Over 50 lakh people to attend exposition of St Xavier's relics in Goa

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50 lakh people to attend Goa exposition
Panaji, June 26: The church authorities in Goa are expecting a turnout of over 50 lakh devotees from across the globe to witness the exposition of holy relics of St Francis Xavier, which is scheduled in December-January 2015.

"Over 50 lakh tourists are expected to arrive for the exposition. For the last exposition held ten years back, 30 lakh tourists had arrived. The church is gearing up to hold this important event," Fr Alfred Vaz, the Chief organiser of the exposition, told reporters yesterday.

He was addressing reporters on the sidelines of the launching of a website for the decennial event. Meanwhile, the archbishop of Goa, Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao has ruled out the possibility of Pope Francis visiting India for the event. "The Vatican authorities have informed us that it would not be possible for the Pope to visit India," he said.

The exposition would be held from November 22 to January 4, 2015. St Francis Xavier was born in Spain on April 7, 1506 and arrived in the coastal state, then a Portuguese colony, on May 6, 1542.

His missionary work took him across Asia over the next 10 years. He died on December 3, 1552, on Sancian island, China. His remains were first laid to rest in Portuguese Malacca (present day northern Malaysia), but two years later, they were moved to the Portuguese colony at Goa and installed in the Basilica of Bom Jesus, near Panaji.

PTI

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