Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves (The Church of Our Lady of Snows) is a church in the village of Rachol, on the banks of the river Zuari, in Goa, India. The church was built in the sixteenth century. It is located close to the famous Rachol Seminary.

Matriz Church[edit]

Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves and the Rachol Fort

The church was dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Neves (Our Lady of the Snows). Built alongside the fortress of Rachol, this church was considered to be the first at Salcette (Salcette was called " Ilha de Salcete do Sul " at that time). It has been referred to as the "Mother church" (Matriz) for the whole of South Goa and was named " Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves " . It was the Seat of the first Archbishop of Goa, Dom Gaspar Jorge de Leão Pereira who personally visited Margão and the surrounding areas to choose the location. Dom shot an arrow into the ground at Rachol and ordered the church to be built there. The Captain of the Rachol fortress (in Portuguese 'Capitão desta Fortaleza de Rachol') Diogo Rodrigues was appointed to carry out the work. It was constructed with a mud and thatched roof in sight of a Hindu temple and was completed in 1565.

Two historical burials took place at the altar. The first burial was for the captain of the Fort (Capitão desta Fortaleza) Diogo Rodrigues in 1577. The second was of the martyrs of Cuncolim, who were killed in the so-called Cuncolim Revolt in 1583.

Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves and the ruins of the Rachol Fort

On 25 July 1583, a massacre of Jesuit priests and civilians occurred in Cuncolim. The martyrs' bodies remained in the church until 1597, after which they were moved to Saint Paul's College, Goa and laid to rest in Old Goa at the Cathedral in 1862.

Coordinates: 15°18′30″N 74°00′38″E / 15.30845°N 74.01047°E / 15.30845; 74.01047