The construction of the basilica began in 1594 and was completed in 1605.The church is called Bom Jesus meaning Infant Jesus to whom it is dedicated. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.
The Basilica depicts an example of Baroque architecture in Goa. The imposing facade built out of black granite in an exquisite combination of the Doric, Corinthian and composite styles.
The interior of the church is built in Mosaic-Corinthian style.
To the right of the altar lie the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The body was moved into the church in 1622, and installed in its current mausoleum in 1698 courtesy of Medicis, Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Cosimo engaged the Florentine sculptor Giovanni Batista Foggini to work on the three-tiered structure, constructed of jasper and marble, flanked with stars, and adorned with bronze plaques that depict scenes from the saint’s life.
This is the only church in Old Goa not plastered on the outside, the lime plaster having been stripped off by a zealous Portuguese conservationist in 1950.
The exposition of St. Francis Xavier is held every 10 years and pilgrims from all around the world visit the Basilica to get a glimpse of the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.
The novenas for the feast of St. Francis Xavier begin on 23rd November and the feast is celebrated on 3rd December annually.