make their way to Old Goa immersed in prayer, recollection and deep spiritual joy.

    1. Dr. Cajetan Coelho on December 5th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

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