The Basilica of Bom Jesus or Borea Jezuchi Bajilika (Portuguese: Basílica do Bom Jesus) is located at Old Goa which was the capital of Goa in the early days of Portuguese rule. The location is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Goa. Construction on the basilica began in 1594 and was completed in 1605. Fr. Alexia de Menezes, the Archbishop of Goa and consecrated the church when it was completed on 15 May 1605. In 1946 it was raised to the status of a minor Basilica. The Basilica contains the body of St. Francis Xavier, a very close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus, the (Jesuits). Francis Xavier died on Sancian Island while en route to continental China on December 2, 1552. The body of Francis Xavier was first taken to Portuguese Malacca and two years later shipped back to Goa. The remains of the saint still attract a huge number of devotees (Christian and non-Christian alike)
from all over the world, especially during the public viewing of his body held once every ten years. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the oldest churches in Goa and in India. The floor is of marble inlaid with precious stones. Apart from the elaborate gilded altars, the interior of the church is simple. The church also holds paintings of scenes taken from the life of St. Francis Xavier. The mausoleum, on the top of which is placed the silver casket with the body of St. Francis Xavier (1696), was the gift of the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.This is the only church in Old Goa not plastered on the outside, the lime plaster having been stripped off by a zealous Portuguese conservationist in 1950.
Apparently his notion was that exposed to the elements, the laterite stone of which the basilica is built would become more durable and thus the building would be strengthened. Despite proof to the contrary, no one has got around to putting the plaster back yet; hence, some of the intricate carving is eroding with the dousing of each successive monsoon.
- Bus stop
- Public restroom
- Railway station
- Smoking allowed