St. Francis Xavier
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC EXPOSITIONS OF
THE BODY OF
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
For the first time, the body was exposed publicly in
the Church of S. Paulo, in an open coffin, on March
16, 17 and 18 of 1554. On the fourth day, it was buried
near the main altar. Six years later when this Church
was demolished, the body was exhumed and was never buried
again. When the Casa Professa do Bom Jesus was ready,
the body was taken there to one of the halls above the
He was beatified by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope
Gregory XV on March 22, 1623. These news reached Goa
in the beginning of 1624. The celebrations began on
February 10, 1624 and lasted till February 19, when
the body was taken in a solemn procession with religious
flags and floats and was deposited in the Chapel of
S. Francis of Borja. From here, the body was taken to
the present Chapel in 1655.
In 1654, Fr. Espinola was consecrated Bishop in Goa
and appointed Apostolic Vicar of the East. The coffin
was opened secretly in the middle of the night, to give
him an opportunity to kiss the body.
In 1678, the coffin was opened at the request of Governor
Antonio Pais de Sande. He kissed the body.
In 1863, the coffin was opened and Conde de Alvor placed
his staff at the side of the Saint praying for protecting
Goa from an attack by Marathas. In 1686, the body was
placed in a new coffin.
In 1690, the coffin was opened and S. Joao de Brito
touched a biretta to the body of the Saint and sent
to his mother.
The coffin may have been opened several times. There
were also abuses and signs of desiccation. Thereafter,
for 34 years the coffin remained closed. It was finally
opened in 1744.
The new Vice-Roy Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeyda e Portugal
and the new Archbishop of Goa, Dom. Fr. Lourenco de
S. Maria arrived in Goa on September 18, 1744. They
had been requested and also ordered by the King to kiss
the body of the Saint on his behalf and to place the
head under the feet of the Saint.
Soon after taking charge both of them conveyed to the
Provincial Andre Pereyra the Royal command and their
desire to fulfill it promptly. However the Provincial
informed them about his inability to fulfill the royal
command because of the strict instructions under the
precept of obedience from his superior, Father General
Miguel Angelo Tamburini that the Coffin should not be
opened. But neither the Vice-Roy nor the Archbishop
were satisfied with such a reply and the Archbishop
dispatched a letter to the Provincial expressing the
desire to receive a written reply.
In such circumstances, the Provincial convoked a meeting
of the Province for consultation on November 4, 1744,
at College of S. Paulo. After discussing the issue thoroughly,
all the Consultants were of the opinion that in the
present circumstances the orders of the Father General
were to be interpreted in a benign manner, in order
to satisfy the wishes of the king and their secular
and religious authorities. The Provincial also agreed
with the opinion expressed by the Consultants and replied
to the Archbishop that the royal command would be fulfilled.
In order to make the necessary preparations for such
an event the Provincial instructed that a new coffin
should be made since the present one was poorly decorated
and, in his view, was not a decent one. He also ordered
that a new biretta should be stitched; the one that
was placed on the head of the saint in the coffin had
been gifted to the Queen of Portugal. The Queen had
gifted to the Saint a very expensive silver cloth.
The new coffin was made of pinewood because this wood
is very light and the coffin could be carried easily
from one place to another. It was covered on the outer
side by the silver cloth and fine gold lace. The base
of the coffin was decorated with red damask. The interior
was adorned with purple canvass with silver motifs.
A narrow gold laced quilt of the same material was made
as well as a small pillow of gold embroidered white
The lid of the coffin was attached with three hinges
(bisagras apertadas com parafusos e tarraxas). Two handles
were fixed on the upper and lower ends and three brass
locks with three keys.
The new biretta was of black satin with a lining of
pink taffeta (silk fabric of plain texture). On the
outer side, it was adorned with gold embroidered stars.
It was crowned with a gold embroidered "sun".
