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Feast Of St Francis Xavier

Event Date: December


The Feast of St.Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa is celebrated on 03rd December.

Francis Xavier left Lisbon with a brief from the Pope appointing him as the nuncio to the East. He arrived in Goa, the former Portuguese colony on 6 May 1542, thirteen months after leaving Lisbon.

Goa then had churches, clergy and a bishop. But there were few preachers and no priests. Xavier started his mission by teaching the Portuguese themselves and devoted a lot of time teaching children and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. 

He was invited to head the St Paul’s College, a pioneering seminary of education of secular priests that became the first Jesuit headquarters in Asia.

The relics of Saint Francis Xavier are kept at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in a silver casket and the exposition is held every 10 years. They were placed here on 2 December 1637 and have remained here since. The feast celebrated on 3 December, attracts thousands of devotees who make the pilgrimage to Old Goa. The nine-day novena is attended in large numbers. The adjoining fair is also popular.