Dr.Fr.Ivo da Conceição Souza is ex-Professor at the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol, GOA 403719. He taught Biblical Exegesis and Sociology for 27 years. He has written on historical topics. He is working on two historical books: Seminaries of Chorão and Rachol; and Village of Calangute. In this paper the Author is dealing with the evangelization of the village of Raia, of which Rachol was a ward. The Author is now, since June 5, 2006, in-charge of Biblical Apostolate, residing in Holy Spirit Church, Margão, GOA 403601 (email: icsouza@bsnl.in).



Since I intend to deal with the phenomenon of evangelization, it is of interest to remark from the outset that I am referring to the village of Raia, in which the ward of Rachol had the privilege of having been the first church in the whole of Salsete, the church of Our Lady of Snows, the “mother church of the whole Salcete”.1 Raia is one of the Goan villages with history.

It is interesting to know that the people of Raia would be called ‘Vag’ (‘tigers’). Why–you may ask–are the Raikars called ‘Vag’? The probable reason seems to be that Guhalladeva I, the first Kadamba King of Goa, of the last years of the 10th century of the Christian era, was compared to Arjuna because of his valour, and by way of illustration was reported to have killed a tiger with his bare fists, and hence was named ‘Vagmari’.2

Since it is not possible to be exhaustive in this historical essay, I shall pinpoint the most important phases of its historical growth and its main religious institutions, which have contributed to the evangelization, not only of these areas, but also of the whole Salsete.


Its Origin and Socio-Political Background:

1.What is the origin of the name RAIA?

Its etymology itself unveils its historical character and religious background. The name RAIA (shortened from Raykshetra, Raygram, Raynagar, or Raypur) is derived from the word roy or “sacred grove”. Later on, it has been linked to the title ray of the King of Vijayanagar, Krishnadeva who had Hampi in Karnataka as the capital of his Kingdom and conquered the “city of Raichur”.3

2.Krishna-deva-raya (1509-1529), the most outstanding Rajah of Vijayanagar, after a tough fight on May 19, 1520, captured the “city of Raichur”, which was Moorish stronghold, 4from the clutches of the Sultan of Bijapur, Ismail Adil-khan, and gifted the Fort, together with Salsete and Bardez, to the Portuguese King Dom Manuel, in the year 1521, during the tenure of the Viceroy, Diogo Lopes de Sequeira (1518-1522).

But the Portuguese troops could not retain Salsete and failed in their attempt to settle in the ward of Mardol (Vernã/Varunapur of Salsete)–there was the temple of Mhalsa in that place–, for a Muslim captain sent by Ismail Adil-shah through Pondá/Antruz, with more than five thousand soldiers, besieged Fernão Anes do Souto-Maior in the ward Mardol of Vernã, which had the shape of a fort.5 Fernão Anes fought, but lost Salsete. Only in the year 1543 Ibrahim Adil-Khan offered perpetually the provinces (tanadarias) of Salsete and Bardez to the Portuguese Crown, during the government of Martim Afonso de Souza (1542-1545). In spite of repeated attacks by Ibrahim Adil-Khan subsequently to Dom João de Castro (1545-1548), the provinces remained with the Portuguese, until Dom Garcia de Sá (1548-1549) concluded a treaty of peace with Ibrahim Adil-Khan and confirmed the gift of Salsete and Bardez. On December 12, 1570, Ali Adil-Khan assaulted Goa again, but Dom Luís de Ataìde (1568-1571) reinforced the troops and defeated the enemies. His victory ended with a treaty of peace in the year 1571, whereby Ali Adil-Shah guaranted to the Portuguese the possession of Salsete and Bardez, which they kept in their hands till December 19, 1961.6


3. Raia was the centre of Salsete.7 The King of Vijayanagar, Krishna-deva, called it “city of Raichur”, including the “praça”, which even today is known as “kott”/fortress.

Rachol was the Fort, its square (praça) being well protected by ramparts in three tiers, armed with 200 pieces of ar­tillery, with water and stocks of food and grain, and garrisoned by 400 cavalry soldiers, 8,000 infantry and 20 elephants. When the Jesuits arrived to Rachol, they resided in a house of the State, provisionally ceded by the Captain of the Fort, Vicente Dias. The residence, together with the adjacent plot, was later donated by the Government by a Royal Decree (Alvará) of Dom Antão de Noronha to the College of St.Paul of Goa. It was enlarged and transformed by the Jesuits in 1565. Fr.Luís Goes took officially charge of it in the name of the College of St.Paul on January 3, 1566. There was a chapel, Ermida do Castelo there, which became the parochial church since the middle of 1560. The chapel became the parish church of Raia, under the invocation of Our Lady of Snows.  The school was there, called “College of Our Lady of Snows“, of which Fr.Luís Goes was the first Rector.8 It had three gates: one to the side of Raia—it is still well preserved–, the second facing the village of Curtori, and the third, towards the river Zuari and Sirodá. The General of the Province of Salsete (“Capitão de Salsete”), authorities, fidalgos and aristocrats in the 16th century were staying there, around six thousand people.