The new stole and maniple (priestly vestments) were
of the same silver cloth gifted by the Queen, adorned
with gold lace. The new alb (white priestly vestment)
was made of cambric (fine white linen) decorated with
silver lace at the extremities.
With all these preparations on December 11, 1744, the
Provincial accompanied by the Praepositor, Procurator
General of the Province Secretary and Brother Sacristan
came to the chapel of the Saint at 8 a.m., after closing
all the doors of the Church and Professed House. They
climbed to the tomb and removed the coffin which they
carried to the sacristy where the new coffin had been
kept. Religiously the body was transferred to the new
coffin. He was dressed with the alb, maniple, stole
and chasuble. The new biretta was placed on his head
as well as the staff (septro ou bastao) in his hand.
A gold veronica gifted by King Dom Pedro to the Saint
with his portrait on one side and coat of arms on the
other, was placed at the feet of the saint. Thereafter,
the Coffin was taken and placed in the tomb and the
Vice-Roy and the Archbishop were informed that they
could fulfill the royal command on December 12, 1744.
The Vice-Roy and the Archbishop arrived on December
12, 1744 at 7 a.m. and both of them went to the Chapel
of the Saint accompanied by the Provincial, Praepositor,
Procurator General, Secretary and Brother Sacristan.
The doors of the Church and Professed house were closed.
The Vice-Roy was the first one to climb to the tomb
followed by the Archbishop in pontifical attire.
This ceremony was followed by Mass celebrated by the
Archbishop with the Vice-Roy in attendance, on the altar
of the Saint. Soon after, they proceeded to their respective
palaces. In the evening, the biretta of the Saint was
removed since it was not fitting properly in the coffin
and the body was covered with 'bordas' embroidered with
silk and gold thread and the coffin was closed with
three keys. The coffin was first covered with white
cloth of gold border and placed in the tomb. The keys
were handed over to the Provincial who kept one in his
possession and gave the other to the Praepositor and
the third one was given to the Rector of College of
Many small crosses were made of the old coffin "as
had been done on another occasion".
Once again, the coffin was opened on March 16, 1751,
in order to give an opportunity to the new Vice-Roy,
Marquis of Tavora and his wife Marquess D. Leonor and
Archbishop D. Antonio Taveira de Neiva Brum de Silveira,
to kiss the body of the Saint. They had arrived from
Portugal in 1750, and had obtained prior permission
from the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Francisco
On the next day, that is March 17, 1751, the former
Governor of India, D. Luiz Caetano de Almeida (14.6.1742
to 24.9.1744) was also given the privilege to kiss the
body of the Saint from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. He had also
been given permission by Fr. Francisco Retz. He prepared
a report for the benefit of his wife and children. His
description tallies with the state of the coffin as
well as vestments that were described in 1744. He refers
to the silver cloth, red damask, the handles, the hinges,
the three locks and the gold medallion with the portrait
of King D. Pedro II as well as the chasuble embroidered
with gold and pearls donated by Queen D. Maria Sofia.
This chasuble carried the following inscription: "Suo
S. Xaverio Maria Sophia Regina Portugaliae." Even
the biretta that had been removed in 1744 was there
on the head of the Saint. In the middle, it had the
coat of arms of Society of Jesus. His report is dated
March 20, 1751. Fr. Francisco Rodrigues who gives all
these details in his publication, touched many rosaries,
scapularies and his sword to the body of the Saint.
He had carried with him a metallic plate (lamina) with
a portrait of the Saint and when he brought it close
to the face of the Saint, he noticed that it, looked
exactly the same as the face of the Saint.
This exposition was held on February 10, 11 and 12 of
1782. The first public exposition had been held on March
17 & 18 of 1554, when his body was brought to Goa.
The main reason for the exposition was the physical
verification of the body, since many charges had been
leveled against the Jesuits the most important being
that the body of the Saint was no longer in Goa or that
it had been replaced with another body.
