Panaji, Aug 31 :
The Exposition of Spanish saint St. Francis Xavier, Goa’s grandest religious event for this year, will feature in the central tourism ministry’s calendar of events, central Minister for Tourism and Culture Shripad Naik said Sunday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the swearing in of Governor Mridula Sinha, Naik also said that the tourism ministry would be partially funding the event, which is expected to draw at least five million visitors, including a sizeable number of foreign followers of the Catholic saint.
“If the state government needs anything more, we will be happy to provide,” Naik said, adding that the event will be showcased on the union tourism ministry’s website too.
As local MP, Naik is also a member of a high powered committee which has been instituted to oversee the arrangements for the event.
Every 10 years, remains of the missionary saint, also called the ‘Patron Saint of Goa’, are kept on public display at an event called the Exposition of St. Francis Xavier at the Old Goa Church complex located 10 km from Panaji.
Earlier, the body was on permanent display. However after church authorities noticed deterioration of the corpse which was for nearly two centuries miraculously incorruptible, they decided to have it viewed only once every 10 years during the event popularly known as Exposition.
Over five million devotees are expected to attend the event scheduled from Nov 22 in 2014 to Jan 4 next year.