People of all faiths visit feast held in honour of Saint Francis Xavier

Updated:4 months, 2 weeks ago IST

Goa, Dec 11 (ANI): As early as four in the morning, devotees from across the country converged at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which houses St. Xavier's body, in Old Goa. Theses devotees cutting across religious line came to attend the feast, held every year in the honour of Saint Francis Xavier. The saint was affectionately called Goincho Saib or the Lord of Goa. This year, the prayers were conducted by the Archbishop of Udupi Diocese, Gerald Isaac Lobo. Saint Xavier was born in Spain in 1506 and devoted his life to religion and the service of the poor and the downtrodden. He first arrived in Goa in 1541, which was then a Portuguese colony. He then left for East Asia in 1545 and returned back to Goa in 1551. During his second trip to East Asia, he fell sick and died on China's Sancian Island in1552, and after two years his body was brought back to Goa. His efforts made him earn the appellation "Apostle to the Indies", and he was canonised in 1622. Every year a feast is held in saint’s honour which marks the culmination of nine-day long Novenas, the prayer services, in which people from different parts of the country and abroad take part. The feast was a conglomeration of different religious communities, spreading a great spread of unity and brotherhood.

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