Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most famous churches in India. Located in the heart of beach city Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus was constructed in the year 1695. This ancient church is known to to hold the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2, 1552. The holy saint made his last wish to transfer his mortal body to Goa, which was fulfilled by his followers in the year following his death. It is said that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. The divine body of St. Francis Xavier is kept for public viewing every ten years (last held in 2004). The authentic devotion amongst the Christians for the holy soul can be easily felt at those times. The saint is said to have miraculous powers of healing, and pilgrims come from all over the country. The church is carpeted with marble flooring and inlaid with precious stones. Apart from the elaborate gilded altars, the interior of the church is simple. The church also holds paintings of St. Francis Xavier. The Tomb of St. Francis Xavier (1696) was the gift of the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Basilica of Bom Jesus is a world heritage site and a lively example of devotion.
Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine
Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine was founded by St. Thomas. It is situated at the southernmost state of India - Kerala. This church is one of the famous and holy Christian shrines in India. Mar Thomas Pontifical Shrine has a very rich past history. It is believed that St. Thomas, the apostle, landed on Nov. 21, 52 A.D. at Kodungallur, adjacent to Azhicode, then known as Musiris, in Kerala. During her stay here, she preached the message and teachings of Christianity in Kerala. Later she formed seven churches and few Christian communities in Kerala and Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine was the first of them. It is said that Mar Thomas Pontifical is the cradle of Christianity in India. Visit this ancient Church for a lifetime meory of stupendous devotion and passion for religion.
Santa Cruz Basilica
Santa Cruz Basilica is is one of the oldest and famous churches in India.. It is located in Kochi, Kerala. Originally built by the Portuguese in the year 1505, Santa Cruz Basilica was elevated to the cathedral by then Pope, Pope Paul IV in the year 1558. This ancient church has a very defiant history. Famous around the world, Santa Cruz Basilica is a 500 years old church. The British had partially destroyed it in 1795. Again when the Dutch people invaded and destroyed many catholic buildings, this church was spared. Later this sacred building was demolished and renovated by the British in 1887 by the orders of Bishop Dom Gomez Vereira. Santa Cruz was titled as Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in the year 1984. A must visit for everyone to witness the genuineness of Christian religion.
St.Francis Church is one of the oldest European Church in India. It was built in 1503. Located at Kochi in Kerala, St.Francis Church stands today as an epic evidence of Christian history. There is an interesting story associated with St.Francis Church. In 1503, the then Rajah of Kochi permitted Alphonso Alburquerque to build this church. It describes about the struggle of the European colonies in India. St.Francis Church holds the honor being associated with great Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. He died in Kochi in 1524 and his body was buried in this church only. But later the remains of his body were taken back to Lisbon in Portugal. St.Francis Church is amongst the most sacred worship place of Christians.
Se Cathedral Church
The Se Cathedral Church is considered to be the largest in Asia. It is located in the city of exotic beaches - Goa. Built in dedication to St. Catherine of Alexandria, this church was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Se Cathedral is famous for its five massive bells. The existing tower houses a famous bell, 'Golden Bell' which has a melodic tone. The main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. Old paintings on either sides of the altar portray scenes from her life and martyrdom. Portuguese style with a Tuscan peripheral and Corinthian core constitute the architecture of this famous church. Originally, there were two towers, on either side of the facade, but the one on the southern side plummeted in 1776. The fallen bell tower was never rebuilt and has given the building an exceptionally charming look. A visit to this ancient and sacred church is surely a divine experience.