Popular Devotions in Goa:

We  find popular devotions in every nook and corner  of  the world.  We  fimd them particularly in Goa, in all  the  churches, chapels  and crosses. People celebrate their novenas and  feasts regularly.  Throughout the liturgical year there are services  in these centres of worship. Due to lack of priests sometimes there is at least novena with the feast in some chapels which are often semi-public chapels and family oratories.

These  popular  devotions are mostly external  exercises  of piety. They are practised with enthusiasm and become the  pride of a village, ward or family. Besides these novenas and  feasts, there  are regular devotions in a centre of worship, like  novena of St.Anthony of Padova, St.Jude, Our Lady of Perpetual  Succour, Our Lady of Vailankani (Health), Infant Jesus of Prague, and so on and  so forth. People flock to these centres regularly inspite  of  all sacrifices that they have to undergo. They bring there all their intentions  and needs, they may come ready for a good  confession and communion. They are ready to offer their mite for the  main­tenance of the devotions and the churches or shrines. In partic­ular,  the “newly enriched” (nouveaux riches) people are proud to spend large  sums on feasts as sign of thanskgiving. They “solemnize” their feasts with music, crackers, music bands and concelebrated mass with many priests and a good, lively, “pathetic” sermon.

We shall evaluate briefly the popular devotions found in Goa after a short enumeration and description of the main ones  found today in this small land, known for its beaches and feasts.

1.Religious Traditions of Goa: Their Historical Background:

To understand the religious situation in Goa we have to bear in  mind the historical origins of Christianity in India  and  in Goa.

The  beginnings  of  Christianity in India go  back  to  the apostolic times. According to a reliable tradition, Thomas,  one of  the Twelve Apostles, came to India, preached the Gospel  here and was here martyred for his Faith. According to Saint Ephraem, the  Syrian Doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas dispelled  India’s abysmal darkness and espoused India to Christ. There was a Jewish colony and usually the Apostles would go to them

A Christian community was found in Malabar, in South  India, as early as the fifth century of the Christian era. In the  year 1500,  when the Portuguese under the leadership of Pedro  Alvares Cabral landed in Cochin, they came across some of these “Saint Thomas Christians”. The original aim of the Portuguese expedi­tions was to establish commercial relations with the East and to spread Christianity, as one of the companions of Vasco da Gama replied to a couple of Moors who questioned him: “Vimos buscar cristaos e especiarias(‘We have come to search christians and spices’).

The  conquest of the East to Christ was one of the  aims  of the kings of Portugal, who offerred themselves to the Holy See for that  campaign. The Vicar of Christ had charged them  with  that mission. Consequently, the increase of Christendom was a  point of duty for the kings of Portugal. For them the discovery of new worlds  was  a sign of God’s Providence and a  manifestation  of God’s designs. God had given them the marvellous achievement  of navigation,  not  merely  for economic  advantages, but  also  for higher spiritual ends. With this view in mind, priests and monks accompanied  the  soldiers and officers who embarked  for  India. Their  aim  was to spread the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth  to  the Gentiles, to be witnesses to Jesus in those far-off lands.

The  city of Goa, conquered by Dom Afonso  d’Albuquerque  on November 25, 1510, became the basis of the nascent Empire and the headquarters of the missionary activity.

Up to the landing of St.Francis Xavier at Goa, the  Francis­can Fathers were the chief missionaries in India and Ceylon (1500-1542). They were also in charge of all the Portuguese settlements. In 1542 there landed at Goa St.Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the East (1506-1552). During a brief stay of three years in India he evangelized Goa, started a new mission in Travancore where in one month he baptized ten thousand Mukuvas and in one year organized the Parava Mission on the Fishery Coast. With the help of clerics, he baptized 25,000 people in India. He also accepted for the Society of Jesus the College of Saint Paul, started by two Portuguese priests, Miguel Vaz and Diogo de Borba. In 1556 that College had 110 students.

Francis  then  went to the far East Islands and  Japan,  and ended  his career of ten years’ duration at Sancian (Sangchan) in  sight  of China  inn 1552. In 1554 his body was brought to Goa  where  his remains are still venerated by Catholics from all over India.

2.Christian Life of the First  Generation of Christians in Goa:

ress  was put on the instruction of catechumens  and  neo­phytes. At the same time that Afonso d’Albuqerque was  promoting interracial  marriages,  there  was a  provision  obliging  every settler  within  a specified time to teach his wife  and  slave-woman the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”. Otherwise, they could be fined. But due to the neglect on the part of priests many unmar­ried women went back to their worship, because they were neither punished for it nor instructed. In 1532 Miguel Vaz took the matter in hand, and ordered the priests to teach prayers, like “Our Father”,”I Believe”, “Hail Holy Queen”.