But it was constantly assaulted by the Marathas: Sambhaji, son and successor of Shivaji, attacked the island of Sto.Estevão on November 24, 1683, and reached Tivim, Chaporá, Rachol and Margão; on January 23, 1739, the Maratha General Venkata Rao came through Sanguém and entered Salsete, seized the fort of the mount of Margão and that of Cuncolim, and surrounded the fort of Rachol; on February 21, 1741, Bounsules plundered the churches and burnt houses. Expelled from Salsete, they continued to harass Goa till the treaty of definitive peace in 1759. Yet they continued their aggression till 1797.

4. There were some temples in this village, but the central temple was that of goddess Kamakshi, brought over from Assam by Brahmin devotees. It became the patron deity of that locality. A Brahman, Agni-Mukka, came to Raykshetra and became a devotee of Kamakshi.9 According to temple records, the Portuguese destroyed it. The image of the deity was shifted in the 16th century to the tolerant Ismail Adilshah’s territory of Pondá/Antruz. The contribution to the temple came from Raia, and later on, from Rachol and Camorli. There is a plot, “Divullbhatt” with a tank, “Divulltolloi”, where the temple was thought to be. On the hill, not far off, there is a ramp with carved stairs used in the days of yore by the dancers (devidasis, kolvont, bailadeiras) of the adjoining temples (devalaias/pagodas) came to bathe in the waters. There were also more temples, dedicated to Rayeshvor, Bhagvati, Lakshimi-Naraian and Vattambi.10 The images of the deities Kamakshi, Rayeshvor and Lakshimi-Narayan were transferred to Ray-Shiroda, in the year 1560.

5. In the time of hardships, the Jesuits, particularly Fr.Gaspar Soares, Rector of the Seminary of Rachol (1606-1610) built with the permission of the Captain of the Fort, Dom Jorge de Castelo Branco, a commercial centre for the village: stocks of wood and market (bazaar, fair, pharmacies/boticas), even at his own expenses, half of the income was given to them by the ganvkars. It is probably the ward of Santem-moll (=field of fair), outside the walls of the Fort .11

The village of Rachol was reformed in 1608 and in 1684. The Marquis of Alorna, Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida e Portugal (1744-1750) in 1745 ordered to dig a trench which provoked epidemic, some years later, in 1787, and people left for Raia and Margao till in 1842 it was entirely abandoned—all majestic buildings were in ruins or demolished.

Historical Background: 1.One of the chief aims of the Portuguese in Goa was to spread Christian love and teaching (“A cruz e a espada“, which means “Cross and sword”). 12The different institutions in Raia-Rachol, College of Salsete, hospitals, schools, the churches, the printing press enabled them to realise their dream.13

2. Afonso d’Albuquerque landed in the city of Goa on  November 25, Feast of St.Catherine, in 1510, and hoisted his glorious flag after defeating the powerful Adil-khan (corrupted by the Portuguese to Idal-Khan, Idalcão). From Old Goa the Portuguese troops marched, little by little, to the ward Mardol, in Vernã/Varunapur, and wanted to settle there. In that place, Portuguese missionaries celebrated the first Eucharist in 1519 in Salsete. But the troops continued till Rachol and built there the first Fort in Salsete, with a Chapel (A Ermida do Castelo), which had a military Chaplain, with his mission only to the troops, not to the people around. For the first time, from the College of St.Paul in Old Goa, the sons of St. Ignatius, Fr.Pero Mascarenhas with his colleague Brother Manuel Gomes, came to Salsete on July 25, Feast of Saint James, 1560, by order of the Provincial, Fr. António de Quadros, at the request of the Viceroy, Dom Constantino de Bragança (1558-1561), during the tenure of the first Archbishop of Goa, D.Gaspar de Leão Pereira de Ornelas (1560-1567), and celebrated, in the morning, the first Eucharist in Cortalim in a temporary shed, the roof and sides of which were covered over with palm-leaves.14

From there, Fr.Pero walked to the Fort of Rachol, where there was a Chapel, where the Portuguese troops and some of the Christians, hailing from the Island of Goa and working in the Fort, would take part in the Eucharist. There was no baptized from the locality. The Jesuit missionary took possession of the Chapel, which had a Chaplain of the garrison, and evangelized some Gentiles till the end of the year 1561. The first baptized was a Brahmin Cortaló (Escrivão da Câmara Geral de Salsete, Margão), whom the priest , in a general baptism, and called with his own name, Pero (Pedro) Francisco Mascarenhas, as a corner-stone of the mission.

