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 main entrance.

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 damask.

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 Rachol.

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 Retz.

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 others.

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 26.11.1859.

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 Mass.

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 Rs. 19,303,904.

For the first time in Goa, an industrial and agricultural exhibition was organized in Old Goa from December 7 to 28.

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 case.

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 Archdiocese.

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, 1910.

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 exposition.

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 was celebrated.

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 General.

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 Old Goa.

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 Saint.

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 in gold.
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.