In  1541 the Confraternity of Holy Faith marked  out  three-fifths  of the former temple revenues (2,000 tangas brancas)  for the upkeep of churches and priests.

Francis  Xavier also taught children and  native  Christians the  main tenets of Catholic catechism. Later on, with the  help of students of St.Paul’s College instruction was given in Konkani and a catechism was drawn up in different languages by boys  from nine different regions. The coming of the press made it possible to  print in 1557 the Portuguese Catechism. In 1561 was  printed its Konkani version.

At Chorao there was daily instruction for children since 1555, at least. By the end of 1563 four other centres were established and the total number of children was given at that time as 430. Brahmin leaders were also instructed and many of them baptized, so that they could in turn draw other castes into Christian religion.

At  that stage, there were the following  traditional  devo­tions:

They had recourse to blessed water and relics in time of illness and stress with unusual results, for example, healing of smallpox, cobra bite and easy confinement for expectant mothers.

In this category falls also their attachment to the crosses, sacred pictures, images and beads. Usually there was a cross  in front of the Christian houses. Sometimes the cross was painted in the front room. The cross distinguished a Christian house from a Hindu house, which had “tulos” (religious and for health) before the house or in the courtyard. Even today there is a cross, sometimes the foundation stone where a cross was craved, in the Christian houses and “tulos” in the Hindu houses.

With permission, these crosses were carried in procession  to the churches. Thus, feasts had their origin in these  practices. The  people  wanted pictures and statues of the  Crucified  Lord, imported from Europe.

b)There were yearly festivals and fairs at popular  shrines. People would come from all directions for the titular feasts  and fill  the churches to overflowing, particularly for the  solemni­ties of the Mother of Jesus. They would pass Saturday nights  in the  porches of her shrines. As there were abuses, the  practice was forbidden by the first Provincial Council (….).

c)In  the Colégio de S.Paulo, founded in 1541,  were  intro­duced those Gothic and Renaissance pageants and ceremonies  which helped shape this culture’s aesthetic identity. Few of these are extant today, though much debased. The occasion for their introduction into Goa was the Plenary Jubilee conceded to India in 1551 by the founder of the Jesuit Order, Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491-1556), and made public by Francis Xavier’s colleague, the Dutch Jesuit, Gaspar Barzeu (or Barzaeus, 1515-1553/5). The Jubilee’s purpose was to encourage penance for past sins and prayer for the prevention of future ones. To further these ends Barzeu introduced processions like those of the Flagellants, the Devotas, and the Festival of Flowers. The procession of the Flagellants was current in Europe from the days of the Black Death (1347-1350). It was believed by some to be a substitute for the sacrament of penance itself. After a sermon on the words of David (Ps 32:10: “Many are the scourges of the sinner”, or according to the New English Bible [NEB], “Many are the torments of the ungodly”), the preacher would scourge himself in the pulpit for penance, his example being ecstatically followed by many in the congregation, the scene often terminating in a frenzy of bloody flagellation.

(Cf.José Pereira, Baroque India, pp.19-20: Barzeu was responsible for introducing cultural phenomenafor the creation of a Latin Indian culture, like plainchant, polyphony, Western musical instruments, like instruments of wind (the flute, organ ,shawm and trumpet), of percussion (the drum) and string(the cittern, guitar, harp, harpsichord, lute, vihuela and viola; later, violin and piano), as well as Western musical forms, like the mass, oratorio, cantata, villancico and even opera. The monophonic tradition of Goan music, already half a millennium old, was harmonized, and the way prepared for the emergence of the finest song form created by that tradition, the Mando. See p.19).

(The music and singing that were part of these activities were further encouraged by Barzeu by his initiating the customs of the sung mass and of chants accompanied by the organ, as well as by his instituting the post of the choir master (mestre capela). Drama and music were conjoined most effectively in the Passos (“sufferings”), Passion plays enacted with the aid of images, including scenes from the Last Supper, the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns, the Ecce Homo, the judgment of Pilate, the Carrying of the Cross, the Crucifixion and the Entombment. The world of the Late Gothic and of the Renaissance was thus transplanted on India soil. These institutions were first established, and these ceremonies first performed, often with great pomp, in the first monumental church ever built by the Jesuits, S.Paulo dos Arcos in Velha Goa (1560-1572, António de Quadros, 120).