Christianisation of Raia-Rachol: At the request of the King Dom João II, Paul III sent the Jesuits to India and thus inaugurated the “Mission of the Jesuits in the East”, with four Provinces: Goa, Malabar, Japan and China. From 1542 till 1759 the Jesuits were, almost for two centuries in India, and evangelized the people: conversions, churches, colleges, catechumenate, hospital and printing press. We cannot forget the foundational work of St.Francis Xavier who came to Goa on May 6, 1542, and died in the island of Sangchwan (Sanchão) on December 2, 1552. The work of evangelization of Goa was divided in 1555 by the Viceroy, Dom Pedro Mascarenhas (1554-1555): Bardez was allotted to the Franciscans, Island of Goa/Tiswadi/Tissuary to the Dominicans, and Salsete, together with fifteen southeastern villages of Tiswadi, including Chorão and Divar, to the Jesuits.

The Jesuits built in 1566 a small Residence, where the present church of Rachol is; they celebrated the Eucharist in the small chapel of the Praça of Rachol. There were three chapels: i)A Ermida do Castelo, founded in 1521, situated to the left of the entrance to the actual parish residence. The chapel was dedicated to St.John the Baptist, since the fortress was known as fortress of St.John the Baptist, or to Our Lady of Grace, the patroness of the church. There was the house of the Captain of the Fort. ii)A Capela dos Quartéis, dedicated to St.Anthony, founded in 1580 by Dona Jerónima de Castro, wife of Damião de Sousa, Captain of the Fort of Rachol; and iii)the Chapel of the Jail (A Capela da Cadeia). Situated near the church, to the south. The jail was closed on April 14, 1833, when the prisoners were shifted to the new jail of Panjim. There was also a chapel, outside the walls of the Fort, which was probably the Chapel of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, filial to the church of Rachol, “where there were daily six to seven masses and doctrine was taught to the boys and girls of less age”.15

Growth of Christianity in Raia-Rachol:

*Since 1521 there were European Catholics there and perhaps some prisoners from the Island of Goa, but no one from the locality before 1560.16 Fr.Pero Mascarenhas was residing in Rachol since 1588, but he was the chaplain only of the Fort. It was in 1560 that the Vice-Roy Dom Constantino de Bragança (1588-1561) asked the Provincial Fr.António Quadros to start evangelization of Salsete. Two missionaries were sent: Fr.Pero Mascarenhas and Brother Manuel Gomes.

*The first fruit of his missionary activity was the conversion of a Brahmin Cortaló, working in the Câmara of Margão, who willingly decided to accept the Christian faith. His family decided to join him. Consequently, on the day of the Feast of Our Lady of Snows, 140 people solemnly received Baptism in the presence of the Jesuit Provincial, Fr.António Quadros. This was the first general baptism of Raia-Rachol in the year 1568 in the church of Our Lady of Snows at Rachol: Pero Mascarenhas and a large group.

*In his Annual Letter of November 30, 1591, the Provincial Fr.Pedro Martins wrote that in17 the church of Rachol there are 2,200 Christians and 44 catechumens, and that here twenty were baptized.

*In his Annual Letter of November 29, 1595, the Provincial Fr.Francisco Cabral, wrote to the Jesuits in Europe, on November 29, 1595 that there are in Rachol 2,500 Christians, 1,180 catechumens.18

*In his Annual Letter of December 16, 1596, the same Fr.Francisco Cabral, wrote that in the parish of Rachol there are 2,320 Christians, 562 boys for teaching doctrine. That year almost 700 persons have been baptized. He remarked that the body of the new church of Rachol was completed, “the best of all in Salsete”. In the College of Rachol there were 15 priests and 4 brothers catering to the villages around.19 Churches of Raia:

1.As we have seen, Raia was the first village in Salsete to be evangelized around 1560. Pero Mascarenhas became the first Christian in Salsete, in the first general baptism, according to common historical records.20 The first church in Salsete was in Raia, in the ward of Rachol. The church was built of mud (taipa) around Easter of 1565, situated outside the Fortress, but attached to it, in the soil, offered for the residence and the church by the Captain of the Fort, Vicente Dias. Fr.Luís de Goes took possession of the soil in 1566, concession confirmed by the Viceroy Dom Antão de Noronha. It was not a solid building, so it was demolished. In the same place of the Residence, in 1584 the new church was started in lime and laterite stone, and completed in 1596, that is, the actual church of Rachol took 12 years for completion. Jesuits had income from the palmgrove (palmar) of Vanelim, offered in 1582 for the worship by the Portuguese António de Goes. In this church there is an inscription of the martyrs of Cuncolim, slain on July 15, 1583 and buried on July 18: Frs.Rudolfo Acquaviva, Alonso Pacheco, Pietro Berno, António Francisco and their architect, Brother Francisco Aranha. (Although these five religious have been canonized, there were 15 more: one was Portuguese, and 14 Indians, among them). The chapel of Exaltation of the Holy Cross, outside the walls, was filial to the church of Rachol.21

