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Divine Mercy Devotion

St. John Paul II was well known as the Pope of Mercy for he officially recognised and declared Sr. Faustina Kowalska from Krakow, Poland, a Saint of Mercy. Jesus appeared to her and said, "You will prepare the world for my final coming." She was declared Blessed on 18 April 1993, and later on 30 April 2000 she was canonised in the Jubilee Year, in the presence of over 2.5 lakh Mercy Devotees. Pope John Paul II wrote an Encyclical on Mercy, namely, Dives in Misericordia , Rich in Mercy, on 30 Nov. 1980. The Pope recognised her as the Gift of God to the Church. In our days, Pope Francis has again championed the cause of Mercy, by declaring this year as the "Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy." The Papal Bull, Misericordiae Vultus, (The Merciful Face) has given a clarion called the Church to be the Merciful face of God.

The Carmelite Monastery at Margao and the Carmelite Seminary at Peddem, Mapuca, both these Churches have altars of the Divine Mercy on the right hand side of the main altar. No doubt, the credit goes to the pioneer of Divine Mercy in Goa Archdiocese, Fr. Anastasio Gomes of happy memory, who instilled in us love and devotion to the Divine Mercy. He was a versatile Marian theologian. Being very orthodox in his outlook, he challenged every attempt to deviate from the authentic teachings of the Church. His students admired his clarity of thought and the courage to stand by his convictions. Being a true son of Mary in the Carmelite Order, he promoted several Marian devotions. He was in touch with the various groups of the Divine Mercy not only in Goa but all over India and abroad. He also published books, chaplets and pictures wrote regular articles and preached retreats. He was a regular columnist in the "Laity" magazine.

The feast of Divine Mercy or Mercy Sunday as it is now called in the Liturgical calendar was being celebrated unofficially in many parts of the world. That was mainly due to the initiative and zeal of the laity. Archbishop James Keleher states, "The popularity of Divine Mercy Sunday...and the entire Divine Mercy movement...has come from the grass roots level of the Church. It has been the people, our parishioners who have gone to the priests and asked them to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday." (Quoted in Marian Helpers Bulletin, Fall, 2000, pg 9)

Fr. Anastasio Gomes in his book, "Divine Mercy Sunday" gives due credit to Mr. Fidelis Bonamis, from Margao, who had worked for the Brazilian Consulate in Singapore and came down to Goa in 1955 and promoted Divine Mercy devotion. Fr. Anastasio writes, "Mr. Bonamis is a great lay apostle who promoted the monthly Holy Hour and Mercy Devotion in Goa in a big way, giving it wide publicity through advertisements in local dailies and printing of promotional leaflets. When hardly anybody in Goa knew about the Mercy feast, he introduced its celebration in the Carmelite Church Margao 18 April 1981." Fr. Anthony D' Silva, the then Superior of Margao Monastery, promoted this devotion not only in the monastery, but also in his preaching all over Goa. Now every year, the celebration of the feast of Divine Mercy attracts large number of devotees from all over South Goa. May Fr. Anastasio, Mr. Bonamis and Fr. Anthony shine with 'special brightness' as Jesus promised to such apostles. (Novena of Mercy, Seventh day)

The Archbishop of Goa, Most Rev. Philip Neri Ferrao has entrusted to the Carmelites the responsibility to promote this devotion in the entire Archdiocese. Accordingly, the Diocesan coordinator, Rev. Fr. Succor Mendis approached Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, the Superior of the monastery and chalked out a detailed plan. As per this plan, the Carmelites will assist all the parishes to establish a unit of Divine Mercy in every Parish. They will distribute freely Divine Mercy literature to all the faithful free of cost. They will be resource persons to conduct seminars and retreats on Divine Mercy devotion. Thus the Carmelites have shouldered this responsibility of promoting the devotion in the entire diocese in this jubilee year, with great enthusiasm.

The Divine Mercy feast at the Archdiocesan level was celebrated on 3 April 2016 at 5.00 P.M. at the Carmelite Monastery, Aquem, Margao. His Grace Archbishop Philip Neri Ferrao presided over the Eucharist. Very Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao, the Provincial of the Karnataka Goa Province of the Carmelites graced the occasion along with the clergy of the diocese and the religious. Nearly 4000 devotees of the Divine Mercy gathered from all over South Goa. Carmelite Monastery being a centre well known for the Sacrament of Confession and counselling, throughout the year, now it is being officially recognised as centre of Divine Mercy in the Archdiocese. The core team for the celebration is being guided by Fr. Succour Mendis, the Diocesan coordinator for the event. To facilitate better participation by the devotees from North Goa, a simultaneous celebration was organised at the Carmelite Seminary, Peddem, Mapuca. After mass there was the blessing of the Divine Mercy Chapel. Two senior Carmelite friars who celebrate their Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession, namely, Fr. Patrick Lobo and Fr. Walter Lobo will be felicitated. Along with them the Episcopal Vicar for the Religious, V. Rev. Fr. Galdin Monteiro, sfx was also felicitated.

Now the Divine Mercy Chapel is well frequented by the devotees from all over Goa. On 3 June the Feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated in a grand manner. After the Novena in preparation to the feast, on Friday, 3 June, there was the Eucharistic procession at 6.00 p.m., accompanied by brass band, fireworks and music, the public adoration conducted by Fr. Ajith Rodrigues ended with the benediction at 7.30 p.m. The Solemn Eucharist was presided over by Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, the Superior of the Monastery. Thanks to Miss Marina and her team, the feast of the Sacred Heart was a grand success.

Divine Mercy Chapel

Divine Mercy Chapel

Divine Mercy Altar

The feast of the Divine Mercy was celebrated on 28 April at 5.00 p.m. Msgr Remedius Fernandes , Vicar General, was the main celebrant. Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, the superior called out the names of the representatives of Divine Mercy Groups in 112 parishes in Goa. They were given a banner by the celebrant. Br. Malvino organised the liturgy. Mrs. Leena Gomes conducted the choir. Besides some 13 well wishers of the monastery were also honoured. Thousands Flocked to the monastery both on Novena days and for the feast.






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O U R   T E A M

Fr. Silvestre D'Souza

Fr. Ronald D'Souza

Fr. Jossey Rodrigues

Fr. Fantino Pereira

Fr. Anil Veigas

Fr. Jeevan Tauro

Br. Malvino