The festival of Flowers, introduced by Barzeu, was held in commemoration of the Madonna’s Nativity birth of Mary, the Mother of God), on Sep­tember 8. Boys in two long queues/rows , in white tunics and crowned with chaplets of flowers, dressed as “angels”, carrying bamboo baskets of flowers, like chrysanthemums, dahlias, roses, Arabian jasmines and other blooms, would walk in procession, a pair at a time, to the statue of the Madonna in the church, empty their baskets’ fragrant contents at her feet, and return to their places, singing Latin hymns, like O gloriosa virginum,” O glorious Virgin!”, or Konkani ones, like Devache Mate, pav tum amkam, “Mother of God, come to our aid”.

The Devotas were nocturnal chants, announced by marchers with wooden clappers (matracas?, cf.), for the souls in Purgatory. One of the participants would carry/bear on the head an earthenware pot blazing with coals (a pot of burning coals, symbolizing its torments), as a reminder of Purgatory and its flames.

But most important were the Passos (Image Passion Plays), in several acts, some of which survive today. In one of these acts, statues of Christ and the Apostles were arranged round a table to represent the Last Supper–a pratice which is followed in Vandrem (Bandra or Bandora, formerly an important village of the Portu­guese Province of the North, and now absorbed into the city of Bombay/Mumbai). Other acts were the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns, the Ecce Homo, “Behold the Man”, the Carrying of the Cross, Pilate’s Judgment, and the Crucifixion (leading to the Entombment). The last passo had a procession in which there were flagellants and penitents, some holding their hands to the flame, but most with arms stretched out and generally tied to a cross, with real or painted wounds on their bodies. There were also boys in long robes and surplices, carrying replicas of the instruments of the Passion–like the column, cross, hammer, pincers, scourges, ladder, spear, sponge, nails, and crown of thorns. Other boys, with wings fastened to their shoulders, were given the task of drawing the sanctuary curtains and of holding the chalice. There were also the musi­cians, some playing the harp and others chanting the Pupilli facti sumus, We are like orphans without a father”. Also pres­ent were the Irmandades (Brotherhoods/Confraternities), with varicoloured capes (opa/murça), and the clergy, their heads covered with part of their surplices.

But the most dramatic types in these processions were men impersonating three types of characters. First, the historical and other figures of the Passion and of the New Testament, such as Apostles, Nicodemus, Judas, the angels, executioners, shep­herds and jungle folk. Remarkable among these were the Jews with their long beards and Moorish caps, and the centurion (Longinus) dressed in black, shaking his clapper before the cross. Second, the figures of the Old Testament, like Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, and the Serpent of Eden. Last, were the animalistic and terrifying figures like Death, and the Spectres bearing the bier of the dead Christ, demons and other horrific and brutish beings. The Resurrection was announced by men in the costumes of savages and foresters. During the chanting of the Responses of Matins, boys dressed as angels holding candles and singing the Gloria, in imitation of the descent of those heavenly messengers, were let down from the roof or the windows of the church. These and other evocative spectacles were curtailed or eliminated by the Arch­bishops of Goa, renowned through their office, but otherwise generally unremarkable for their sanctity or erudition. As Voltaire says somewhere, “les grands crimes n’ont guere été commis que par les célebres ignorants”, “great crimes have not been committed except by ignoramuses of renown”.

c)The Holy Week attracted masses. On Good Friday, a touch­ing Crucifix was shown to the crowd and a figure of Jesus reclin­ing in death was carried in procession, while the children sang the moving lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah.

By  the  beginning  of the seventeenth  century  in  several churches scenes from the history of Jesus’ death were represented by actors on the stage. The fifth Provincial Council condemned this as “unedifying”, but held that the practice of showing Jesus being taken down from the cross on Good Friday inspired sincere religious sentiment and could be continued. In 1642 Pietro della Valle testifies already to the existence of “PASSOS” (steps or representations of various stages in the history of Jesus’ death). A pliable statue was used for that purpose. There was sermon, scenes like “Ecce Homo” (‘Behold the Man’), or our Lord with the Cross upon his shoulders, or the Crucifix were shown. The “Passos” continue till today as a feature of Lenten Season. Motetes” (hymns related to the Passion of Jesus, from the French word MOT, “word”, a commentary on different words of Jesus) are sung, with representation of a few acts of the Passion of Jesus.

