Goa Government Invites Pope Francis for St. Francis Xavier Relics Exposition

Goa Government Invites Pope Francis for St. Francis Xavier Relics Exposition

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant recently announced plans for the upcoming decennial exposition of the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier in November. Sawant expressed the government's intention to invite Pope Francis to grace the event during a high-powered committee meeting dedicated to overseeing the preparations. The Prime Minister's Office will be approached to extend the invitation to the Pope, continuing a tradition of diplomatic gestures between India and the Vatican.

Scheduled to run from November 21, 2024, to January 5, 2025, the exposition holds significant cultural and religious importance. With a budgetary allocation of Rs 10 crore, the government aims to enhance the ambiance of the Old Goa church complex and upgrade infrastructure at heritage sites to accommodate the influx of pilgrims expected from around the globe.

St. Francis Xavier's legacy as a Spanish Jesuit missionary who arrived in Goa in 1542 and spread Christianity across Asia is commemorated through these sacred relics. After his passing in 1552, his remains were laid to rest in Portuguese Malacca before being relocated to Goa two years later. Since then, the relics have been housed in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa.

The tradition of displaying the relics every ten years began in 1782, following rumors surrounding the whereabouts of the Jesuit priests who were expelled from Portuguese territories. This practice aims to reaffirm the presence of the relics and their significance to the faithful.

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