As a kid, reading about St. Francis Xavier’s incorruptible remains on display at The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, was morbidly fascinating for me. It was one of the ‘attractions’ of Goa for me while growing up and I used to think how it could be possible to go against nature. As an adult, now I know much better about biology, still a visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus was top on my must visit places during my monsoon getaway to Goa. The Basilica of Bom Jesus or Borea Jezuchi Bajilika is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I had to visit it.
It was a cloudy and rather humid Sunday when we visited the Church and it being a active church, had a mass going on. So we waited until the Mass ended, clicking pictures of the exterior facade. The basilica is built in Baroque style and considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in India. The church is located in Old Goa (or Velha Goa), which also has other churches and chapels, counted under the UNESCO world heritage site – Churches and Convents of Goa (though Basílica of Bom Jesus is the main structure).
Once inside, I marveled at the high ceilings, paintings and sculptures of cherubs, Angels and other figures I did not understand fully; all the gold colored plating was a bit too overwhelming!
My friend had given a heads-up on the disappointment I was about to face on ‘viewing’ of St. Francis Xavier remains, but still it was quite disappointing! The casket was placed way high and there was actually nothing much to view from the small glass openings. So in the end, all my morbid fascination came to naught!
Read about my visit to St. Augustine Tower & church ruins in Old Goa
I quickly passed by rest of the displays and went out of the Basilica. I was not very much impressed by the Basilica, maybe because I had different expectations out of it or maybe because I found the smaller chapels in Goa more prettier. However, I do understand every traveler has a different take to a destination, so recommend a visit here. Maybe you will find something my eyes did not!
Timings for Basilica of Bom Jesus – As seen on Goa Tourism Website
Masses are held regularly at the Bom Jesus Basilica, the timings are as follows
Sunday – 8.00am, 9.15am and 6.00pm in Konkani, 10.15am in English
Mon to Sat – 7.00am, 8.00am and 6.00pm
Mass is also held at the chapel of St. Francis Xavier on the 6th of every month at 10.00am. Holy hour is held on the first Friday of every month at 5.00pm followed by Mass.
If you do not want to hear Mass, the Basilica is open to the public for viewing and exploration at the following times,
Mon to Sat – 9.00am to 6.30pm
Sunday – 10.30am to 6.30pm