There were also a few malpractices and abuses associated with this devotion: they would make these figures move and turn, as they made the robe fall off from the “Ecce Homo”, and discover the wounded body. Then women would cry aloud. What is worse, the Gentlewomen/Ladies (Senhoras) would beat their maids even in the church if they did not cry loudly, whether they have a will to it or not. From 1552 onwards the Jesuit records mention the peoples’ “cries and tears”, taking for granted that it would edify the readers in Europe. In 1561 the Jesuits unexpectedly started scourging themselves in choir towards the end of evening service on Wednesday and Thursday in Holy Week. The people thereupon burst into subdued sobs and tears, men beat their breasts, plucked their beards, and beat themselves with their cinctures and swordbelts. Emotion in religous life was emphasized during this period.

From Portugal Visitor Jerónimo Nadal ordered Provincial António de Quadros to stop the practice. But Quadros appealed to the Head of the Order Francisco de Borja, pointing out that the practice was in keeping with the tradition of the land and that the people are edified by it, since at their feasts men threw themselves under chariots, hang in the air transfixed from side to side by iron hooks and performed other similar sacrifices in honour of their gods. Francisco de Borja then overruled Nadal.

By this time the Jesuits had also started exhibiting  during Christmastide. Nadal wanted to stop it, but again  Quadros  ap­pealed to Rome, because the crib was in keeping with the land and was visited by them. Once more Borja overruled Nadal.

The solemnities of Easter and Corpus Christi were celebrated with dances, fireworks, and to the sound of bagpipes, drums, trumpets, flutes and fiddles. Arches and foliage lavishly deco­rated the route along which the procession was to pass, people decorated their doorways and windows with precious cloths and carpets, and candles burned in almost every nook and corner. These celebrations attracted also the non-Christians.

Regarding dances, children alone used to take part, but later on men and women participated in processions dressed up as Saints. In the spirit of Holi festival men dressed up as women dancers took part in them. The second Provicial Council con­demned this as “irreverent and childish”, but permitted men to dance dressed up decently as men. The fourth Provincial Council forbade any display of fireworks and gunpowder at processions or church feast, under pain of excommuniccation and a fine of ten pardaos whenever one was caught at it. However, fireworks continued down to our times, distracting attention even at moments normally dedicated to silent adoration.

Recently, the fashion of video-filming is being another nuisance at the liturgical cele­brations.

d)Formerly,  the HOSHI (astrologer) used to bless  the  rice harvest and the people used to go in procesion to offer the newly harvested  sheaves at the Temple. In the villages of  Taleiganv, Divar,  Goltim and Navelim people requested the priests  to  come and bless their harvest. They went to the spot carrying a banner with the name of Jesus and Paul on it. Then they came in proces­sion to the Churcb where the priest first laid his sheaf on the altar-steps and was followed by the congregation. People would take their sheafs home.


3.POPULAR DEVOTIONS TODAY:

The historical background given above will help us to under­stand how today’s popular devotions came to being and how they multiplied themselves due to various factors.

1)Novena of St.Francis Xavier: There is a novena, starting on November 25, followed by the feast on December 3. People from all Goan villages and from all over India flock there, some spend nights around the Basilica of Bom Jesus. There are good confessions. Opportunity is seized to instruct the people with liturgical celebrations and preaching. Mass services are organ­ized for different groups every day, priests, sick, youth, child­ren, fisherfolks, workers, drivers. There is a fair. People of all creeds come to kiss the feet of GOENCHO SAIB (“Goa’s Lord”). There have been expositions of his body (or relics) since 1554. In 1952, at the fourth centenary of the death of St.Francis Xavier, there was a solemn exposition with the presence of Papal Legate, Dom Manuel Gonsalves Cerejeira, Cardinal-Patriarch of
Portugal. For the first time the body of St.Francis was taken in solemn procession from the Basilica of Bom Jesus to See Cathe­dral. The first exposition of the relics of St.Francis after Goa’s Liberation took place in 1964. Then there were expositions in 1974 and in 1984, the last time with the presence of Joseph Cardinal Cordeiro, Archbishop of Karachi (today Islamabad), Pakistan. Recently, another private Exposition took place during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Goa on February 6, 1986.

People  usually bring candles and wax images to  put  before the altar. They bring pictures, rosaries and scapulars and have them blessed by the priests. They give also their financial contributions to the Basilica.

