Thousands of people gathered in Old Goa near here to celebrate the Feast of St Francis Xavier, patron saint of the coastal state, this morning.
The masses began at 4 in the morning and continued during the day with the main service being held at 10.30 am.
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 marks culmination of nine-day-long Novenas, the prayer services.
Fr Lobo in his address during the prayer spoke about the life of St Francis Xavier.
Archbishop Ferrao 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.
Also giving a message of environment protection, he said that Earth is our home and we need to work towards its preservation by joining hands with like-minded good souls who are already on the mission to save environment.
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