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basilica of bom jesus


The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a World Heritage Monument as well as one of the finest baroque churches of Goa. The Church was built between 1594-1605 and dedicated to Bom Jesus (Good Jesus). The name of Jesus is symbolically represented by the letters 'IHS' and is found embellished throughout the Basilica. The IHS is also the monogram of the Society of Jesus, popularly known as the Jesuits, who usually stamped their churches with this insignia.

For all the grandeur contained in this Basilica, nothing could possibly surpass it than the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). Born of Spanish origin and high ambition, Francis Xavier had his heart won for Christ and, along with Ignatius of Loyola, was instrumental in founding the Society of Jesus. Francis Xavier arrived in Goa on 6 May 1542 and tirelessly worked for the spread of the Christian faith throughout the East. While the Church declared Francis Xavier the Patron of the Indies, Goa chose to honour him as Goencho Saib (Lord of Goa).