Pilar, Nov 22: Venerable Agnelo’s Day was celebrated with religious fervor and devotion. Thousands of devotees flock at the Pilar Hillock, Pilar in Goa to celebrate Venerable Agnelo’s Day on November 20.
Bishop Peter Machado, Diocese of Belgaum was the main celebrant for the festal Eucharistic celebration. Fr Francis Carvalho , Superior General, Society of Pilar, was one among the many priests as concelebrants.
Bishop Machado delivering a homily on the theme: Venerable Agnelo -A Man of Faith, Hope and Love- Leads us to God, appealed to the faithful to strengthen their faith in God and take Agnelo as an inspiration to live a life of Faith, Hope and Charity.
“We increase and strengthen our faith when we share the same to the other.” Bishop said further. Bishop Machado, explaining the theological virtue of hope, invited the congregation to do away the culture of death and promote culture of life and Hope as Ven. Agnelo did in his life. “There is too much of piety and less of charity.”He opined further and stressed on the need of the acts of love.
Fr Fredrick Rodrigues, Central Delegate Superior, Society of Pilar proposed a vote of thanks.
Prizes of different competitions like drawing and poetry for the children were distributed at the hands of Bishop Machado.
Fr Max Gonsalves led the choir while Fr Jose Costa and Fr Feroz Fernandes animated the liturgy. Fr Hilario Fernandes, vice postulator led the prayer for the sick
The first Eucharistic celebration of the feast day was offered at 5:30 a.m. In order to cater to the needs of the faithful on the Feast Day there were seven masses celebrated throughout the day. Six of them were in Konkani and one in English. From the first mass itself, devotees came in large numbers .
Novenas were held as a preparation for the feast based on the various sub- themes which were preached by the religious and the diocesan clergy. During the novena each day was dedicated for the intentions like leaders of the church, people of other faith, parish communities, sick, workers, youth, children, families and ecology.
A special Eucharistic celebration was held for the sick on November 16and were annointed with the oil of the sick. Inter-religious prayer meets were held.
Devotees from Kerala and Tamil Nadu were also seen in participating in the Eucharistic celebration which were held in Malayam and in Tamil.
Fr Peter Fernandes co-ordinated the liturgy .
Agnelo Gustavo Adolfo de Souza was born on January 21 1869 in Anjuna, Goa.
He joined the minor Seminary at Mapusa and later went to Rachol Seminary. On July 17 1897 the feast of Our Lady of Pilar, Agnelo was admitted as a candidate to the Missionary Society of St Francis Xavier, Pilar.
On May 22 1898 he made his first profession. He was ordained priest on September 24 1898. Agnelo worked in the mission especially in Shiroda, Kumta and Sanvordem. In 1920 he was appointed spiritual director at the Rachol Seminary.
Agnelo died on November 20 1927, in the odour of sanctity. He had suffered an acute cerebral thrombosis on the previous day while preaching at Vespers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Rachol.
Agnelo De Souza was declared as venerable by Pope John Paul II on November 10 1986.
Many thousands of favours obtained through his intercession have been published in various parts of the world. Now Agnelo’s tomb at Pilar attracts countless devotees praying for his powerful intercession. Every Thursday thousands of devotees participate in the Eucharistic celebration and novena services held throughout the day. Pilar Fathers are also available for confessions and counselling to cater the spiritual needs of the devotees.