Panaji: A BJP MLA on Tuesday demanded in the Legislative Assembly that the state government invite new Pope Francis for the decadal exposition of St Francis Xavier in Goa, scheduled to be held next year.
MLA Vishnu Wagh said in the House that the state government should formally extend an invitation to Pope Francis to attend the festival.
The decadal exposition would be held in November to December, 2014.
The last exposition of relics of St Francis Xavier was held in 2004. The event went on for 40 days with lakhs of devotees thronging Old Goa, a church complex situated 9 kms away from Panaji.
Wagh said the state government should start fixing the infrastructural issues faced by Old Goa, by widening the existing roads among other things.
"The Old Goa has 7-8 exit points. There are some old roads with heritage value which need to be restored," said the MLA, who represents St Andre constituency, which is adjacent to Old Goa.
The relics of St Francis Xavier are preserved at the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
The casket containing the saint's relics is brought out of the Basilica in a procession led by priests of different parishes and is taken to the Se Cathedral across the road, where it is kept for veneration.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar did not make any formal statement on the floor of the House on the demand made by Wagh.