Goa church to invite pope for St. Francis’ exposition

April 4, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

It plans to invite him for the 2014 exposition of pioneering Jesuit St. Francis Xavier.

St. Francis Xavier's tombGoa, April 02, 2013: The Goa Catholic Church is planning to invite Pope Francis for the 2014 exposition of pioneering Jesuit St. Francis Xavier.

“The chances of the first Jesuit pontiff arriving in the beach tourism oriented state are healthy,” said Fr. Savio Barretto, rector of the Basilica of Bom Jesus wehre the mortal remains of the saint are kept.

He said that they have received many enquiries to call His Holiness for the event.

“We will be calling him (pope) and request the central government to formally make a request to the Vatican city also,” he said.

The event, which is known as the exposition, is due in November 2014.

“The chances of Pope Francis coming for the exposition look good because he may not even need an invitation to visit the resting place of his fellow Jesuit brother,” the priest said.

St. Francis Xavier, who hailed from Navarra in the Basque region of Spain, heralded Christianity in Goa in the early 1500s.

After his death in 1552 in Shangchuan, China, his body was first ferried to Malacca, which is a city in Malaysia, and later stored in 1553 in the grand Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Believers regard it as a miracle that the body has survived for nearly 500 years, while skeptics have historically argued that the mortal remains of the saint have been embalmed to ensure its survival.

Every year, more than a million believers throng the church complex in Old Goa, located a short distance from here.

Once in a decade, the church arranges for the devotees to see the saint’s remains in a glass-topped silver casket.

Catholics account for nearly 25 percent of the state’s population of 1.4 million.

– oneindia

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.