Guides prohibited from Goa basilica holding relics of St. Francis Xavier

.- Officials at the basilica that houses the relics of St. Francis Xavier have decided to restrict tour guides because of numerous complaints by devotees that they are disruptive.

"There were complaints from devotees that guides explaining the church's historical importance to the tourists in a loud voice was a nuisance during prayers and hence we decided to restrict guiding activity within the Basilica Bom Jesus Church," the church's rector, Fr. Savio Barretto, told

"We welcome tourists to the Basilica but not the guides who create noise during the prayers. People come here to pray in peace," Fr. Barretto said. Several thousand tourists visit the basilica every day.

This 16th-century church is included among the 21 world heritage monuments, selected by Archeological Survey of India and among the seven world heritage monuments in Old Goa Complex. St Francis Xavier died in Goa 1552 on his voyage to China.

Another problem at the basilica is that non-Catholic tourists often approach to receive Communion, which Catholics believe to be the true presence of Christ - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  Therefore, only those who share in this belief and profess the Catholic faith are allowed to partake.

"Communion is a part and parcel of the Catholic faith, and it cannot be received unless you are baptized in the Catholic faith," Fr. Barretto stated.


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