The feast of St Francis Xavier, popularly known as Goycho Saib, was celebrated at St Francis Xavier’s church in Bhatpal, Canacona on Monday.
The concelebrated high mass was held at 10 a.m. with Fr Candido Fernandes, professor of Rachol Seminary being the main celebrant flanked by the priests of the deanery. He also preached the homily during the mass.
The theme for the day was, ‘Sam Francis Xaviera porim, Bhavarthan subham jivita sorim.’
In his homily, Fr Fernandes said that God gives us life to proclaim His word to those who have not received it. He recalled the life of St Francis who always tried to proclaim the word of God. "Though initially he was attached to earthly things later he realised that the things in the world are a passing phase so he embraced the word of God and followed Christ," Fr Fernandes said.
He exhorted the faithful to follow in the footsteps of the saint and to lead their lives according to God’s plan.
Scores of people gathered at the church to venerate the relic of the saint. It is not just the people from Canacona taluka who came to venerate the relic but many people from the neighbouring Karwar also were present to venerate and kiss the relic of the saint.
In order to accommodate the people during the masses, a huge pandal was erected in the church compound.
The relic has been preserved in a glass casket and is being venerated from the first day of the novenas.
After the concelebrated high mass, the relic was taken out in a procession around the church in which even the non-Catholics participated. A Konkani drama, ‘Teddy Bear’, was staged in the evening, in aid of the church.
The Canacona police made elaborate arrangements during the feast to ensure smooth flow of traffic along the NH-17 where the church is situated. At least five-six policemen were seen manning the traffic during the day. [NT]