Reflecting on the life of St Francis Xavier

Every year on 3rd December, people flock to Old Goa for the feast of St Francis Xavier- the patron saint of Goa.  He was a God-fearing man who spread the Gospel and served the sick and poor. He is dotingly hailed as ‘Goencho Saib’ as his life story inspires people even today. His relics are in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. This year, the theme of the feast is to live life according to the Beatitudes which Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount.

Living according to the beatitudes means always longing to know more about God, being merciful, bringing peace wherever you go, etc.  'Like St Francis Xavier, let us live the Beatitudes and be Holy'- those at the feast were taught that it’s not enough to just follow certain religious duties, but you have to have a loving relationship with God and obey His commandments.  There were masses in Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, French, Italian, Portuguese, Marathi, Telugu, and Spanish. The feast fair was buzzing with activity and sold items like sweets, accessories, toys, etc. The  St Francis Xavier 2018 feast also had a 3D stage which made the people feel like they were in an indoor cathedral mass.