The last Jesuit parish-priest of Rachol was Fr.Manuel Dias (from May 1758 till September 1759). He was jailed in 1759 under Marquis de Pombal, Minister of the King Dom José I, Sebastião José Carvalho, in the College of Rachol, then in the Convent of the Cross of Miracles, where he was from November 17 till February 28, 1760, and subsequently in the College de Populo, Old Goa, finally taken to Portugal and jailed in S.Julião da Barra, where he died on July 20, 1765. At this stage, when the Jesuits left Rachel, the church of Rachel was entrusted to secular clergy: Fr. José Rafael Madeira, from Margão, by Prov.o October 1, 1759, 22where he was till his death, January 1800.

2. The church of the College of Rachol was the second church of Raia. The ganvkars of Raia funded the church of Rachol and the Seminary of Rachol.23 The corner-stone of the Seminary and of the church was laid on November 1, 1606 by Father Gaspar Soares. The church was blessed in 1610 by the Archbishop Dom Frei Aleixo de Menezes (1595-1610) and opened for the public worship.24 It was known as the Church of All Saints. There were several saints, known and unknown, particularly of course, St.Ursula (or Geracina) and the Eleven Thousand Virgins, to whom the Jesuits had special devotion. It was completed within three years (1606-1609), but it was the old church of mud and palm-leaves. The new church was built on the occasion of the canonization of St.Ignatius of Loyola–which took place on March 12, 1622–that is, between 1623-1625, a probable date of erection, and dedicated to St.Ignatius.25 In 1614 the Archbishop Dom Frei Cristovão de Sá e Lisboa allowed the Raikars, at their request, to be subjected to the jurisdiction of the church of the Seminary for reason of distance, and even gave them in 1615 a Vicar, residing in the Seminary. Later on, the Archbishop Dom Francisco dos Mártires (1636-1652) transferred them again through a Decree to the jurisdiction of the church of Rachol, but soon the same Archbishop revoked his decision and submitted them again to the church of the Seminary. It was, therefore, the church of the Raikars from 1614 till 1700.

There was a cemetery on the right side of the church of the Seminary, where there is still a cross outside the compound of the church. In front of the main gate of the church, there was an inscription that is today completely illegible.26 It is the grave belonging to the family Melo: Ignacio de Mello. There is only one. The Jesuits may have given him, either because he was the first convert in the family, or because he was given the name of the Founder of the Society of Jesus, or more probably for being benefactor of the College.

3. Ganvkars of Raia and Camorlim decided to build a new church outside the Fort of Rachol over the ruins of a chapel, probably the Chapel of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. But through an Order of the Government on October 2, 1668, they had to transfer it to the actual place, which is around 2.4 kms from that chapel.27 The Jesuits were the architects of the new church of Raia. After 30 years, it was completed in 1699 with the income of the communities of Raia and Camorli, during the tenure of the Archbishop Dom Frei Agostinho da Anunciação (1691-1713). The residence was large with a view of giving the professors of Rachol Seminary the opportunity of resting there when tired with their intellectual adventures. 28

Thus, the church of Rachol was the first parish church for Raia and Salsete; later on, the church of the Seminary of Rachol became the church for the Raikars. Only in 1699 there came the actual church of Raia.

Rachol Seminary: Its predecessor was the College of St.Paul, Old Goa, built in 1541. It was shifted to Margão, College of Holy Spirit. It was constructed on May 17, 1574, together with a church of the same name, a small primary school, a hospital for poor natives, under the care of the Jesuit Brother Pedro Afonso, a “good surgeon”, who attracted people from all over Salsete and even from Bijapur for medical treatment over there. Due to assaults by Marathas, it was transferred to Rachol in 1580. The King El-Rei Dom Sebastião is considered as the Founder of the College of Rachol, because he gifted to the College in  view the revenue of the demolished “devalaias” (Pagodes or Temples) by his Royal Letter, dated March 23, 1569. Thus, he confirmed his gift of the same income given by Dom Antão de Noronha in 1568.

