Basilica Of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a Roman Catholic Church located in Old Goa and stands to be the oldest Church of Goa. It is a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site. The church completed its construction in the year 1604 and stands as an epitome of the Portuguese colonial architecture and Baroque architecture. It is located in Bainguinim, about 10 km from Panjim, and attracts several tourists from all across the world. The church is known to hold the relics of St. Francis Xavier, who was known for his phenomenal insight and therapeutic healing powers. Even after 400 years of burial, the remains are said to be in good condition and are taken out every decade. It is, in fact, one of the Seven Wonders of the World of Portuguese origin.‘Bom Jesus’ is a word of Latin origin and translates to ‘Holy (or Good) Jesus.’ The rooftop of the church is triangular, and is inscribed with the initials ‘IHS’, which translates to the Jesuit emblem meaning ‘Jesus, Savior of Men.’ The façade of the Church constitutes a main altar flanked by two more altars. The main altar is decorated with a statue of St. Ignatius Loyola overlooking and protecting Baby Jesus. The surroundings are frolicked with paintings and carvings directly from the Bible, and it also has a gallery that inhabits oil paintings belonging to the years 1973 and 1976. The Architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus- The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a finesse of the Baroque architecture. The material used to build this monumental masterpiece is black granite and is a mix of Corinthian, Doric and composite styles. The Basilica stands 61 feet tall and has pillars intricately carved out of basalt. The interior of the church has been inspired by Mosaico-Corinthian architecture with two adjacent structures of the same decorating the entrance. The entire structure constitutes of an altar flanked by two chapels and a belfry located at the back of the church. The right side has the altar of St. Anthony while the left side has a grand wooden statue of St. Francis Xavier.Modern Art GalleryWithin the complex and daintily carved architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus lie two galleries. They have oil paintings dedicated to various verses in the Bible, designed by some of the renowned artists from 1973 to 1976These paintings are mostly Italian and speak about the culture and Christianity from an Italian perspective. The largest paintings that are on display are called ‘Genesis’ (4 ft x 28 ft) and ‘The Last Judgement’ (6 ft x 9 ft).History of the Oldest Church in Goa- The foundation for the oldest Church in Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus, was laid out in the year 1594, and it was completed at the hands of the then Archbishop of Goa and Primate of India Fr. Alexia de Menezes in the year 1605.After his death, the body of St. Francis Xavier was first preserved in Portugal but was then shipped to the Basilica. St. Francis Xavier was known to have therapeutic healing powers, along with some phenomenal insights. His body remains preserved in an ornamented coffin kept at the Basilica in a mausoleum.