Located at a distance of 10 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is a famous church in Old Goa. You can also visit the church from the Vasco Da Gama Railway station that is 27 km away from the church.
The Chapel of St. Xavier Goa is nestled inside the College of St. Paul and was initially dedicated to St. Anthony and to St. Jerome. Later, the Chapel was also dedicated to St. Francis Xavier after his canonization in 1622 as he used this Chapel for some significant work. In 1552, St. Francis Xavier was going to China, but the patron saint of Goa died on his way. After two years in 1554, his remains brought to Goa and kept in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Since then the sacred relic of St. Francis Xavier has remained in the Bom Jesus church that is kept in a silver casket. Every 10 years, the relics are brought to the Se cathedral by a team of priests to perform some spiritual work.
The Chapel of St. Xavier Goa was built in the Doric style of architecture using the laterite blocks plastered with lime mortar. This is a simple chapel with only one altar having a tiled roof which is supported by wooden rafters. The original Chapel was destroyed in 1570 and the present structure was constructed in 1884.
Every year on 3rd December, a feast in the honor of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated by the Chapel. The feast is conducted to remember the day on which St. Francis Xavier died and was buried. All the people in Goa celebrate this feast with respect. It is actually a grand festival that is celebrated for 9 days with fun events, food, and drink. The celebration is also enjoyed by the tourists and Goa sees a lively atmosphere during the festival. Thousands of people come together to pay their homages to the saint and take part in the festivities.
In this particular region of old Goa, St. Francis Xavier is also addressed as Goencho Saib Lord of Goa. While the casket that includes his remains is kept untouched throughout the year, during the annual festival it is placed for the public to offer their respects to the holy person. This time the travelers get the chance to kiss the uncovered and supernaturally preserved feet of the Saint. The timing to visit The Chapel of St. Xavier Goa is from 6 AM to 6:30 PM every day throughout the year.