|The Reis Magos Church, en.wikiprdia.org|
|Reis Magos church and fort c. 1900, Goa blog.parrikar.com|
|Reis Magos church, Goa. tourism.webindia123.com|
The famous annual festival called the Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Magos, is celebrated on a grand scale with religious fervor every year on the 6th of January. This festival commemorates the journey of the Three kings of Magi who went to worship the baby Jesus. On the festival day the procession from the church goes around the village, spreading the message of friendship, love and happiness.
This church, built in 1555 by the Franciscan missionaries, is dedicated it to Saint Jerome. Evidences show that this church was built on the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple built during the the Vijaynagara rule. The presence of two bas-relief lion figures at the start of the steps that lead to the Church supports this view and the nature of Vijaynagara design. The church was renovated in 1771 and the towers of the church were already built in 1764. Two Portuguese Viceroys of Goa were buried on the premises of the church and there are their gravestones. The gravestone of the Viceroy Dom Luis De Ataide is set into the floor of the corridor north of the nave. History records say that Reis Magos Church is said to be the site of Alfonso de Albuquerque's landing in 1510. The exterior of the church carries the royal Portuguese coat of arms.
|The Reis Magos Church, Goa. www.lonelyplanet.com|
During the reign of the Portuguese, Reis Magos Church was quite famous and well attended. It was considered a sacred church during the colonial rule and even to day, it is one of the sacred churches in India. Lots of people come to this sanctified church to get the blessings from the infant Jesus but also to enjoy the breath-taking magnificent beaches nearby.
The most favorable time to visit the Reis Magos Church is during the annual festival - the Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Magos held in the month of January. The local youths re-enacts the story of the three kings bearing gifts to the infant Jesus. One can visit this place during October to March, when the climate is perfect.