We could sum up the history of the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol with the following milestones, placed in three stages: 1)–1606: Foundation stone was laid and blessed.
–1610:  Inauguration of the Jesuit College, as All Saints’ College.
–1625:  It was named after St.Ignatius of Loyola, after the Canonization of the Founder of the Society of Jesus on March 12, 1622, probably in 1625 (there was a celebration in that year).
The College went on till the expulsion of Jesuits by the Royal Letters dated September 3, 1759 (from Portugal), and April 1, 1760 (from its colonies). The last Rector was Fr.José de Andrade. The Jesuits were taken by ships of Nossa Senhora da Con­ceição and S.Vicente Ferreira under the command of Bernardo Carneiro de Alcáçoa, to Lisbon, where they arrived on May 20, 1761. When embarking, they sang the psalm “In exitu Israel de Egypto” (Ps 71) and were taken to the jails of S.Julião da Barra and of Azeitão, in the Tower of Belém and in the Fort of St.Jorge, where they would be closed for sixteen years.29

2)–1762:  After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1759, the Archbishop Dom António Taveira da Neiva Brum da Silveira (1750-1775) raised the College to a Diocesan Seminary under the name of “Colégio do Bom Pastor” (‘College of Good Shepherd’) and entrusted it to the Oratorians. When the Decree of Dom José I, dated September 3, 1759, ordered the Jesuits to go out, the Seminary was entrusted to six Dominicans.30

The Oratorians came on January 4, 1762, two years after the expulsion of the Jesuits.

–1762-1774: It was in the hand of the Oratorians;
–1781-1789: It    was   handed    over    to    the Vincentians/Lazarists;
–1793-1835:  Again it was in the hand of the Oratorians.

3)—1835 till today: When all the religious Orders were  expelled from Goa by the Portuguese Government, the Seminary was entrusted to the Diocesan Clergy by Dom Frei Manoel de S.Galdino (1812-1831). The first secular Rector was Fr.Manuel de Souza (1843-1859), from Cunchelim, of Mapuçá (Formerly he was a Dominican and worked as Parish-Priest of the Church of Santa Bárbara, in Grande Morombim, Mercês). During 1835-1843, there were radical reforms in different areas of priestly formation. During this period, the Vicar Capitu­lar of Goa, Fr.Paulo António Dias de Conceição was the Administrator of the Seminary and Professor.

On the main gate at the entrance, even today we see the arms of the King, El-Rei Dom Sebastião, the Founder of this College, are engraved on stone above the entrance door.  The inscription just below the arms reads thus: “ARMAS D’EL-REI D.SEBASTIÃO, FUNDADOR DESTE COLÉGIO” (‘The arms of the King D.Sebastião, Founder of the College’). In the Rector’s Hall, there is a copy of the original portrait (1840) of the King Sebastião, executed under the technical direction of the General José Frederico d’Assa Castel-Branco in 1783; later on, the engineer André Constâncio Augusto, from Rachol, at the request of the Fathers made a copy of this portrait and put it in the old frame (moldura) of 1783.

The Printing Press:

The printing press was brought on September 6, 1556 to St.Paul, Old Goa. Probably, the same press was brought to the College of Rachol. The first book to be printed and published at the College of Rachol in Roman characters was Christian Purana (Discurso sobre a Vinda de Jesus Cristo Nosso Salvador ao Mundo), in 1616 by Father Thomas Stephens, the first Englishman in India, written in the literary and spoken language of Goa, close to literary Marathi, in poetic form. The people at the sound of ghumott (drums) sang it. Later on, it was edited twice in 1649 and 1654, but no copy of both these editions is to be found till this date. It was re-imprinted by J.Saldanha, Mangalore. It was followed by his Doutrina Christam em Lingua Bramana Canarim (1622)–a work on Christian doctrine, written   by Fr.Thomas Stephens in the dialect spoken by the Brahmins of Goa, in Roman characters and in the form of a dialogue.  The Arte da Lingoa Canarim (Grammar of Canarim language), in 1640–originally written in Roman characters by Fr. Thomas Stephens, later revised, enlarged and published in the College of Rachol in 1640 by his pupil, Fr.Diogo Ribeiro. It was meant to teach the missionaries the Konkani/Canarim language for preparing them to evangelize the villages of Salsete. Other book was by the Portuguese Jesuit, Fr.Diogo Ribeiro, Declaraçam da Doutrina Christã, coligida do Cardeal Belarmino (“A Statement of the Christian Doctrine”), written in 1632 in the Brahmin dialect of Konkani (“Lingua Bramana Vulgar”).

Ignazio Arcamone was the Parish-priest of the church of St.John the Baptist in Benaulim and Rector of the College of Rachol. He died on April 30, 1683. He printed in the press of Rachol: Purgatorii Commentarium Concannice Compositum, printed in the College of Rachol in 1663; its rare copy is found in Bibliotheca Casanatense in Rome. Also Explicações e Assumptos nos Evangelhos Dominicais de todo o ano, em lingua Concanny, printed in Rachol in 1667 (“Sagallea Vorusache Vanjel” was its title in Konkani). The last one was Regras da Companhia de Jesus (Rules of the Society of Jesus) in 1674. The printing press was there since 1616 till 1674.