The Boletim do Governo (Government Gazette) of 14.10.1859,
No. 80 published the report that was written on this
occasion. It is entitled "Auto da abertura do tumulo
de S. Francisco Xavier, que tev lugar em 1º de
Janeiro de 1782."
The King had issued orders that the existence of the
body should be verified, as well as the condition of
the body. As such, the Governor D. Frederico Guilherme
de Sousa, the Bishop of Cochin and Administrator of
the Archdiocese D. Fr. Manoel de Santa Catharina (he
was later promoted to the Archbishopric of Goa) and
Admiral D. Lopo Jose de Almeida went to the Chapel of
the Saint on January 1, 1782 and the coffin was opened
with the keys that were in their possession. They arrived
at a conclusion that the "body & relics",
of the Saint could be "decently" exhibited
to the public and increase devotion of the people. The
report is also signed by the Deao, Vicar General, Rector
of Royal Seminary of Chorao, Canon Administrator Caetano
Xavier de Abreu, the Secretary of the State and two
The Pastoral letter announcing the Exposition was issued
on January 15. The See was vacant. More than 40,000
persons kissed the body through the glass case in which
the open coffin had been kept and not directly to avoid
damage to the body due to excessive and "indiscrete"
devotion of some people.
The closing ceremony was held on 12.2.1782, and the
coffin was closed in the night of 12.2.1782. The Lazarist
Fr. Cicala gave a detailed description of the body soon
after the exposition.
In 1859, the Governor General of Estado da India (Goa,
Damao & Diu) sent a petition to the King of Portugal
D. Pedro for permission of an exposition of the body
of S. Francis Xavier. The King, by his official letter
dated 28.5.1859, acceded to the request. In the ordinance
dated 11.7.1859, instructions were issued to the Governor
to take all the necessary precautions, so that no damage
was caused to the body and throughout the exposition
proper order was maintained. The ordinance determined
that the exposition should begin on 3.12.1859. As such,
the body of the Saint was examined on 12.10.1859 at
10.00 a.m. in the presence of Governor General of Estado
da India, Governor of the Archbishopric of Goa, and
others who had been invited for the opening of the coffin.
The Secretary of the State, Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha
Rivara was also present. The keys that were in custody
of the Government Secretariat were brought and the coffin
was opened. The body was examined by Chief Physician
Eduardo de Freitas e Almeida, Chief Surgeon Jose Antonio
de Oliveira and 1st class Surgeon Antonio Jose de Gama.
Finally it was observed that the "Body and Relics"
of the Saint could be exhibited to the public.
The number of visitors was such that the programme was
modified and the public was allowed inside the Church
throughout the day without a break. Even then, some
people had to wait for two or three days for their turn.
As such, the Governor of the Archbishopric issued an
ordinance dated 25.12.1859 extending the exposition
up to 8.1.1860. Initially, it was supposed to be closed
on 1.1.1859. Such was the influx of people that the
Bom Jesus Church remained open till late in the night.
On 7.1.1860, the Church was closed after 1.00 a.m. The
closing ceremony was held on 8.1.1860. The Solemn Mass
was celebrated by Fr. Antonio Mariano Soares and Fr.
Antonio J. Nicolau Barreto preached.
It was estimated that more than 2 lakh persons kissed
the body of the Saint during the 37 days of the exposition.
There were no untoward incidents. After visiting the
Bom Jesus Church, the pilgrims would go to the Chapel
of the Saint in the compound of College of S. Paulo.
It is recorded that eight persons were cured from their
ailments. This fact was verified and authenticated.
The pastoral letter announcing the exposition was issued
On the occasion of the feast of S. Francis Xavier on
3.12.1877, the Archbishop Primate of Indies, D. Ayres
de Ornelas de Vascon-celos had announced that in the
next year there would be an exposition of the body of
the Saint. The permission from the Central Government
of Portugal was asked by the Governor General of Estado
da India on January 1, 1878, and was granted on February
6, 1878. As usual, the Governor was asked to take necessary
precautions regarding the safety of the body and the
due order to be maintained.
