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The Milagres Feast – Its significance to Catholics and Hindus in Goa

Goddess Lairai visits her younger sister Milagres

Milagres Feast, celebrated on the second Monday after Easter, holds great significance to Goan Catholics and Hindus. People from all walks of life throng the Mapusa Church of St. Jerome to venerate Our Lady of Miracles or ‘Milagres Saibinn’.

What makes Milagres Feast so significant

According to folklore, there were seven virginal sisters. Lairai, Mhamai, Kelbai, Morjai, Mahalsa, and Adiadipa.  Milagres Saibinn (Our Lady of Miracles) of Mapusa, is believed to be the seventh.

It is believed that the deity Mirabai converted to Catholicism and assumed the name Milagres.

Owing to the sisterly bond the two share, Goddess Lairai of Shirgao and Milagres Saibinn of Mapusa, on their respective feasts, exchange ‘Ojem’ (a basket).  On Milagres Feast, a pot of Coconut oil is sent from the Lairai Temple on behalf of Goddess Lairai, as a gift to her younger sister Milagres. In return, Milagres sends Lairai an ‘ojem’ of ‘mogrim’ (scented white Jasmine flowers), believed to be Goddess Lairai’s favourite too.

During the Novenas, a statue of Our Lady of Miracles (Milagres Saibinn) is placed in the Church courtyard under a pendal, for the customary ritual. A stall is set up alongside the statue providing coconut oil in little vessels for a small sum. Hundreds of devotees queue up to venerate the ‘Saibinn’ by pouring the coconut oil over her statue.

Milagres Feast
Devotees pouring coconut oil on the statue of Milagres Saibinn Pic. Credit: Navhind Times

A cure for many ailments – Our Lady of Miracles

Milagres Saibinn is believed to cure various ailments and many devotees from different religious communities make vows, request healings and favours by offering wax figurines in a representation of their prayers to Our Lady of Miracles.

The famous Milagres Fest

A grand fair accompanies the Milagres Feast. All streets leading up to the Church are lined with colourful stalls selling a variety of products. Famous among them are Goan sweetmeats (khaje), roasted gram (chone), home-made goan food, toys, clothes, utensils and locally made furniture. The fair lasts for a week and is a must visit for people from across Goa.

The Novena Schedule

Fama: April-6, 2018

Novenas: April 07-14, 2018

Vespers: April 15, 2018

Feast: April 16, 2018

Daily Masses

Daily 6:30 am, 8 am (with Novena), 6 pm (High Mass with Angelus)

Sundays:  6:30am, 7:45 am, 9 am (English), 6pm

Feast Day (Monday): 5am, 6.15am, 7.30am, 8.45am, 10am (High Mass), 4pm, 5pm

 

The Milagres Feast is proof of secular Goa where religious tolerance abounds.

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2 thoughts on “The Milagres Feast – Its significance to Catholics and Hindus in Goa”

  1. Dear Feature Writer,
    You have picked up an incorrect picture for this article and described it incorrectly as well. THAT is a picture of St. FRANCIS Xavier Church Duler.

    1. Dear A. D’silva, We appreciate you taking the time out to give us your valuable feedback. We have changed the picture. Thank you!

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