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Church of St. Francis of Assisi

The origin of the Church of St Francis of Assisi and the attached convent can be traced to eight Franciscan friars, who arrived in 1517. The Friars got hold of some houses that belonged to a deceased 'Thanadar'. In it they then constructed a small chapel with three altars and a choir. A church consecrated to the Holy Ghost was built in 1521. Later, in 1661, this church was pulled down and the present church of St Francis of Assissi was built - this new church retained only the entrance of the previous church.

 

The Church of St Francis of Assissi lies to the west of the Se Cathedral. The former palace of the Archbishop connects the Se Cathedral to the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The church is built of laterite blocks and is plastered with lime. The church has a nave, with three chapels on either sides of it, a choir, two altars in the transept and a main altar. There is a belfry and a sacristy to the north of the main altar.

The outside of the Church is designed in the Tuscan style; the main entrance being in the Manuline fashion. In a recess on the facade of the church there is a statue of our lady of miracles. This piece of sculpture was conveyed from Jaffna in Sri Lanka. The main altar inside the church has Baroque and Corinthian lineaments; on either side of which are large paintings on wood that depict scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assissi. A wooden statue of St. Francis of Assisi graces a pedestal that also bears the badge of the Franciscans. Beneath a costate vault lies the main altar; gilded and richly carved recess with a tabernacle, used for displaying the holy sacrament. The main altar houses a big statue of St. Francis of Assisi and also of the Crucified Jesus beneath which are inscribed the three vows of the St Francis - 'poverty, humility and obedience'. The Archaeological Museum of Goa now stands where once the convent was.

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