Old Goa: As the 44-day Exposition of the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier nears the end, thousands of pilgrims thronged the Se Cathedral to venerate the relics as the last day for public veneration is Saturday, January 3. A long queue of pilgrims was witnessed outside the Se Cathedral on Friday; however, to accommodate more pilgrims, the timings were extended by 3 hours and the veneration would end at 10 pm, on the last day. The relic will be taken back to the Bom Jesus Basilica, as scheduled on Sunday (January 4) and there is no extension of the exposition period as is being rumoured in some quarters.
The Exposition 2014 committee members expressed happiness at the smooth functioning of the exposition and said people from Goa, outside Goa and outside India have generally given good feedback at the manner in which the exposition was held. The members also said that it was also a good experiment to have an Exposition Secretariat at Old Goa, which helped in the smooth functioning. They also praised the government authorities for ensuring round-the-clock uninterrupted supply of water and electricity, which went a long way in ensuring a smooth exposition.
Every day, around 300 volunteers including NSS volunteers rendered their selfless service, which also contributed towards the success of the exposition. The exact number of pilgrims that visited Old Goa to venerate the relics of St Francis Xavier will be announced after 4 January. Initially the Church authorities used to keep a daily count, but later, the count was been kept by the police. Presently the number of pilgrims those attended the exposition has not been submitted to the Exposition committee until now by the police authorities.
Relics to return to Basilica:
The closing ceremony of the Exposition of the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier will be held on January 4. The veneration of the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier will go on till 10 pm on January 3 and there will be no veneration of the relics on January 4. Masses at the Basilica of Bom Jesus on the closing day will be at 6 am, 7 am and 8 am.
The relics will be taken in a procession from the Se Cathedral to the Basilica of Bom Jesus at 9.30 am, followed by a Solemn Concelebrated Mass presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio along with Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop Blasco Colaco, Archbishop of Gandhinagar Stanislaus Fernandes, Bishop of Sindhudurgh Alwyn Barreto, Bishop of Jaipur Oswald Lewis, Bishop of Agartala Lumen Monteiro and others.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus will remain closed for visitors on January 4. A Konkani operetta ‘Mahan Porgottnar’ by Pilar Music Academy will be staged in the Basilica pandal on January 4 at 6.30 pm.
Also read the following articles:
- Old Goa: ‘Kodialgars’ had Fun with ‘Goenkars’ at Exposition of Sacred Relics of ‘Goencho Saib’
- Mangaluru: Mangalorean.com 2nd Trip to ‘Goa Exposition’ Much More Funnier than the First