Goa

Century-old relics of Fr Agnelo touch scores of devotees


Pilar, Nov 19 (TOI): Devotees thronging the hillock for the novena of Venerable Fr Agnelo D'Souza's 90th death anniversary are fortunate to see century-old relics used by the saintly priest, as these have been displayed for the first time to mark the significant occasion.

A white cassock that has now yellowed with time, a Holy Cross from Rachol Seminary, a beretta and prayer books used by the missionary priest of St Francis Xavier Society of Pilar have been kept in a cupboard in the monastery church for display.

The church which was built by the Franciscan Capuchos from Spain in 1613, is one of the focal points of the sprawling Pilar complex with devotees flocking to pay homage to the Anjuna-born priest at his tomb in the church.

The tomb contains his remains brought from Rachol, where he spent the last 10 years of his life. "The lencol (bedsheet) which was used on January 10, 1939, to wrap up his bones and bring them to Pilar is also among relics on display," says Fr Tony Fernandes, vice-postulator for the cause of Fr Agnelo.

The devotees gather near the cupboard, a few metres away from the pulpit from where he preached his sermons, view them piously before moving on, touched by the experience.

His sermons spiritually energized those who heard them. One of the homily books in French, 'Le Missionnaire de L'Oratorie Sermons', which he referred to before a sermon, is among the books on display.

Some other books have been lent by the granddaughters of his sister, Adamantine, from Calangute. The kin of his cousin, Delicia de Souza from Calangute, have lent a white cassock. This cassock had been kept at Calangute and she had invited him for a short break. "But, he could not visit her place. Five months before his death, he wrote a letter on June 11, 1927, to her expressing his inability to visit them," says E V Miranda, a brother of Pilar society.

The priest often referred to as a 'True Man of God' worked as a missionary in Kumta, Karnataka, and lived for 10 years in Pilar prior to 1917.

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Title : Century-old relics of Fr Agnelo touch scores of devotees


 
 
 
 

 
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