Basilica Of Bom Jesus Goa: Church History, How To Reach, Images
Basilica of Bom Jesus (Good or infant Jesus) is a Roman Catholic church located in old Goa(Former capital of Portuguese India), Goa. The Basilica of Bom Jesus church is famous for its baroque and Portuguese colonial-style architecture.
THIS JESUIT CHURCH IS THE FIRST MINOR BASILICA OF INDIA. IT IS ALSO REGARDED AS ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF PORTUGUESE ORIGIN IN THE WORLD.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus also preserves the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.
Basilica of Bom Jesus History:
St. Francis Xavier has been buried in the church. He died on Sancian island or Shangchuan island when he was going to China. His body was taken to Portuguese Malacca but after two years in 1662, it was brought to Goa. It is said that the saint’s body was still fresh when it was brought to Goa.
People also believe that the body of a saint contains miraculous healing powers. Its construction was initiated in the year 1594 and continued on till the year 1605. After completion of the basilica in 1605 then archbishop Alexio De Menzes declared it sacred.
Both the interiors and exteriors of the church are adorned with architectural and decorative details. The church floor is built with a pure marble base adorned by semi-precious stones.
The church’s Altar is adorned lavishly and is covered with gold. The church’s interior is strikingly charming yet simple with its Corinthian mosaic architectural build style.
The lavish use of ornamentation with a stucco or plaster marble finish gives the church a fine touch. The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa is a stunning place to add to your bucket list along with fine sandy beaches that you will likely visit on your trip to Goa.
Things to see during your visit:
Mausoleum of Saint Francis Xavier
It is a mausoleum of Saint Francis Xavier in the church. A silver casket is on the top mausoleum in which the body of Saint Francis Xavier is kept. Giovanni Battista Foggini was the designer and architect of the mausoleum. It took ten years to complete it. It is constructed on the base of jasper which is red and purple colored and has been adorned with marble.
The Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery:
Bom Jesus Basilica art gallery is one of the largest art galleries in Asia consisting of around 36 paintings. It is constructed in front of a tomb and contains books written by Dom Martin who was a painter in Goa.
It is a two-story building and has lime plaster on the outer walls. Jesuits built the house in the 16th century whose façade was built by black granite. The construction of the house began in 1585 and completed in 1589. The house and the church are linked through a colonnaded arcade.
There is a chapel with twisted columns and floral decorations. The remains of Saint Francis Xavier are kept here. People can see the paintings and carvings in the interior of the chapel which tells about the life of Saint.
Public view sessions:
There is a public view session held in church every ten years where people from around the globe gather to see the vestiges of the saint. It was last held in 2014 and the next session will be in 2024.
Feast of St. Francis Xavier:
Every year on the 3rd of December, the feast of Saint Xavier is celebrated. On this day many pilgrims come to visit the church. A pilgrimage is made to the church nine days before or on the day of the feast is a must. Non-Christians also come to visit the church during this period of time.
Basilica of Bom Jesus Timings:
9:00 am – 6:30 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am – 6:30 pm on Sunday.
The great Basilica of Bom Jesus Goa has no entry fee.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit the Basilica Of Bom Jesus is during winter from November to March when the weather is mild and pleasant. If you don’t want to be overcrowded then you may not visit the church on Sunday.
How to reach Basilica of Bom Jesus Goa:
Old Goad does not have its own railway station but the nearest are Thivim, Madgaon, and Vasco da Gama. Madgaon is 28 km away from Goa while Vasco da Gama is 46 km away. The distance between Thivim and Goa is 60km. All the stations and especially Madgaon is well-connected to many parts of India.
The airport nearest to Goa is located in Dabolim which lies 29 kilometers away from Goa. It is called the Goa International Airport or the Dabolim Airport. There are domestic flights connecting Goa to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Kolkata. There are also international flights available that connect the city of Goa to the Gulf and Arab countries including Oman.
Through road transport. Tourists can catch buses from Pune, Belgaum, Kolhapur, Mangalore, etc. and reach the Kadamba bus stand at Panjim. Tourists can also book taxis and come to Goa.