The Basilica of Bom Jesus church at Goa India is around 400 years old. The construction work of the church began in 1594 and the church was consecrated on 15th of May, 1605 by the Archbishop, Dom Fr. Aleixo de Menezes. The church has been declared as a world heritage site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a fine example of Jesuit architecture. In the same compound built by Jesuits, was their Professed House. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the richest churches in Goa. The Professed House is next to the basilica and is a two storied laterite building covered with lime plaster. It is carpeted with marble flooring and inlaid with valuable and rare gems and stones. The interior of the Church is simple except for the highly structured gilded altars. In 1946, it became the first church in India to be elevated to the status of Minor Basilica and is considered as one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India. On the west, the three storey Renaissance facade encompasses Corinthian, Doric, Ionic and Composite styles. The Church also has kept paintings of St. Francis Xavier. The Tomb of St. Francis Xavier was the gift from the Grand Duke of Tuscan.
History of Basilica of Bom Jesus
This monument built in 1695 and has emerged as a landmark in the history of Christianity. It contains the body of St. Francis Xavier; a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Tomb of St. Francis Xavier founded by Ignatius Loyola. St. Francis Xavier died in 1552, while on a sea voyage to China on December 2, 1552. The following year, while transferring Francis Xavier's remains to Goa, in accordance with his wishes, it is said that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. Thus, this miraculous phenomenon started attracting huge number of devotees from all over the world. The Tomb of St. Francis Xavier (1696) was the gift of the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The tomb was carved by the 17th century Florentine sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini. It took ten years to complete.
Architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus
The architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus has been inspired from the St. Paul Church. Its exterior is of laterite, excepting the facade, was lime plastered, which was subsequently removed. The church is cruciform on plan. The roof was originally tiled. The Renaissance facade has varying design elements that include Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. Renowned throughout the Catholic world, this church is one of the richest churches in Goa. The 16th century cathedral of Bom Jesus is carpeted with marble flooring and inlaid with precious stones.
There is also a modern art gallery attached to the church. It is known as the Bom Jesus Church art gallery and is the first and largest art gallery in Asia. A buttress wall has also been added to the northern side of the gallery. Basilica also organizes a sound and light show based on the life of Christ, St. Francis Xavier and Blessed Joseph Vaz.