The tomb was opened on July 18, 1878, at 11.00 a.m.
The following were present: The President of the Governing
Council -The Governor General - Viscount Sergio de Souza
had expired on November 12; 1817, Archbishop Vasconcelos
and members, Chief Justice Thomaz Nunes de Serra e Moura,
Colonel Francisco Xavier Soares da Veiga, and Interim
Secretary of State Antonio Sergio de Souza Junior besides
the Cathedral Chapter, Health Authorities and other
persons who had been specially invited. The coffin was
opened. One key was with the Archbishop and two keys
were in possession of the Administrator of Professed
House of Bom Jesus Canon Francisco Jose Afonso. The
body was examined by Director of Health, Joao Stuart
da Fonseca Torre and 1St class Surgeons Manoel Maria
Bordallo Prostes Pinheiro and Rafael Antonio Pereira.
The body was found to be in a good condition.
The Pastoral letter regarding the Exposition was issued
on November 22, 1878. On December 3, 1878, Old Goa was
packed to capacity. People were accommodated in the
neighbouring villages besides the convents and the boats.
The Panjim-Old Goa road was also full of people, cars
and palanquins. The Mandovi river was full of steam
boats, patamarins, canoes, launches and tonas (described
by Jayme de Seguier, Portugal, as a boat for transportation
in the Goan rivers).
At 8.00 a.m., the Cathedral Chapter went to the main
door of the Basilica to welcome the Governor. Then they
went to the Archbishop's palace to accompany him to
the Se Catedral along with Bishop Leo Murin S.J., (Apostolic
Vicar of Bombay), Bishop Cristovao Ernesto Bonjean O.M.a.,
(Apostolic Vicar of Jaffna) and Bishop Joao Domingos
Barbero (Apostolic Vicar of Hyderabad) and Pro Vicar
Apostolic of Mangalore, Fr. Pagani and Fr. Colgan, Vicar
General of Madras, and later Archbishop of Madras. The
Archbishop prayed in the chapel of Blessed Sacrament
and went to the capela mor where the vestments had been
kept. There after they went to Basilica in a procession.
Besides the Canons priests residing in Old Goa and priests
from the Rachol Seminary, there were altogether more
than 300 priests. According to the testimony of Viriato
d' Albuquerque "Goa, from the time it was Goa,
rarely, if not for the first time witnessed such a procession."
A wooden platform of 5 mts. x 4 mts. x 1 mt. had been
erected in the transept of Bom Jesus Church surrounded
by an iron railing with two openings at the side of
the main altar and the main door. It was covered by
a canopy. A table covered with red velvet was placed
in the platform. The Silver Casket was placed on this
table. Four silver lamps were hanging from the roof
on all the four corners.
Before the Pontifical Mass was celebrated, the coffin
was placed in the silver casket and soon after the Mass,
the Archbishop along with the Apostolic Vicars went
to the platform, removed the coffin, opened the lid
and placed it once again in the silver casket. Around
15,000 persons participated in this ceremony.
On January 5, 1879, Vespers were sung by the Archbishop,
and the Apostolic Vicars, Bishop of Vishakapatnam and
Patna. On the next day, the Exposition was closed. After
the Pontifical Mass the coffin was taken out from the
Silver Casket, the lid was placed and the coffin was
taken in a procession throughout the claustro and was
placed on the altar of the chapel of the Saint. Then
the Archbishop and the Governor locked the coffin with
three different keys.Around 15 miraculous healings were
verified. The book "Milagres, prophecias e Revelaco
de S. Francisco Xavier Apostolo, Defensor e Patrono
das Indias coordenados par Matheus Francisco Pereira,
Typographia "Esperanca Nova Goa, 1878, was published
on this occasion. It contained a description of the
miracles during the 1859 exposition as well as a "real
portrait" of the Saint as he was found in 1878.
