Old Goa: Thousands including Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, his cabinet colleagues, legislators from the opposition and others attended the feast masses at Old Goa on Tuesday.
The feast of St Francis Xavier, who is considered as the patron saint of Goa, is celebrated on December 3 annually.
Sawant attended the mass at 10.30 a.m., which was the main mass for the feast at Old Goa’s Basilica of Bom Jesus where the relics of the revered saint are preserved.
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat also attended the mass along with his party colleagues former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco.
Police had kept elaborate arrangement to ensure that there is no law and order issue considering the huge crowd that gathers at Old Goa to attend the masses which begins from early morning.
As a prelude to the festival, novenas were held during last week, which also were attended by thousands of people from the state and across the country.
“The faithfuls from across the world arrive here to pay their respect to the patron saint. There are some pilgrims who come every year. The Church has made arrangements for their stay at several places,” Flavio Gomes, an Old Goa Parishioner said.
He said that the parishioners work as volunteers to ensure that there is no rush and also discipline is maintained during the masses.
Earlier during the day, the chief minister greeted the people of the State on the feast day.
“Warm greetings and good wishes to the people of Goa on the occasion of Feast of St Francis Xavier,” he tweeted.