St. Francis Xavier’s `Miracle in Goa…revealed for the first time
Mr. Filomeno Diogo reveals a personal story of saving Goa from destruction by the Portughese at the time of liberation in 1961.
Mr. Filomeno Diogo Jacinto da Silva says “As the 50th anniversary year of Liberation and the Feat of St Francis Xavier are both coming soon, I wish to cite my personal experience of a miracle that occurred before the Liberation of Goa on 19 December 1961, because of which, I feel, Goa was saved from total destruction”.
Identifying himself he says, “Endowed with the natural talent for playing the violin, I was recruited in the Portuguese military in 1958. I went to Portugal in 1959 for my Sergent Militian course, and returned to Goa in 1960. From 17 October 1961, I started working for Emmisora do Goa, which later became part of All India Radio (AIR), where I served till my retirement in 1993”.
Narating the crucial event he says, “After the Indian army crossed the Goa border on 18 December 1961, I was called up as a reservist to defend Goa. The Portuguese administration realised that the Indian Army would be victorious, so 100 soldiers were deputed to the Shrine of St Francis Xavier, to lift the casket containing the holy relics and put it aboard the last airplane to leave Goa, specially flown from in Portugal, piloted by Solome de Almeida”.
According to him, “In the presence of the Bishop, the Governor and the Secretary inside the closed Basilica, the force of 100 soldiers was not able to lift the casket, containing the immortal body of St Francis Xavier”. This he considers as a miracle which changed the course of events.
“Witnessing this miracle, the Governor who had been ordered by Salazar to destroy Goa was forced to change his mind, as carrying out of the orders would also destroy the immortal relics of the Patron Saint of Goa and Defender of the East” according to him.
He is convinced that it was the powerful intervention of St Francis Xavier that saved tiny Goa from turning into ashes.
Source:Herald – Letters to the Editor column
Joseph Mattam, SJ
Sneh Jyoti, SEVASI,