Who was Francis Xavier?
Due to Covid-19 this year, there will be no congregations of revered saint Francis Xavier. Instead, masses will be telecasted live for the ones willing to attend it virtually. However, worship of the relics will be allowed. Moreover a dress code will be enforced before entering the premises. This decision has been taken by the church authorities.
- Francis Xavier was a 16th century Spanish missionary and priest. He is revered as Goencho Saib (Lord of Goa) in Goa. Every year on December 3 a feast is held, gathering devotees from across the state and beyond.
- Francis Xavier was announced a saint by the Catholic Church in the early 17th
- Regarded as one of the greatest missionaries, Saint Francis Xavier is also known as the “Apostle of the Indies” and “Apostle of Japan”.
- His death anniversary on December 3 is observed as ‘Day of Navarre’ in Navarre, Spain, his birth place.
- He was born on April 7, 1506 and died at the age of 46, in 1552.
- Saint Francis Xavier was previously buried on a beach at Shangchuan Island, on the southern coast of China.
- Later on, his relics were shifted to the Bom Jesus Basilica, Goa.
Relics of Saint Francis Xavier
The holy relics of Francis Xavier are housed in the silver casket. This casket dates back to 1637. It is kept atop of a specifically constructed mausoleum inside the Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa. His right arm, that he used to bless converts, is on display in Rome. The other arm bone is kept on Coloane Island, in Macau, which currently is part of China. The casket has shown some signs of distress, requiring restoration. The church authorities wish to send the casket to Italy, where the restoration work will be done for free. On the other hand, ASI New Delhi plans to restore the casket locally in India at ASI’s Chemical institute in Aurangabad.