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Growing cross
Old Goa

Legend has it that...
Says an old manuscript that on 23rd February 1619 people were surprised to see afar several flags of crimson hue playing in the air near the teakwood cross which a priest, Manoel Rodrigues, had erected on a rock. They were still more surprised the following morning on noticing a human figure nailed on the cross, with the head uplifted, hands stretched out, feet fastened together, a white towel encircling the waist, the body covered with wounds and stained with blood, a crown of thorns around the head and a halo of light around him. The whole figure appeared to be wrapped in an ethereal flame of dazzling splendor reaching the skies. At this sight the whole city was astonished. There upon the Archbishop, Dom Cristovao de Lisboa, ordered the cross to be conveyed in a solemn procession to the neighboring church of Our Lady Of Light ( Nossa Senhora de Luz) on the shoulders on canons and the chief public functionaries. A canonical investigation made in this regard reveled that many miraculous cures had been effected by simply touching the cross, whereby the committee of theologians and medical men appointed to report on the matter opined that their cures were supernatural.

On 5th March 1619, a stream of water together from the rock on which stood the cross. The Archbishop ordered fasts and public prayers in all the churches and convents, and asked a committee of theologians selected from among the friars of every convent, to opine finding no cavity in the rock capable of holding such large quantity of water, the committee concluded that the event was miraculous. Upon this a solemn feast was held in the cathedral and church erected to commemorate the miracle, by means of public contributions.

When the cross was about to be removed from the Church of Our Lady to the church specially built for it, it is stated to have grown in size, since it could not pass through the door by which it had formally been taken in. it was therefore found necessary to widen the entrance and to separate the horizontal bar of the cross from the main stem. The new church building however, having collapsed on 8th August 1659, the miraculous cross was taken back to the church of Our Lady of Light. In 1669 an Augustinian friar, named Agostinho de Reis , rebuilt the church on a grander scale and placed the cross in it after its completion in 1671. In 1845, the miraculous cross was removed to the Cathedral, where it is at present.


"The Old Goa" Complete Guide.

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