In February 7, 1867, the foundation stone was laid for the Church. On October 25, 1873, the Archbishop of Goa officially confirmed the name of Mae de Deus for the Church in Saligao. The first Sunday in May of every year is the Feast-day in Saligao in honor of our Patroness, Mae de Deus.
All eyes were now on the look out for a suitable statue of Our Lady for the new church. Now a devastating malarial epidemic was sweeping over Old Goa. There was a mass exodus to Panjim. The hands of destruction did not spare even many of the old churches. One such ancient church and convent was that of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) in Daugim, off the river in the suburbs of Old Goa. The convent of Mae de Deus was noted for its miraculous statue of Mae de Deus. It was an exquisite wooden statue of excellent Goan workmanship, which the masterly hand of an artist-carpenter had chiseled out of wood and painted in gold.
Francisco Salvador Pinto rushed a petition to the Government and the ecclesiastical authorities pleading that the statue of Mae de Deus be allowed to be taken to the new church in Saligao. In November 25, 1873 it was brought from Daugim, Old Goa during the excavation.
|Mae de Deus church in Saligao|
|The inner view of the Church|
|The Mae de Dues statue|
(Page 172 of An Outline of The History of the Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore )
St. Francis Xavier was the first priest of the Society of Jesus visited Mylapore (in May 1545) and remained with the Parish Priest of Santhome, Fr. Gaspar Coelho, for about four months.
(Page 128 )
The Image is of wood three feet high, and represents Our Lady seated on a Throne her hands joined in prayer and her eyes piously cast down. Seeing her in that posture, one's thoughts fly back to the " Consolatrix afflictorum" (Comforter of the afflicted) of the litany of Loretto and to the "Salve Regina", 'turn then, most gracious Advocate, thy eyes of mercy towards us'. She wears a long sleeved robe, a veil covers her head falling upon her shoulders in the form of a long mantle. Below the veil the edge of a second head covering is to be seen, passing around the neck continuing almost to the waist. But mantle and veil are gilded: the second head covering is white, constituting a delicate frame for the beautifully carved features. Mouth, nose and eyes finely fashioned and of exquisite beauty. The whole statue reveals Western workmanship, and can safely be assumed to have been brought by the Portuguese. It was probably brought by Fr. Gaspar Coelho in 1543, when he came here as parish priest, for there are no records of it before his arrival. It is not only the oldest, but also by far the most beautiful statue of Our Lady in the East of India. There is a similar statue which is also very historical known as Our Lady, Mother of God, in the church of Saligao in the Archdiocese of Goa, but the statue of Mylapore far exceeds it in beauty.
|Our Lady of Mylapore, St. Thomas Cathedral
Basilica, Santhome, Madras
The whole statue reveals Western workmanship, and can safely be assumed to have been brought by the Portuguese.
It was probably brought by Fr. Gaspar Coelho in 1543, when he came here as parish priest, for there are no records of it before his arrival.
|Mother Of God, Mae de Deus Church, Saligao, Goa
It was an exquisite wooden statue of excellent Goan workmanship, which the masterly hand of an artist-carpenter had chiseled out of wood and painted in gold.
In November 25, 1873 it was brought from Daugim, Old Goa during the excavation.
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