Pray to experience Christ, Mangalore Bishop exhorts laity at Old Goa
04th December 2019, 03:48 Hrs
the goan I network
Stating that St Francis Xavier used the most ordinary instruments of the prayers to experience Christ, Bishop of Mangalore Peter Paul Saldanha said the saint has been exhorting the faithful to go and do likewise.
Bishop Saldanha was delivering his homily to a packed congregation of several thousands at the Solemn High Feast Mass in honour of St Francis Xavier, fondly known as Goencho Saib at the Bom Jesus Basilica in Old Goa on Tuesday.
Archbishop of Goa and Daman Felipe Neri Ferrao, Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi Theodore Mascarenhas, Bishop Emeritus of Port Blair Alex Dias, Vicar General Fr Jose Remedios Fernandes, Rector of Basilica of Bom Jesus Fr Patricio Fernandes and a large number of priests were concelebrants at the Feast Mass.
“When St Xavier came to Goa, he brought with him only a breviary, catechetical booklet and a book containing readings of the Gospel. Through the inspiration of God’s word and with prayers, St Xavier sowed the seeds of faith in our hearts and the seeds bore fruit in the form of us. We are the fruits of
Xavier’s work,” he added.
“St Francis Xavier used the most ordinary instruments of our Christian life, that is the prayers of Our Father, Hail Mary, the Creed and the commandments and he has shown to us that by reading them over and over again we receive healing from God,” Bishop Saldanha preached.
“When Xavier couldn’t reach to the people, he sent the children as missionaries to go home and recite these prayers over and over again. St Francis Xavier invites us to ‘Go and do likewise’,” the Bishop pointed out and exhorted the faithful to take the most ordinary instruments of the prayers, the Gospel and the sacraments and they would set the world on fire.
“To become missionaries, we need to first become disciples of Christ and we can achieve that by reading the Bible daily. If we fail to become disciples of Christ, we cannot become missionaries,” the Bishop opined while urging the faithfuls to read the Bible with love and contemplate over it.
“Only then we will understand the truths of Heaven and will be able to give Christ to others like missionaries,” he added and stated that St Francis Xavier also tells us to read the Bible and proclaim Jesus to the world.
Earlier, Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao welcomed and introduced the bishop of Mangalore to the congregation.
At the end of the mass, Basilica Rector Fr Patricio Fernandes was all praise for the chief minister for the government’s support in preparations for the feast. North Goa collector R Menaka came in for particular praise, with the Rector saying she took a lot of interest in making the event successful.
Other Masses on the feast of St Francis Xavier were celebrated at 4 am, 5 am, 6 am, 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 12.30 pm, 3 pm (Spanish), 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm (English).
While the Feast of St Francis Xavier was most prominent at Old Goa, it was also the parish feast in different villages across the State, as these parishes have St Francis as their patron saint.