THE body of a priest who went missing on Tuesday has been found near Belhaven Bay.

Police searching for Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira have informed his family of the discovery, which was made yesterday afternoon.

Father Martin Xavier, 33, was last seen in St John The Baptist RC Church in Corstorphine, Edinburgh , at around 1pm on Tuesday.

He had been in Edinburgh since October.

A post on the website of Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh today read: “Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira was found dead on Friday evening on a beach at Dunbar, East Lothian. The cause of death, as yet unknown.”

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh, said: “The news of Father Martin Xavier’s death comes as a great shock and a great sadness to all those who knew him and loved him.”

“Our thoughts and, more importantly, our prayers are with him and with all his loved ones in both Scotland and India. May he rest in peace.”

Father Martin Xavier was a native of the southern Indian state of Kerala and a member of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate congregation.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Police Scotland can confirm that a body has been recovered from the West Barns area in East Lothian.

"The discovery was reported to police around 4pm on Friday.

"The family of Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira has been informed of this development."