After much discussion, we decided to start our expedition of Goa with the very famous church- basilica of Bom Jesus. The Bom Jesus Basilica is conceivably Goa’s most renowned church and is worthwhile exploration.
We hired a cab and made our way to visit this Portuguese piece of architecture, which is also counted amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and truly enthrall all its guests. It is also the most revered church by Christians all over the world.The foundations of this outstandingly large church were laid on 24 November 1594. The church is called as “Bom Jesus” which means ‘good Jesus’ or ‘infant Jesus’. The façade on its top has three letters “HIS” as these were the first letters of Jesus in Greek.
Though the church is in ruins, it still has that charisma to attract visitors to its premises. One unique thing that we instantly noticed on visiting the Basilica was that it was not plastered on its outside, which provided it with a more appealing rustic look. We captured the pictures of the church standing amid the well maintained and lush gardens.
We then entered the church to witness the Almighty. The interiors of the church were a paradigm of simplicity and elegance. The flooring was done in marble and the altar was magnificently covered with gold. We were, like all others, awed by the simplicity and impressive architectural patterns of the place.
On the side of the altar were the two chapels-sacristy and a choir. The church also holds the tomb and mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, who was one of the benefactor saints of Goa. Devotees from far off places come to view the remains of this honored saint. It was quite surprising that even after a period of 400 years; it is present in a very fine condition. The coffer in which the body is placed is skillfully crafted out of silver. The public display last happened in 2004 and is scheduled to be held every ten years, and fortunately, this was the tenth year and we got the opportunity to witness the display. We also went to the museum that was on the first floor that exhibited the paintings on life of Saint Francis.