Reluctant Missionary–St. Francis Xavier


Confession boxDSCF4269

A World Heritage Monument

DSCF4270 DSCF4271 Iron bars and high archesDSCF4274 Preparing for a church eventDSCF4275

Splendid AltarDSCF4276The Reluctant Missionary

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Bom means “happy,” holy or “good” in Portuguese. This Basilica is special because it has a mausoleum for the naturally preserved body of Saint Francis Xavier.

Saint Francis Xavier was born in 1506in Navarre which is now in Spain. When he was nineteen he went to study at the University of Paris. He stayed there for eleven years. Francis got a MA and began to teach in one of the colleges. He met Ignatius of Loyola and with him founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Francis had visions of becoming a successful worldly man but Ignatius of Loyola converted him to the path of God. Thus he can be said to be a reluctant missionary. He had no intention of going to India but when one of the missionaries fell ill he was ordered to replace him.

Saint Francis Xavier spent his evangelical life converting pagans in Mozambique, India, Japan, Moluccas and China.

He died on a Chinese island on one of these missions. His body after that was shifted from port to port till it finally rested in Goa. Over the years devotees have taken portions of the body as relics. Now the remains lie in Bom Jesus protected by the Church