2.Devotions  to Our Lady: There are novenas and  feasts  to Our Lady under all names, Perpetual Succour, Vailankanni,  Guada­lupe,  Fatima, Lourdes, Our Lady of O (Guadalupe), Good  Counsel, Good Delivery, Good Hope, Pleasure of the Moribund, and so on and so forth.

People flock to Tivim for the novena of Our Lady of Perpetu­al  Succour every  Wednesday. Even Hindus go  for  novena  and celebrate  the feast. Names should be enrolled ten years  in  ad­vance for the celebration of that feast. The Novena was  started by Fr.Inocêncio Correia, Assistant Parish-priest of that village, in  thanksgiving for a favour received by him. He had  tried  to start  it in other villages, but did not succeed. Emphasis  was being laid on favours and miracles.

There  has been also devotion to the Pilgrim Virgin. A  lot of controversy took regarding this visitation. Clergy was divid­ed about it. But under the pressure of the people it has been brought by several parishes. Crackers and devotion have marked this event, which draws thousands of people from the respective village and from the neighbouring ones.

In several villages, there is visitation of the statue of Our Lady from house to house. Problems arise when the statue has to pass from a house to another house, whose members are not in good, talking terms with those of the former house. Devotion to Our Lady may not heal this type of enemity…

3.Devotion to Fr.Agnelo: There is novena every Thursday in Pilar Monastery. People are praying for his beatification. Miracles are being published in the weekly of the Society of St.Francis Xavier, VAURADDDEANCHO IXTT (Workers’ Friend), for example, cures from headache, abdominal pain, asthma, psychological healings, rescue from accidents. There is a Committee for the process of his Canonization. Two “extraordinary miracles” are long awaited, for instance, a cure of cancer. One case has been brought to the notice of the medical staff of a cancer hospital, but physicians denied that it was a “cancer case” and confessed that they had been mistaken in their diagnosis…

4.Devotion  to Fr.José Vaz: There is also a  Committee  for the  Canonization  of Fr.José Vaz. In Sri Lanka, the  Church  is earnestly  working  for it. The shrine is in  Sancoale. People flock for the novena. Fr.Faustino de Souza had built the  chapel and founded the Congregation of the Holy Family for nuns. Presently Fr.Eremito Monte Rebelo is organizing the devotion at the shrine. ……….

5. Devotion to St.Anthony: There is novena (or usually trezena, that is, preparation of thirteen days) and feast in honour of St.Anthony of Padova. In some chapels there is novena every Tuesday. In Candolim, Msgr.Francisco Monteiro started a novena in a small chapel in thanksgiving of a favour accorded to him: he was released from prison on a Tuesday after being there since he held a Portuguese passport after Goa’s Liberation. People flock there every Tuesday. There is also devotion to St.Anthony’ Bread in some chapels. He is the patron of lost things and of lost persons…

6.Passion of Our Lord: There are representations of our Lord’s sufferings (or PASSOS), such as agony in Gethsemane, flagellation, cross on shoulders, meeting with Mary his Mother, Veronica, crucifixion. Preachers are chosen for sermons. There is dramatization, people burst into tears, the scene ends with the descent of the Crucified. There is also a “Way of the Cross” every Friday during the Lenten season. In some churches during the Holy Week the Cross may be carried by different sections of people according to age or sex/gender. There are also biblical dramas, dramatizing the life, passion and the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

7.Devotion  to  the  Crucified: There is  devotion  to  the miraculous  Crucifix  in  Mount Bela-Vista, in Old  Goa,  and  in Rachol. There is novena and feast in Old Goa. In Rachol,  people flock in thousands every first Friday of the month for Mass, sermon and novena. Then they kiss the image of the Crucified Lord. Being a regular confessor and preacher in this church for eight years, I have witnessed the faith of the people. Even non-Christians come to ask favours.

The devotion started after a miracle took place: there was no rain one year in the rainy season. People took the crucifix in procession and it started raining in torrents. Devotion started regularly. Fr.Amelino Vaz begun it. It had also a push from Fr.Thomas Rocha, who has been the author of another devotion in Chinchinim: devotion to St.Jude. Then Fr.Osório Fernandes gave it continuity. Fr.Romeo Lagrange Ratisbonne Fernandes gave it a new push. His emphasis had been on renewal of life as well as on miracles. He announces all the “miracles”, sometimes even “ordinary” ones, for example, not only healings, finding jobs, getting issue, but also like repair of television set without a mechanic, having hair on bald part of head without any medicine…Now it continues under the direction of Fr.Visitaçao Monteiro.

