Feast of Our Lady of Rosary and Inter-Living of Grace and Goan-ness

Goans seem to want more and more of Mother Mary. We seem to have never had enough of mother Mary. She is hailed as mother by all Goans. Some even link her to the six sisters of the popular Hindu devotion. From the humble mother of Nazareth she has become our Lady of everywhere. In Navelim she is hailed as Our Lady of Rosary. Come November, the entire village is filled with joy and excitement. Everyone anticipates the festive occasion and begins to look forward to the feast to dawn upon them. The feast comes to the joy of Navelkars but not before the exhalation of nine days of Novenas that prepares the people. The mother figure of Mary is adorned and brought with much devotion and elation by the people of Telaulim in a solemn procession to the Church on the first day of Novena in the early hours of the first day of Novena. Following the grand procession, the people assemble for the holy Eucharist. The people then congregate to the church everyday to participate in the nine days of novenas. Everyday there are four holy masses that begin as early as 5.15 am and go up to 10 AM in the morning. All these masses are always full of devotees. Besides, there is one mass in the evening.

The feast day brings the best out of the people. There is a great expectation and expectation. People congregate at the church. They devoutly participate in the holy mass and offer their homage to our Lady of Rosary. They then proceed to the fair that is set up around the church. As lunch time arrives the people of Navelim celebrate the feast with a grand lunch with friends and relatives in their homes. There is great joy and happiness in the air. Festivities run late in the evening when the people visit the fair. There is something for everyone in the fair. The cultural celebrations reach their climax with the several tiartr that are staged in different places that are close to the church. Indeed, the People from Navelim from all walks of life as well as surrounding areas have great devotion to our Lady of Rosary. Even Hindus display great devotion to Mother Mary. Like the holy rosary, the feast in Navelim bonds and binds all the people from Navelim and surrounding areas. This celebration is not limited by territorial boundaries. It unites all Navelkars who are now across the globe. It brings about a new solidarity bound by a sense of simultaneity wherein time and space contracts and people an enabled to access their links to their roots in Navelim as well as their catholic faith either by physically travelling to their village and joining their brethren in celebrating it or by coming together of Navelkars with their friends in Mumbai, London, USA, Canada etc. Like the Holy Rosary, the feast of Navelim has both celestial as well as terrestrial links.

The Feast of Navelim Village is like the beads of Rosary. It intensifies and wraps together, history, memory, culture and faith spread across great expanse of time and space. Besides, like every other liturgical celebration, it floods and inundates our time and space with grace as well as draws a relation to the Catholic faith for the past 2000 years. It is as we are enabled to take a sip of life in a highly concentrated mode. It simultaneously links the Catholic faithful spread across cross the globe as well as people history of Navelim as well as Goa at large. The intertwining and interweaving effect of the Feast of Navelim is not merely social, it is indeed graced and therefore profoundly heavenly. Somehow our ‘Chronos’ (Time), the ‘Topos’ (space) join the ‘Kairos’( graced time) during our feasts. The Feast of Navelim is no exception, our earthly chronotope (Chronos and Topos ) is graced by heaven. That is why the Feast of Navelim like every other feast is a holy celebration that both invites people to be as well as make them Holy. Viewing at it from the sociological point of view, we can understand how the Feast of Navelim captures our Goan-ness and Christian-ness in an intense simultaneity and elevates it to a graced condition. This means the feast of Navelim offers us grace through the mediation of very materiality of its celebration. This means every Catholic feast in Goa celebrates and graces our Goan-ness and Christian.

The celebration of the Feast in Navelim brings about a new configuration of time and space. It intertwines Gospel and culture and bridges divine and human is the very celebration. Therefore, It is a celebration of Heaven and Earth with an especial gratitude for the goodness received from the hands of God. This intrinsic link between grace and nature is a true encounter between Gospel and culture wherein grace that purifies culture is celebrated in the feast of the village of Navelim. In a way God’s grace pours into the ordinary life of people. Thus, like the different beads of the Holy Rosary, we have the devotion and great celebrations in the Church of Navelim that begin with the annual solemn procession that holds together the life of the people of Navelim and the surrounding areas and leads them to a life of love and light. In the good old days, the festival also included the cattle and thus had helped us to bridge our life with all creation. As the people of Navelim once again celebrate their feast, we can see how our Goan-ness and our Christian-ness cross each other and hold together our living Goan Culture like the beads of Holy Rosary. May this life of harmony live forever. Happy feast !

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao