St Francis Xavier exposition from Nov 25

Sunday, Oct 5, 2014,19:43 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Preparations are in full swing for the 45day decennial exposition of the sacred relics of Goa’s patron saint, St. Francis Xavier from November 22. The Archdiocese of Goa, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the state government are jointly working on ensuring the exposition of the saint’s relics remain well organised and problem free till its conclusion on January 4, 2015.
Exposition convener Fr. Alfred Vaz, said as many as four to five million pilgrims are expected from all over India and other parts of the world including Sri Lanka, UK, Canada and Japan besides European countries. Large groups of pilgrims will also be coming from Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujrat among other states, he added. Francis Xavier (15061552), was a Roman Catholic missionary and cofounder of the Society of Jesus. He arrived in then Portuguese territory of Goa on May 6, 1542 and involved himself in evangelism.
The ASI has undertaken conservation work at the 16th century Se Cathedral, where the relics will be kept for public veneration. Artisans are cleaning and restoring the altar of the cathedral as part of preparations. No work will be carried out on the casket which has not been o pened since it was placed inside a glass coffin in 1953. However, the wooden stand on which the casket will be placed needed a slight touch up and has been already been sent to the carpenters.
Fr Vaz said on November 22, the relics will be taken in a ceremonial procession from Bom Jesus Basilica to Se Cathedral after the solemn Pontifical Mass which will be attended by Bishop of Manglore. Representatives from each of the 160 parishes of Goa will be given the privilege of carrying the casket holding the sacred relics from Bom Jesus Basilica to Se Cathedral and back. The relics will be kept for public veneration from the afternoon of November 22 till January 3,2015 from 0600 hours to 1900 hours.