These miracles had been announced from the pulpit on
December 3, 1860, and were mentioned in his pastoral
letter by the lnterim Administrator of the Archbishopric,
Antonio Jose Pereira.
The coffin was placed in the tomb in the chapel on January
18 at 8.30 am. During 35 days of the exposition around
3 lakh persons kissed the body of the saint. The donations
received amounted to Rs.16,0,610,408. The Central Government
had authorized the necessary amount to be spent for
the exposition. The monuments were repaired specially
the Bom Jesus Church. Necessary objects or items for
the Bom Jesus Church were brought even from Paris spending
more than 50,000 xerafins.
The Archbishop & Patriarch of East Indies, D. Antonio
Sebas-tiao Valente was given permission by the King
on 20.1.1890 to have an exposition of the body of the
Saint subject to necessary precautions for the safety
of the body. The official permission was received through
Governor General Vasco Guedes who immediately appointed
a committee for the necessary preparations, under the
supervision of the Patriarch. Renovation work was also
carried on. The important problem of water was satisfactorily
solved. There was shortage of water: in Old Goa because
most of the wells had been closed in order to avoid
epidemic. The few priests who were residing in Old Goa
would fetch water from the Banguenim spring. Before
the exposition, the waters from Banguenim were channelised
to Old Goa and potable water was made available. The
exposition began on December 3, 1890.
The pastoral letter was issued on September 25, 1890.
The Archbishop Patriarch along with other prelates and
priests came from the Se Catedral to the Basilica at
10.00 am. The coffin was opened and placed in the transept
for public veneration. The following prelates were present:
D. Joao Gomes e Ferreira - Bishop of Cochin, D. Henrique
Reed da Silva - Bishop of Meliapor, Msgr. Paulo Goethals,
S.J. - Metropolitan Archbishop of Calcutta, Msgr. Eduardo
Gasnier Bishop of Dacca, Msgr. Paulo Caprotti - Bishop
of Hyderabad, Msgr. Beider Sinden S.J. - Bishop of Poona,
Meddlycott - Vicar Apostolic of Trichur, Carlos Lavigna
S.J. -Apostolic Vicar of Kottayam, the Administrator
of Bombay Archbishopric, Vicar General of diocese of
Mangalore and representatives of bishops of Daman and
Archbishop of Cranganor. Msgr. Zaleski was the papal
representative during this exposition. Later he was
appointed Apostolic Delegate to Indies. There were about
30,000 devotees who had come to Old Goa on that day.
The Bishop of Cochin preached during the Pontifical
The Closing Ceremony was held on January 1891. Besides
Bishops of Daman, Cochin and Meliapor, the following
Bishops of Propaganda Fide Msgr. Alexis Ricar Msgr.
N. Pagani S.J. (Mangalore) were present. The Bishop
of Daman preached. This year the body of the Saint was
not examined by doctors.
During these thirty days it is estimated that 1,71,000
persons kissed the body. There were about 57 miraculous
healings. The total amount received from donations was
For the first time in Goa, an industrial and agricultural
exhibition was organized in Old Goa from December 7
At the closure of the 19th century and on the occasion
of the Eucharistic League Congress held in the sacristy
of Bom Jesus Church on December 4, 5 & 6 of 1900,
the Archbishop Patriarch D. Sebastiao Valente organized
an exposition of the body of the Saint on December 7,
8, 9 and 10 of 1900. The body had been placed in a glass
Sixteen prelates had come for this Congress and were
present for the Exposition. Pontifical masses in different
rites were celebrated.
On December 7, 1900, at 11.30 a.m. the following assembled
in the sacristy of Bom Jesus: our Archbishop-Patriarch,
Archbishop of Bombay - Msgr. Theodoro Dalhoff, Archbishop
of Verapoly -Msgr. Bernardo de Jesus, Bishop of Quilon
- Msgr. Fernando Ossi, Bishop of Trichinopoly - Msgr.