The printing press is no more. But it is interesting that Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) came to the library of Rachol Seminary for three days (August 29-31, 1892—it is on September 11, 1893 that he went to Chicago for the ‘World Parliament of Religions’–, and was staying in the house of Narcinva Damodar Naik, at the Rua Abade Faria, Margão).


a) The hospital of the Jesuits was founded by Fr.Paulo Camerte near the College of S.Paulo in Old Goa, in 1551. It would receive grants of 300 pardaus every year from the King. It was shifted to Margão in 1568 and was called the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, where the Brother Pedro Afonso was the surgeon. In the Annual Letter of Fr.Simão de Sá, SJ, for the year 1597, January 1, it is mentioned that Brother Pedro Afonso, eminent in the art of surgery, was in the hospital of Holy Spirit of Margão, being helped by Brother Lázaro Ribeiro since 1574, as a pharmacist. This hospital was transferred to Rachol, on the premises of the Jesuit College there, because of the assaults of the Marathas (Sambhaji and Bounsules) in 1579, but they spared it. It had a chapel, with the Eucharist celebrated on Sundays and holy days for the poor patients of the hospital, to which it was attached.31

b) There was also a hospital of the Porciúncula (“Hospice of Holy Angels“), run by the Reformed Franciscan Fathers of the Convent of Mother of God in 1757. There were two priests and one brother.32 There was the chapel of Our Lady of Angels, known as “Jubilevanchem Kopel”, annexed to the Hospital, where there was Mass on Sundays and days of obligation. It was founded by the ancestors of Agostinho João Inácio Colaço, from Margão, descend­ant of Pero Colaço, the first convert of Rachol. In this Hospital was buried the hero of Ponda, Henrique Carlos Henriques, and his son Henrique Henriques.

Conclusion: The movement of evangelization still continues owing to the dynamic community of Raia and Rachol, as well as to the Seminary of Rachol and other institutions. With these lines I wish that the movement of humanization and integral development may always grow, reminded of the glimpses of the past and enthused by the fire of hope…



1 Cf.Francisco DE SOUSA, Oriente Conquistado, Vol.1, C.1, Div.1, no.59, p.105: “a igreja matriz de todo Salsete, por ser a primeira, e a de Nossa senhora das Neves da povoação de Rachol, e aldea de Raia”.

2 Cf.Padre M.J.Gabriel DE SALDANHA, História de Goa (Política e arqueológica), 2nd. ed., vol.1, Livraria Coelho, Nova Goa, 1925, p.11; George Mark MORAES, The Kadamba Kula.A History of Ancient and Mediaeval Karnataka, Asian Educational Services, New Delhi/Madras, 1990, pp.167-216, cf.168.

3It is also Raitur, or Raichul/Rachol, “royal harbour”, reminding us of Raibandar/Raibandir and Rai-shiroda. The Vice-roys used to come there from Old God by launch.

4See the description of Raichur, given by Portuguese horse traders, Fernão Nunes and Domingo Paes: palaces, temples, with their gilded copper roofs; pavillions, idols, fashioned of stone and metal; its high gate towers; its steep pyramids; palatial quarters of the King with his apartments for his queens, his 500 wives, his countless concubines, and his 4,000 female servants; his army of 6,000 infantry, 24,000 cavalry, and numerous war elephants, the feasts of the gods with their processions. Cf.Georg SCHURHAMMER, SJ, Francis Xavier.His Life, His Times, vol.2, trans.M.Joseph Costelloe, SJ, The Jesuit Historical Institute, Rome, 1977, p.192.

5The temple of Mhalsa was destroyed in 1567 and the idol transferred to Priol in Pondá/Antruz, under the tolerant rule of Adilshah. Cf.P.P.Shirodkar, “Socio-cultural Life in Goa during 16th Century”, in: Goa and Portugal.Their Cultural Links, XCHR Studies Series No.7, ed. Charles J.Borges-Helmut Feldmann, Concept, New Delhi, pp.23-40, cf.35.

6Cf.Padre M.J.Gabriel DE SALDANHA, História de Goa, pp.51, 53,68,79,91,92,123,126.

7Margão was a villa by King’s Decree of 3.4.1778 and became the capital of Salsete by Royal Decree/Alvará of 22.3.1843. SALSETE is derived from sash-sashta, meaning “sixty-six villages”.

8Cf.Ignazio Arcamone, SI, De Sasatana Peninsula in Indiae Statu, in: Lagrange Romeu Fernandes, ed., Uma Descrição e Relação “De Sasatana Peninsula” (1664) do Padre Inácio Arcamone, Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Extractum e vol. L, 1981, Roma, Via dei Penitenzieri 20, p.93: Faith spread from Raciola:in pago Raia nuncupato, ad orientem solem sito, prope sinum interioris oceani constituto, arcem fabricaverunt”.

