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Feast of Our Lady of Rosary, Navelim - Goa



The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Rosary begins every third Wednesday in November. This devotion of Our Lady comprises of an extensive celebration which begins with traditional processions and novenas. Each year the family selected to celebrate the feast paints the church many days before the feast. The church is beautifully decorated and covered with fairy lights. Most of the houses and streets in the village are lit up with colorful lights during the celebrations.

Every four years, the statue of Our Lady of Rosary is brought down from the altar and a procession takes Her to Rosary School where a High mass is held. During this one day consecration of Our Lady, children from the school act out scenes from the Bible and the playground is filled with crowds.

Nine days before the grand feast, a candlelight procession at 3:00 a.m. carries a beautifully decorated statue of Our Lady from the Telaulim church to the Navelim church. Everyday for the following nine days, the Novena prayers begin between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. On the tenth day masses begin at 5:00 a.m. and the celebration of the feast continues for the next three days.

In the evenings, a grand fireworks display is sponsored by the family selected to celebrate the feast. Throughout the day and night there are Konkani concerts & dramas. In addition there are dances held in the evenings which are well attended. The traditional Lions Nite is very popular. The Navelim villagers invite relatives and friends for a celebration at their homes and they usually visit each others homes carrying trays of traditional Goan sweets.  

Feast of the Blessed Mother...

Our lady of Rosary, Navelim



the legendary Navelim Church...

According to legend, this church was built in mud (similar to most churches in Goa) in the year 1594 to 1598. The builders were Jesuits and it was financed by the villagers. The first parish priest of Navelim Church was a French Jesuit Fr. John Sena (Mitras Lusitanas no Oriente).

 As time passed, the church became small for the growing population. Later on, it was reconstructed with laterite stones on a larger scale by a rich Goan merchant, whose name is not known. This merchant, according to legend , while passing through the main road running in front of the above church, received the message that he would lose a substantial amount of money in his business. As soon as he received this message, he entered the church and started praying to Our Lady of Rosary, requesting her to relieve him from this catastrophe. If his prayers were answered, he promised to reconstruct the original church, on a larger scale. As a result of his intercession to Our Lady of Rosary, he recovered not only what he had lost, but realized double the amount. He then financed the entire reconstruction of the church. He also renewed the statue of our Lady of Rosary. Information on further reconstruction of Navelim church, if any, is not known...

the church fair...

The feast fair is one of the most popular fair in Goa. It comprises of stalls selling toys, food and clothing. There are booths for variety of games as well as Fun Fair with merry-go-rounds and Giant wheels. In addition, there is a furniture fair.

Did you know...?

Navelim is the soccer capital not only of Salcete but of Southern Goa. Navelim has the largest concentration of Catholics in Goa - over 20,000. Navelim is famous for its political, academic and spiritual talents. Some of the famous descendants of Navelim are: Dr. Froilano D'Mello first Goan to be the Portuguese Ambassador to Brazil.

Dr. Francisco Luis Gomes - statesman and linguist represented Goa in the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon; His Eminence the late Valerian Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay was the first Indian Prince of the Catholic Church. Navelim is one of the largest villages in Goa.

Some of the names of Navelim wards are - Aquem, Butica, Coldem, Colmorod, Danddo, Dongorim, Fradilem,Mandopa, Firgulem-Shantinagar, Sinquetim, Shirvoden, Ratvaddo, Telaulim, Nagmodem, Ravora, etc.

Navelim Youth Centre, Kuwait celebrate the feast with a mass offering at the Holy Family Cathedral Church in Kuwait City and a get-together thereafter of members and their family & friends.

Wishing all devotees of Our Lady of Rosary a joyful feast. May our Lady shower her blessings upon your family.

Photo courtesy:Ms cellie gonsalves

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