Joao Barthe, Bishop of Vishakapatnam - Msgr. Joao Clark,
Bishop of Jaffna - Msgr. Henrique Joulian, Bishop of
Dacca - Msgr. Jose Hurth, Bishop of Galle - Msgr. Jose
Van Reeth, Bishop of Mangalore - Msgr. Abundio Cavadini,
Bishop of Tio & Apostolic Vicar of Ernakulam - Msgr.
Luiz Pareparambil, Bishop of Tralles & Apostolic
Vicar of Changanacherry - Msgr. Mateus Makihl, Bishop
of Paralus & Apostolic Vicar of Trichur -Msgr. Joao
Manachery, Bishop of Hyderabad - Msgr. Pedro Vigano,
Bishop of Cochin - D. Mateus de Oliveira Xavier, Bishop
of Melyapor - D. Teotonio Vieira de Castro, Apostolic
Prefect of Rajputana, Vicar General of Pondicherry and
Agra and Administrator of Daman Diocese.
The Governor General of Estado da India Eduardo Augusto
de Rodrigues Galhardo was also present with his staff
as well as the Administrator of Bom Jesus, Half-canon
Joao Vicente Lopes.
The minutes of the session of the Cathedral Chapter
held on 6.1.1891 (previous exposition of 1890), were
read and the seals of the coffin were checked. Then
the coffin was opened by the Patriarch with his key,
by the Governor with his key and by the Archbishop of
Bombay with the key of the Administrator of Bom Jesus.
It was observed that there were no noticeable changes
in the Body since the last closure of 1891.
Thereafter, the coffin was taken on the shoulders of
Archbishop of Bombay and Bishops of Trichinopoly, Mangalore,
Galle, Vishakapatnam and Jaffna from sacristy to the
transept of the Church. It was kept in a glass case
inside the Silver Casket.
On December 10, of the same year at 12.10 p.m. the coffin
was taken to the sacristy by the Patriarch, and Bishops
of Vishakapatnam, Cochin and Melyapor. It was locked
by the Patriarch with his keys, b' the Governor with
his key and by the Bishop of Cochin with the key the
Administrator of Bom Jesus.
Finally on April 4, 1901, at 11.30 a.m. the coffin that
was in the sacristy was placed in the tomb in the chapel
of the Saint in the presence of our Vicar General Msgr.
Joaquim Joao de Abreu. The Patriarch was absent from
The royal permission for the Exposition was dated August
6. 1910 and Archbishop Patriarch D. Mateus de Oliveira
Xavier issued his pastoral letter announcing the exposition
on August 12, 1910. This exposition was held to mark
the 4th centenary of reconquest of Goa by Afonso de
Albuquerque on November 25, 1910. An Eucharistic Congress
had been planned on this occasion but it was not held.
Meanwhile, there was a change in Government, in Portugal,
from monarchy to republic. But the new government did
not interfere with the plans of the Exposition and confirmed
the permission through the telegram dated October 25,
The Silver Casket was opened on November 10, at 3.00
p.m. surrounded by secrecy, and the coffin was taken
to the sacristy by the canons. However, the coffin was
opened on November 12 and the body was also examined
by Drs Miguel Caetano Dias and Jose Augusto Monteiro
de Sousa Machado in the presence of Archbishop Patriarch
Dom Matheus d' Oliveira Xavier, Governor General of
Estado da India Portuguesa Dr. Francisco Manuel Conceiro
da Costa, the Cathedral Chapter and other invitees.
The keys were presented by the Archbishop-Patriarch,
Governor General and Canon Joao Vicente Lopes, Administrator
of Professed House of Bom Jesus. The examination of
the body indicated that it was in good condition for
The inaugural ceremony was held on November 26, at 8.30
a.m. The "magna" procession of confraternities
of Ilhas, clergy and canons left Se Cathedral and went
to the Sacristy of Bom Jesus. The Archbishop Patriarch
presided and the following Bishops took part in it:
D. Teotonio Vieira de Castro - Bishop of Melyapore,
D. Jose Bento Martins Ribeiro Bishop of Cochin, Msgr.
Vismara - Bishop of Hyderabad and Msgr. Pedro Jose Hurth
C.S.C. - resignatory Bishop of Dacca.
