Tourist Place at Nagercoil – St. Xavier’s Church

History and Origins of St. Xavier’s Church in Kottar

Construction and Consecration:

The construction work on the church began in 1594. St. Xavier’s church was dedicated in May 1605 by the archbishop, Dom Fr. Aleixo de Menezes. This world heritage memorial has emerged as a landmark in the history of Christianity.

Historical Significance:

It is situated in Nagercoil town, Kottar. St. Xavier’s Church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. With his very close friend St.Ignatius Loyola, St.Francis Xavier founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Francis Xavier died on Sancian Island, Chuandao, while en route to continental China on December 3, 1552. His body was first taken to Portuguese Malacca and later shipped back to Goa. It is said that the saint’s body was as fresh as the day it was buried. The remains of the saint still attract a huge number of tourists from all over the world, especially during the public viewing of his body every ten years.


St. Francis Xavier’s mission in India left an indelible impact on the growth of the church. His strategies and dedication continue to inspire generations. St. Xavier’s Church in Kottar stands as a testament to the faith, history, and enduring legacy of this remarkable missionary.

Architectural Features of St. Xavier’s Church in Kottar

Architectural Style:

While specific details about its architectural style are not readily available, it is likely influenced by traditional Christian architecture. The church may exhibit elements of baroque architecture and Portuguese colonial architecture.

Woodwork and Carvings:

Upon entering the church, visitors can witness beautiful woodwork and intricate carvings. These details add to the historical and spiritual attraction of the location.

The spiritual significance of St. Xavier’s Church in Kottar

Devotional Space:

St. Xavier’s Church serves as a place of worship and devotion for the local Christian community. It provides a serene environment for prayer, reflection, and connecting with God.

Veneration of St. Francis Xavier:

The church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, a revered saint and missionary. St. Francis Xavier’s legacy is deeply intertwined with the spread of Christianity in India. Pilgrims and devotees visit the church to pay homage to this remarkable saint.

Community Gatherings and Celebrations:

St. Xavier’s Church hosts various religious ceremonies, feasts, and festivals. These events bring the community together, fostering a sense of unity and faith.

Legacy and Inspiration:

St. Francis Xavier’s unwavering dedication to spreading the Gospel continues to inspire generations. His missionary zeal, compassion, and selflessness serve as a model for believers.

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