Monday, 7 October 2019

Historical Padri-Ki-Havelii, a Catholic Church in Patna city where Mother Theresa stayed


Catholic church Padri_Ki_Haveli  thesouthindianpost.com

atholic church Padri_Ki_Haveli travelshoebum.com
There is no state in India that does not  churches built  before the 19th century and many of them are Catholic churches built by the English.  Churches built by the French are in Pondicherry, S. India and in West Bengal.  Likewise historical Churches built by the Portuguese are in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Bengal, the places they visited for trade purposes. As for Goa on the west coast of India,  it was a Portuguese colony for a long time. Most of the churches built by the Europeans have fine architecture.  Padri-Ki-Haveliis a Catholic Church in Patna city  is quite well-known for its design.
Patna city indmaps.com
Padri-Ki-Haveli, a Catholic Church  is the oldest one in the state Bihar.  Close to  Har Mandir, it was built in 1713 by Father 
Joseph  Rovato with ample support from the followers of Roman Catholics Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was during  1772-1779  major renovation work was undertaken  under the guidance of Tirreto, a Venetian architect, who came from Calcutta for this purpose. Architecturally well designed, the church's structure is an impressive one with minute details and artistic work. The earlier building was a small one to accommodate more members for services. This church with a big dome and a fine pedimented iconic portico has an impressive bell donated in 1782   by Bahadur Shah, son of Prithvi Narayan , the Maharajah of Nepal.  Measuring  L70ft X W 40 ft  X Ht, 50 ft., the church was subject to many raids and in the wake of skirmishes between English traders  and the army  of of Nawab Mir Kasim, the puppet Nawab of Bengal installed by the English company.  Padri Ki Haveli  was looted by the marauding army and in the mayhem that followed  the ancient records kept inside the church were destroyed and burnt.

In 1857 there was a widespread uprising by the Indian soldiers against the unjust and oppressive English Company's rule across north India,  The great rebellion was a period of hell-bent rioting, looting and killing and during this period, the church had to bear the attack by the rampaging soldiers and people. 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta  could not  form a congregation  in her early stage of social service because of lack of  medical training to serve the sick. Hence, she came to the Holy Family Hospital in Patna to  get training in  first aid. During that period she had stayed here at the church- Padri-Ki-Haveli, for three month in 1948. Thus this place of worship is  sanctified by a divine soul who till her demise cared for the  poor and downtrodden of Calcutta city. The small room where she stayed is still well preserved and is  part of the Missionaries of Charity house. The room has many things,
like cot, table etc., used by Mother Teresa during her stay. A  message on the  board in front of the room mentions:  “Mother Teresa, who started her mission of love after undertaking training at Padri Ki Haveli, stayed in this room, 1948.”  Mother Teresa, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003.  After joining the Loreto Sisters of Dublin, she came to India in 1929 and changed her name to  Sister Teresa.  Before becoming a social worker  to care for  the 'poorest of the poor, Mother Teresa had  spent 17 years teaching and as the  principal of St Mary's High School in Kolkata.

Today, this church is a popular place of worship  in Patna and is being visited by lots of people of different faiths. 
https://www.rediff.com/news/2003/oct/20teresa.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padri_Ki_Haveli