Basilica of Bon Jesus

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Renowned throughout the Catholic world, the 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus has gilded altars and is ornamented with frescoes and inlay work. It is best known for the tomb of St Francis Xavier, which it houses.

After his death in 1552 on a small island off the coast of China, his remains were transferred to Goa. Upon arrival it was found that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. Today, what remains of his body (minus an arm that was removed and sent to Rome and a toe bitten off by a devout pilgrim) lies in an airtight glass coffin positioned in a silver casket crafted by a 17th century Florentine jeweler, and is made visible to the public every ten years.

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