There is also devotion to the Cross in Curca. In Nuvem,  a layman  Miguel  Colaço  started a devotion to the  cross  in  his house:  a  huge cross is there. People come,  are  subjected  to cruel,  inhuman penance, like being tied up and rolling  downhill, being  beaten. The Archbishop-Patriarch, Msgr.Raul Nicolau  Gon­salves,  after an investigation, had forbidden this practice,  but it still continues till today. The place is called “Khirbhatt”.

There  are litanies near the crosses, ending  with  drinking the liquor (FENNI). They are being multiplied, in particular near places where people are frightened and accidents occur. Often they are on turns and become an obstacle for drivers. Recently, another “popular devotion” began in Campal, Panjim, where there was the papal altar and a cross. People kissed the chair and placed there their children. They kiss the cross and started litanies there before the papal cross. There is a con­troversy whether it should be kept there or should be taken to Old Goa or Rachol Seminary, or elsewhere. It is now in Shiroda.

8.All Saints’ Devotion:

There are statues of known and unknown Saints in Goa Velha. There is a solemn yearly procession. There are 100 statues, but now there remain only 35 statues.


9.All Souls’ Day:

On All Souls’ Day, November 2, there is a banquet, where the living people take part. It is left for souls to come and take part, but it may be eaten by crows and dogs. Prayers are said at the hearing of bells, people visit the cemetery and offer prayers for the deceased. Mass is offered in the cemetery and people may stand near the graves of their own dear ones. There are also malpractices of goondaism and hooliganism on that night in the name of the departed souls…

10.Harvest  Feast: The first corn is brought  and  offered before  the  altar, not only in Taleiganv/Tallganv, but  almost  in  every village  today. Another practice which has been recently  intro­duced is the blessing of new vehicles.

11.Infant Jesus of Colva:

There  is  a statue of Infant Jesus in Colva  Church,  which according to a tradition has been taken from Rachol Seminary. People come for the beginning of the novena, called “Fama”, as well as for the whole novena and feast. Services are well organ­ized. The day of “fama of Menino Jesus” is well known to every­body.


12.Devotion  to the Sacred Heart: There is novena and  feast in  honour  of  the Sacred Heart of Jesus in  all  the  churches. There is also the practice of “enthronement” of the Sacred  Heart picture  in the Christian homes. People may celebrate the  first Saturdays of month, by attending Mass and prayers.

13.Devotion to St.Jude: This devotion is not new. There has been in many churches, especially in Chinchinim church. Now a special type of devotion was started on the papers. It took a new turn: newspapers publish the names with a prayer that gives
the conditions of praying for nine days and publishing it. Publication yields Rs.40 to the Editor. It comes regularly in Navhind Times and Herald. Here is the prayer:

THANK YOU ST.JUDE’S NOVENA

May  the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored,  glorified,  loved and preserved throughout the world now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us. St.Jude, worker of Miracles, pray for us. St.Jude,  helper of the hopeless, pray for us. Say  this  prayer nine  times  a day. By the eighth day your prayers will  be  an­swered. Say it for nine days. It has never been known to  fail. Publication must be promised. Thank you, St.Jude. K.J.Thomas”.


The Archbishop-Patriarch has called attention of the people to this chainlike devotion. Practice still goes on.

Evaluation and Conclusion:

I have reviewed the popular devotions existing today in Goa. Popular  devotions are inevoitable, but they should be guided  by the religious leaders, lest they degenerate into “popular  devia­tions”. Most of them have been started by  priests  themselves, some are imported from Europe, others are the fruit of the  soil. It  is up to the priests to correct the deviations and  lead  the people to the Heavenly Father through symbols and myths. Instead of suppressing them, they should be revitalized (Vatican II, SC 13). Emphasis on the Word of God is being put, but yet much is left to be done.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Anthony D’COSTA, SJ, The Christianisation  of  the Goa   Islands  (1510-1567), St.Xavier’s  College, Bombay,   1965, pp.172-192; Carlos MERCES DE MELO, SJ, the Recruitment and Forma­tion  of the Native Clergy in India, Agência Geral  do  Ultramar, Lisbon,  1955,  pp.3-28; Joseph C.HOUPERT, SJ, Church  History  of India and Ceylon, The Catholic Truth Society of India, Trichinop­oly, 1942; José Pereira, Baroque India.The Neo-Roman Religious Architecture of South Asia:A Global Stylistic Survey, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, 2000 .

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