Goanizing Presence of Goycho Saib

The feast of St Francis Xavier, Goycho Saib is a moment of dialogue in our society. It brings together people of all walks of life. The is a fusions of horizon of everyone with the horizon of Goycho Saib. Goycho Saib mean several things to several people. It is archived into the living tradition of Goa. It has become a horizon into which each of us Goans are standing. It is an affective horizon that is not merely a standpoint of faith but also a standpoint that has deep ties to our sense of being humans and Goans. Some even take an opposite view and question the place of Goycho Saib in the horizon of our society. This means Goycho Saib has become immersed in our Goan-ness. Most of are affirmative while a few are dialectical. To the affirmative, his presence in Goa gives a sense of protection of Goa, Goans and Goan-ness and has deeply affected our consciousness. We are Goanizing ourselves as well as Goa by standing in the horizon that is affected by the miraculous presence of relics of Goycho Saib. He is almost sub-consciously present to us as the protector of Goa and hence, is interminably linked to our ways of being Goans in Goa and everywhere else.

Our understanding as Goans has some elements of what we have made of several factors that constitute our life an being in Goa. There is a given-ness that we have all received through our history and geography and our received cultural archive/traditions . We stand within this given-ness. We have not given it to our self by our dexterity. We are born into this ‘ Goan womb’. It is in dialogue with our ‘ Goan womb’/ Goan-ness that we Goanize ourselves as well as Goa. Since it makes us what we are, we cannot stand out of it and view it objectively. Thus it is said that we may take a Goan out of Goa but we cannot take Goa out of a Goan. Our sense of Goan-ness gives us a sense of directedness in our life and hence we love being Goans. It is this deep sense of being Goans that informs our living as well as dying as humans in the world. Like our mother tongue Konkani, the land of Goa and the people that inhabit and inhabited Goa form an profound and abiding relation with our sense of being Goans, the presence of Goycho Saib in not merely physical in Goa. It has come to belong to our abiding sense of being Goans. This is why Goans of all faiths come to celebrate the feast of Goycho Saib in Old Goa.

Our sense of being Goans informs our open-ness to others as well as the world. There are several ways that we validate this sense of being Goans. When we fought for Goa and for Konkani, we did validate our sense of Goan-ness. Our fights to save Goa today are also arising from our sense of being Goans. The feast of St. Francis Xavier is also a sense of validation of being Goans. This is why its celebrations ignites the joy of being Goans. One has to come to Old Goa to witness this joy of being Goans, one will see how it crosses all religious , caste and age barriers. This is something profoundly Goan about the celebration of this feast. It is gives us a sense of being Goans producing a belonging to Goa, Goans and Goan-ness. One has to understand that this celebration is not merely inward journey into the We of Goan-ness, on the contrary, we realize thst it is really in congruence of being Goans to the core. Hence, we can see how Goa and Goans embrace everyone. All devotees coming from anywhere from India or outside feel at home at the feast as we find it anywhere in Goa. The festival truly lives God’s welcome that it given to the land and the people of Goa. This is why the feast of St. Francis Xavier becomes an intense moment of dialogue for us in Goa.

As we celebrate the feast of Goycho Saib, the patron of our Borim Parish, I am filled with great joy which gives me a sense of being Boreikar. There are several meanings that we attach to this beautiful strip of land on the bank of river Zuari. The land, flora, fauna and its people truly represent the full flowering of God’s welcome to each and everyone. All this informs our ways of being human, Goykar as well as Boriekar. I wish to add another dimension to this beautiful social archive that Boriekars have built over the centuries. This has to do with the theological method that we know as typology. Jesus is of the type of Adam. Our Lord is second Adam. Just as Eve was born from the side of Adam, we have the new Eve, the Church that was born from the side of Jesus when his side was speared with a spear and water and blood flowed from it. Water is a symbol of baptism and blood is the symbol of the eucharist. Bor in Konkani is the side/ rib of a human being . Hence, we can say Borim is the rib of our Lord Jesus and our parish has come as body of Christ, the new Eve. Lets thank God as we celebrate the feast of our Patron St. Francis Xavier pray that each of us always stay united to the mystical body our Lord. I thank our Xavierites for taking this initiative for publishing our magazine on the occasion of our feast. I pray that they too be like St. Francis Xavier and give their life to Jesus and transform and bless our world.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao