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Visit to the tomb of St Francis Xavier

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By Dony Lobo, Qatar [ Published Date: February 25, 2011 ]

Though born on 7th April 1506 at Xavier Castle, Navarre, Spain in an aristocratic family, Francis Xavier was one of the first persons to respond to the call of St. Ignatious of Loyola the founder of the Society of Jesus and become a Jesuit missionary. He travelled to India, landed at Goa on 6th May 1542 and then traveled to the Far East even up to Japan spreading the Good Word where he faced stiff resistance from preachers and followers of other faiths. Despite all these difficulties, he spent in preaching and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. He would go through the streets ringing a little bell and inviting the children to hear the word of God. When he had gathered a number, he would take them to a certain church and there would explain the catechism to them.

Many were the difficulties and hardships which Xavier had to encounter at this time, sometimes on account of the cruel persecutions which some of the petty kings of the country carried on against the neophytes, and again because the Portuguese soldiers, far from seconding the work of the saint, retarded it by their bad example and vicious habits.









In the short space of ten years (6 May, 1542 - 2 December, 1552) he visited so many countries, traversed so many seas, and preached the Gospel to so many nations. He died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, on 2nd of December, 1552 and was initially buried in the hilltop church of St. Paul at Malacca.(This Church was earlier called the Church of the Mother Mary of Mount). After a few months, his Mortal Remains were taken to Goa and ever since then are still preserved in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa the church which formerly belonged to the Society.

In 1614 by order of Claudius Acquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus, his right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome, where the present altar was erected to receive it in the church of the Gesu.

St. Francis Xavier is considered the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles, and the zeal he displayed, the wonderful miracles he performed, and the great number of souls he brought to the light of true Faith, entitle him to this distinction. He was canonized with St. Ignatius in 1622,

He is now revered as the Patron Saint of Goa and almost in every Goan family and also Mangalorean and Kerala and Tamilnadu Christian (Catholic) communities it is a norm to name one of the sons after him.

The Jesuits have dedicated many of their institutions worldwide to him like St. Xaviers College of Bombay and the Management Institute of Jamshedpur among others.

In the photographs, we can see the original tomb where St. Francis Xaviour was  buried immediately after his death. While the Church itself is in a dilapidated state, however, courtesy the World Heritage, the tomb is well preserved and thousands of devotees regularly visit to pay respects to one of the great Apostle of modern times.

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Tina, USA :
Dear Kavitha Shetty this is not called Miracle if it is a miracle then what you say for ancient Egyptians bodies found till dated which are impact after death 2000 yrs much of the example you can find around world The body of Lord Nelson was brought from Trafalgar to England in a cask of brandy. The body of Alexander, The Great, was brought from Babylon to Macedonia in a container of honey. Sometimes the bodies were packed in a box with salt for three months and they were transformed into mummies. Later, the arterial injection techniques were developed in the 18th century for the preservation of bodies. There have been also found well preserved corpses of more than 100 persons with facial hair, skin and other tissues remaining largely intact, China was the best world for doing this mummies. These mummies were found by Xinjiang's leading archeologist, Wang Binghua. Victor Mair, Professor of Chinese, studied them in 1993 and found that they were not deliberately mummified but were in such condition because they were buried in the parched stony desert which formed the arid foothills of the Tian Shan (Celestial Mountain) in northwest China.

Last if you go around the world were this bodies kept just go near you will find ROSE or JASMINE smell even though Rose or jasmine flowers are missing but you can smell the same ROSE OR JASMINE fragrance.......even to cut AIR and Moister bodies are kept in GLASS CAGE cutting both the elements now you have a idea for this.....i will just say people who do this which is act of SIN let the body which come on earth should go back to earth...........
Ashwin, India :
It was Xavier who initiated the installation of "Goa Inquisition". Apparently Vatican is silent about it.
Praveen, India :
Faith does not need evidence. Evidence does not need Faith.
Kavitha Shetty, Mangalore, India :
The body although not embalmed did not decompose. It has been buried and exhumed on a number of occasions and found to be ‘incorrupt’. Regarded as a miracle, the body has resisted extensive decay for nearly 500 years, and apparently even the hairs on his beard can still be glimpsed in the coffin in which he sleeps. The Pope canonized Francis in 1614, but only upon condition that Francis' right arm be brought to Rome. Again, legend recalls that when the arm was severed, blood flowed as freely as before. These legends could be easily dismissed but for the fact that the body still exists in fairly good condition in Goa. Debate rages in scientific circles as to how the body could have remained "incorrupt" for so long. Some say that St. Francis was expertly mummified, while others say that the incorruptible body is evidence of a Miracle.
Dr Kiran Acharya, India :
The church on Bukit St Paul at Melaka offers excellent views on straits of Malacca. The original church (fortified with canon holes and gunpowder stockpile in the basement) was destroyed by the sultans of Malaysia. Also at the foothill of Bukit St Paul is the ruins of Fort of Malacca. Interestingly the statue of St Xavier has no right hand, just like his preserved body at Goa. (right hand of his body is preserved with respect at the Vatican).
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