Old Goa (Goa) Thousands of devotees today participated in the masses held to mark the feast of St Francis Xavier at Old Goa.
The masses began in the morning at 4 a.m. and continued during the day with the main service being held at10.30 a.m. Archbishop of Udupi Fr Gerald Isaac Lobo was the main celebrant of the mass which was held in Konkani and English.
Archbishop of Goa and Daman Fr Philipe Neri Ferrao was also present for the mass, which was held at Basilica of Bom Jesus, a home for the relics of the Saint.
The feast today culminated the nine-day-long Novenas, the prayer services which are held in the run up for the main event.
Fr Lobo in his address during the prayer narrated about the life of St Francis Xavier who was on the mission to preach the goodness of Jesus Christ in India during which he came to Goa first and continued his work.
“We are called up to continue the same mission of the Christ Jesus sharing love of Christ,” he said.
The Archbishop spreading the message of helping the needy, said “We are called up to proclaim gospel of Jesus not only by our words but also by our good deeds.”
“One who lives in Jesus becomes a new creation. Let us also be the person transformed by spirit of Christ. Let us be the instrument of peace and service,” he said.
“Jesus died for us on the Cross not only to redeem us but also to make us instrument of service. One who lives in Christ has to put on the sprit of Christ, the Good Shephard. Caring for the elderly, sick, abandoned,” the Archbishop added.
He said that the sense of justice must possess us, sharing our time and talent with the needy shall be our mission. “Let us join the persons of good will around us to carry on this responsibility.”
Giving a message to protect environment, he said that Earth is our Home and we need to work towards its preservation by joining hands with the like-minded good souls who are already on the mission.