The coffin was taken to the Church and placed on a table.
It was opened with three keys, the lid was removed and
the coffin was put in the Silver Casket on a platform
with canopy. This platform had only one step and for
the first time an altar was made around it, where Mass
All the celebrations were in a low key because of the
changes that had taken place in Portugal. Referring
to these difficult times the Patriarch had said: "the
exposition will be held even though without much solemnity."
The closing ceremony was held on December 28. The Cathedral
Chapter went processionally from the Se to the Church
of Bom Jesus at 10.00 a.m. and welcomed the Patriarch
and Archbishop-Bishop of Daman. Soon after Pontifical
Mass, the coffin was closed in the presence of Governor
The final closing took place on February 17, 1911, at
5.00 p.m. when the coffin was taken from the sacristy
to the chapel of the Saint. The following were present:
Archbishop-Patriarch Dom Matheus, Secretary of State
Dr. Francisco Maria Peixoto Vieira, on behalf of the
Governor, the Cathedral Chapter and Canon Vicente Xavier
Isidoro Lobo In-charge of administration of Casa Professa.
Around 12 miraculous healings were recorded. During
these 37 days of the exposition, 5 lakh persons kissed
the body. The following Bishops also came to Goa for
this exposition: Msgr. Aelen - Coadjutor
Bishop of Madras; Msgr. Coudert - Archbishop of Colombo;
D. Sebastiao Jose Pereira - Archbishop Bishop of Daman;
Msgr. Paulo Charles Perini, S.J. - Bishop of Mangalore
and Fr. J.F. Foulex - Vicar; General and Administrator
of the diocese of Nagpur.
The total income from donations was Rs 30,000.00 in
addition to wax. The following gifts were also received:
gold "broche" with pearls & rubis of D.
Ana Pinto da Cunha Alvares & Brito; a pair of big
China jars of D. Leopoldina Correia Pereira de Sousa
e Faro and a silk veil.
This exposition was held to mark the 3rd centenary of
canonization of Francis Xavier. In the words of Archbishop
Patriarch D. Mateus de Oliveira Xavier "we have
the happiness of announcing this exposition the in the
month of December on the occasion of the 3rd centenary
o and Canonization and to satisfy requests not only
from Goa but from all over India." The first centenary
(1722) was not celebrated neither the 2nd centenary
in 1822 "since the Jesuits were not in Goa."
Committees were appointed and renovation work was under-taken
having to the tune of Rs. 15,000.00 which were spent
partly by the Government partly by the Cathedral Chapter
and partly by the Administrative Committee of Convent
of S. Monica. The Government installed for the first
time telephone connections and the municipality arranged
provisional electric supply, for the first time, in
On the inaugural day, the following were present besides
the Archbishop Patriarch, Msgr. Pietro Pisani - Apostolic
Delegate; D. Sebastiao Jose Pereira - Bishop of Cochin;
Msgr. Rosillon - Bishop of Vishakapatnam Msgr. Gaston
Robichez, s.j. Bishop of Trin- comali and Msgr. Despatures
- Bishop of Mysore. The Vespers we celebrated on December
2, 1922, at 5 00 p m in the Basilica with the Archbishop
Patriarch as the Presiding Officer and other prelates.
The Apostolic delegate was sitting on a separate tribune.
25,000 persons attended the Vespers.
