Timothy Tye
St Francis Xavier's Statue
St Paul's Hill, Malacca




St Francis Xavier's Statue (9 July 2005)





The Statue of St Francis Xavier (GPS: xxzz) stands in front of the ruins of St. Paul's Church. It was quite a recent addition, completed only in 1952, on the 400th anniversary of St Francis Xavier's visit to Malacca, from 1545 to 1552, on his way to the Far East. When he died in China in 1553, his body was sent back to Malacca, where it was interred here for nine months. When a decision was made to transfer it to Goa, the exhumers were astounded to learn that his body showed little sign of decay, even though it had been buried for nine months. This led to request for the missionary to be made a saint. Now, in order to be canonized, the Catholic church needed a relic. When the arm of Francis Xavier was severed, it still dripped blood.

If you take a look at Francis Xavier's statue, you will see that his right arm is also missing. However, this is not part of the original design of the statue. A day after the statue was consecrated, a large casuarina tree fell on it, breaking off its right arm. And so it stands today without one limb.



Getting there

From Dutch Square, walk along Jalan Kota as it makes a circle around St Paul's Hill. When you reach Porta de Santiago, you will find the flight to steps going up St Paul's hill behind it. The steps leads to the ruins of St Paul's Church. The Statue of St Francis Xavier is located right in front of the church.

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