Thousands of faithfuls attended the annual Feast of St Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa, on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, his Cabinet colleagues, legislators from the Opposition and others attended the special masses to mark the occasion.
The main mass was held at at 10.30 am at Panaji's Basilica of Bom Jesus, which is part of the Churches and convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site, where relics of the revered saint are preserved.
Before attending the mass, the chief minister greeted people.
"Warm greetings and good wishes to the people of Goa on the occasion of Feast of St Francis Xavier," he tweeted.
Apart from the CM, other political attendees included Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, MLAs and former chief minister Luizinho Faleiro.
A tight security was maintained by the police as a large number of people started flocking churches in Old Goa since Tuesday morning.
As a prelude to the festival, novena prayers were held during the last week.
In the Roman Catholic Church, Novena is a form of worship consisting of special prayers or services on nine successive days.
"Faithfuls from across the world arrive here to pay their respect to the patron saint, St Xavier. There are some pilgrims who come every year. The Church has made arrangements for their stay at several places," said Flavio Gomes, an Old Goa parishioner.
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