9Cf.Vinayak Shenkar Shenvi DUME, Devabhumi Gomantak (Goa, Abode of God), All India Saraswat Foundation, Mahim, Mumbai, 1988, pp.152-153. For the clarification of several details, I am grateful to Prof.Prajal Sakhardande, Professor of History at Dhempe College, Miramar, Panjim.

10Cf.Rui GOMES PEREIRA, Hindu Temples and Deities, vol.1, 1978, no.116, p.105.

11Cf.Jorge P. da P.Sequeira, op.cit., p.60.

12An exiled Portuguese who was brought by Vasco da Gama to Calicut/Kozhikode, where he anchored, was questioned by two Moors from Tunisia: “Al diabo que te doo! Quem te traxo acá?”. Immediately he replied to them: “Vimos buscar cristãos e especiarias” (“We came in search of Christians and spices”). Cf.António DA SILVA REGO, História das Missões do Padroado Português no Oriente, vol.1 (1500-1542), Lisboa, 1949, pp.37-38.

13There were Christian settlements at Kalyan (near Mumbai), at Goa and at Mylapore (in Chennai). They were apparently followers of ‘St.Thomas Christians”. A 7th century Pahlavi cross has been found , not far from the old capital of Govapuri, near the Zuari River in Agasaim in April 2001 by Fr.Cosme José Costa, SFX, Professor of History of Christianity in the Theological College, Pilar. Pahlavi was the language of the old Persian traders. The Arab traveller, Ibn Batuta, had stated in 1342 that precisely in that place there was a Christian settlement. Cf.Cosme José Costa, Heritage of Govapuri: a study of Artifacts in and around the Pilar Seminary Museum, Pilar ITI, Pilar-Goa, pp.10-11, and in Appendix I, pp.122-123; for a summary, see his article, “Religious Identities in the Heritage of Govapuri: Some artifacts in the Pilar Seminary Museum”, Deccan Studies, June-December 2003, pp.59-67; also Pius Malekhandathil, “Discovery of a Pahlavi-cross from Goa: a New evidence from pre-Portuguese Christian settlement in Konkan”, Christian Orient, 23/3, 2002, pp.138-139; cf.H.O.Mascarenhas, “Pre-Portuguese Christianity”, The Examiner, 104, 1953, pp.133-134 and 192-194.

14Cf.Francisco de Sousa, Oriente Conquistado, Vol.1, C.1, Div.2, no.59, p.105: “ramada”. The church of Cortali was subsequently dedicated to Sts.Philip and James, whose feast is celebrated on May 1.

15Cf.Fco. SOUSA, Oriente Conquistado, Vol.1, C.1, Div.2, no.59, pp.105-106; see Pe.Sebastiam GONÇALVES, ed. José Wicki, SJ, História da Companhia de Jesus no Oriente (1560-1570), vol.3, Atlântida-Coimbra, 1962, p.90: “E porquanto a freguesia he grande se fez huma capella na aldea de Raya onde aos domingos e dias santos se dizia missa”.

16Cf.Francisco DE SOUSA, Oriente Conquistado, no.59, p.105: “antes de 1561 não havia em todo o Salsete nem um paisano baptizado”. As we have already said, there were St.Thomas Christians in Kalyan, Goa, Mylapore and Kochi (cf.K.S.MATHEW, “Indian Ocean and Cultural Interaction”, Indica 35, 1998, pp.97-132, cf.115). St.Francis Xavier found them, among others, in Goa. After his arrival to Goa, Francis wrote so enthusiatically to Rome: “After four months and more (of voyage from Mozambique) we reached India, Goa (I mean), a city entirely of Christians, cosa para ver, (EX, I, 124, n.5), a most remarkable thing–a thing to be seen”. “It has a monastery with many friars of St.Francis, a very fine Cathedral with many canons, and many other churches. There is reason for giving many thanks to God our Lord on seeing how the name of Christ is flourishing so well in such distant lands and among so many infidels” (EX, I, 121). There was a church of St.Thomas in Old Goa, built when a bone with relics of St.Thomas was brought from Mylapore. This contact of the Portuguese with Thomas Christians culminated with the Synod of Diamper/Udiyamperur. It is interesting that Fr.Gregório Magno ANTÃO, from Raia, wrote on the Synod of Diamper (De Synodi Diamperitanae Natura atque Decretis, Goa, 1937/1952), which was held solemnly by Dom Frei Aleixo de Menezes on June 20, 1599, at which the Portuguese tried to impose the Latin rites on them and to demand that they break off their twelve centuries-old relations with the Patriarchate of Babylon of the East Syrian Church.

