THE BODY OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
St. Francis Xavier died on 3rd December 1552, on the Chinese island of Shangchuan, at the age of 46.
Before his final resting place in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in 1624, his body was buried in three different countries. Each time the body was exhumed, it was found to be fresh and incorrupt.
St Francis was regarded as a saint during his lifetime, and was canonized in 1662. The body, having resisted extensive decay, is now in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, where it was placed into a silver casket on December 2, 1637. The silver casket is lowered for public viewing only during the public exposition which occurs for a duration of 6 weeks every 10 years, the most recent of which took place in 2004.
For the first time the Body of St. Francis Xavier was exposed for public veneration in the Church of S. Paulo in an open coffin, on March 16, 17 and 18 of 1554 soon after it was brought to Goa. On the fourth day it was buried near the main altar. It was exhumed six years later and never buried again. In 1665 the relics was taken to the present Chapel. Over the years there have been numerous private and public expositions of the scared relics of St. Francis Xavier. The vestments of the saint, the coffin where is lays, the casket that hold the coffin and the tomb where his relics rest have also undergone changes over the years. Numerous miraculous healings have been recorded and verified on many occasions.
The various expositions have been marked by various events held such as release of stamps in honor of the saint, exhibitions of Sacred Art, Industrial and Agricultural exhibitions. The last exposition was held 10 years ago in 2004 from 21stNovember 2004 to 2nd January 2005 with the theme ” As fellow Pilgrims Nourished by the Eucharist sent to Build Communion “. The exposition of the sacred relics is held every 10 years.