Soon after the Vespers the Archbishop Patriarch the
Prelates, the Cathedral Chapter the Governor General
Dr Jaime Morais and other top officials went to the
Chapel of the Saint and opened the silver casket with
two keys. Thereafter the coffin was removed and taken
to the sacristy on the shoulders of the Patriarch Apostolic
Delegate, Archbishop-Bishop of Daman Bishop of Trin-comali
and Coadjutor Bishop of Vishakapatnam. The coffin was
placed on a table in the centre of the sacristy and
the existence of episcopal and capitular seals of the
last exposition was verified and removed and the coffin
was opened by each one of the key holders namely the
Archbishop Patriarch, the Governor and the Canon Administrator
of Casa Professa, Franklin de Sa. The body was not examined
in detail this time, but it was done on August 12, 1923,
when the final closing ceremony took place, by Dr. Francisco
Antonio Wolfango da Silva, Director of Health Services.
On December 3, soon after the prayer, the Cathedral
Chapter members went to the Archiepiscopal Palace to
accompany the Patriarch and other Prelates who went
to the Se Catedral. Thereafter the "magna"
procession started. At the door of the Bom Jesus Church
was the Governor with the top officials. The Archbishop
Patriarch and the priests went to the sacristy opened
the coffin and removed the-lid and it was taken processionally
to the transept of the Bom Jesus Church on the shoulders
of Bishops of Daman, Cochin, Trincomali, Mysore, Vishkapatnam
and the Dean (Deao) of Se.
A beautiful platform with a canopy had been erected
in the transept having in the centre a crucifix held
by a crab surrounded by eight roses (crab was a reference
to the miracle of beach of Baranura where a crab had
brought to the shore Xavier's Crucifix that had been
lost in the sea. The platform with the height of 1 mt.
was surrounded by a railing. Around the platform there
were 4 altars for the celebration of Masses.
The coffin was placed in the silver casket and the Apostolic
Delegate celebrated the Pontifical Mass. The Archbishop
Patriarch was sitting on a separate tribune. Msgr. Ganganneli
da Piedade Rebelo, Rector of Rachol Seminary preached.
Around 5 lakh persons kissed the body of the Saint during
the 36 days of Exposition among whom we can mention
the following Bishops: Msgr. Guisepe Angelo Poli - Bishop
of Allahabad, Msgr. Vanni O.C. - Apostolic Vicar of
Arabia (residing in Aden), Representative of Bishop
of Malaca, Msgr. Fortunat Henry Caumont -Bishop of Ajmer,
D. Antonio Maria Teixeira - Coadjutor Bishop of Meliapor,
Msgr. Vazhapilly - Apostolic Vicar of Trichur, Msgr.
Angelo Perez y Cecilia - Archbishop of Verapoly, Msgr.
Paul Charles Perini - Bishop of Mangalore, Rev. S. Gnanaprakaser
-representative of Bishop of Jaffna and D. Jose da Costa
Nunes -Bishop of Macau.
On account of large number of pilgrims, this exposition
was extended upto January 7. The coffin was opened with
three keys in the presence of Archbishop Patriarch,
Governor General Dr. Jaime Alberto de Castro Morais,
and the Chapter and the body was examined by Director
of Health Services, Dr. Wolfango da Silva. Inspite of
the secrecy, around 1000 persons kissed the body of
The closing ceremony was held on January 7, 1923, and
the final closing ceremony, when the coffin was taken
from the sacristy and placed in the silver casket in
the chapel of the Saint, on August 12,1 923, Rs. 60,000
were received as donation in cash and Rs. 10,000 from
wax. In addition the following gifts were received:
1. Armorial bearings (Brazao heraldico) offered by Joaquim
de Sousa, Peregrino Pinto and wife.
2. A curtain with silver stars and gold "sun"
with the inscription "Lux Orientis "worth
about Rs. 1,300.00 donated by General Francisco Xavier
Pereira de Macedo.
3. A cover (manto) and a cushion of satin embroidered
4. A crucifix held by a crab offered by D. Berta Dias.
5. Artificial flowers offered by the Parsee florist
Hormusji A. Dubash from Bombay.