17Cf.no.88, in: Documenta Indica, 17 (1595-1597), ed. Joseph WICKI, SI, 1988, p.390.

18See ibidem, no.40, p.663.

19Cf.J.THEKKEDATH, History of Christianity in India, vol.2, Bangalore, 1988, p.340: At the end of 1597, there were in Salsete 35,000 Christians.

20 We could speak of Pero Colaço, perhaps as the first Christian. Colaco family actually stems from Rachol. His remote ancestor, Pero Colaco, after his conversion, presumably baptized in 1560 by Fr.Pero Colaco, the first military Chaplain of the Ermida do Castelo, settled in the Fort of Rachol, around 1562-1564. Msgr.Blasco Colaço is presently Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa (now retired).

21Cf.Francisco Xavier GOMES CATÃO, “Igreja de Rachol”, Anuário do Seminário Patriarcal de Rachol, Goa, 1943-1944, pp.xxix-xxxiv.

22See Livro das Monções, no.125-B, fl.468-469; no.126-B, fl.636-637; see Livro das Provisões, II, fl.17. For a series of parish-priests of Rachol, see Leopoldo DA ROCHA, As Confrarias de Goa (Séculos XVI-XX).Conspecto Histórico-Jurídico, Centro de Estudos Históricos Ultramarinos, Lisboa, 1973, pp.415-417. See also F.X.GOMES CATÃO, “Primeiros Sucessores dos Jesuitas em Salsete”, Heraldo, August 20, 1937.

23Cf.F. DE SOUSA, O Oriente Conquistado, 1881, Vol.1, C.1, L.1, p.68.

24Dom Frei Aleixo was a friend of the Jesuits. The King Sebastião helped also the Jesuits, whom he respected. The father of Dom Frei Aleixo was the caretaker (aio) of the King Sebastian.

25Cf.Henry HERAS, SJ, “Rachol.Its Fortress and College”, The Indo-Portuguese Review (Calcutta), 1924-1925, vol.7, pp.41-50. Fr.Francisco de Sousa does not say anything about the date of erection of the new church, it was before him, but the contemporary traveler, Pietro della Valle, gave a detailed account of the religious ceremony performed by the Jesuits at Goa on this occasion in his letter of January 31, 1624, in his Travels of Pietro della Valle in India, vol.2, London, 1892, pp.402-404 (cf.p.45, note 13). For historical and architectural details, see Teresa ALBUQUERQUE, Goa: the Rachol Legacy, Wenden Offset, Matunga, Mumbai, 1997, pp.41-59.

26Cf.F.X.GOMES CATÃO,  “Uma  lápide  no  Seminário   de Rachol”,  Anuário 1950-1951, pp.lxvii-lxxii, cf.lxix.

27Cf. Cf.Filippe Néry Xavier, Bosquejo Histórico das Communidades das Aldeas dos Concelhos das Ilhas, Salsete, Bardez, vol.1, Bastorá, Typographia Rangel, 1903, pp.381-384.

28Cf. Jorge Paulino da Piedade Sequeira, Raia e Camorlim. Para a História das Aldeias, Publications Pilar, Xaverian Press, 1972, p.42.

29Cf.F.X.GOMES CATÃO, “Últimos Jesuitas em Salsete no Tempo de Pombal”, Anuário do Seminário Patriarcal de Rachol, Goa, 1948-1949, pp.xxxiv-xli.

30Cf.MS.of Padre José Caeiro, SJ, on the Jesuits of Brasil and of India in the persecution of Marquis of Pombal, 18th century, in Latin, publ.by Academia Brasileira de Letras, trans.by Pe.Manuel Narciso Martins in 1936, VII, 2, see F.X.GOMES CATÃO, “Últimos Jesuitas em Salsete no Tempo de Pombal”, Anuário do Seminário Patriarcal de Rachol, 1948-1949, p.xl.

31Cf.Dr.João Manuel Pacheco de Figueiredo, “Goa Dourada nos Séculos XVI e XVII.O Hospital dos Pobres do Padre Paulo Camerte (Esboço de sua Reconstituição Histórica)”, Sep.de Studia, Lisboa, Dezembro de 1968, pp.1-30=117-146.


32Cf.Achilles Meersman, OFM, “The Goa Archives and the History of the Franciscans in India”, Indica, vol.1, September 1964, pp.171-185, cf.p.181; Idem, “Notes on the Charitable Institutions the Portuguese Established in India”, in: Indian Church History Review, vol.5, December 1971, pp.95-105, cf.p.101; Msgr.Francisco Xavier GOMES CATÃO,  “The Reformed Franciscans and the Friary of Our Lady of the Cape, in Goa”, in:  Indian Church History Review, vol.4, December 1970, pp.79-92, cf.p.



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