Oct 18, 2022
The Colva Fama is held every year on the second Monday of October at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Colva. A big party to celebrate the birth of Jesus. During the feast, a wax statue of Jesus as a baby is taken down from the altar and worshipped by the faithful. People say that the statue can do miracles.
A story from the 1600s says that a Jesuit priest and sailor named Fr. Benito Fereirra, s.j. They found the statue off Mozambique's coast. When Fr. Benito was sent to the church of Our Lady of Mercy in Colva, Goa. He took the statue with him and put it on an altar in the church.
Later, when he was moved to the Rachol seminary, he brought the statue with him. The people in the village begged him to give the statue back, but he wouldn't. Disappointed, the people went back to their homes. They found a diamond ring on their way back (the same ring that was on the finger of the infant Jesus). They were happy, so they went back, copied the statue, and put the ring on the statue's finger. Villagers from Colva, Sernabatim, Gaundalim, and Velim, which are all close by, helped build a separate altar for the statue. Even now, they still worship that statue, which they believe has magical powers.
During the Colva Fama festival, people line up to kiss the statue and give wax figures of different body parts (that need healing). After the Colva fama, there is a nine-day novena, which ends with a feast on October 27. Every year, tens of thousands of faithful people come to the feast. They want to be blessed by Jesus as infants.
A beautiful story is told at the traditional Fama feast. People say that a long time ago, maybe when the Portuguese first took over, fishermen were out fishing when they saw a huge group of seagulls flying around a small island in the middle of the ocean.
As they moved toward the island to study it, they saw something shiny that reflected the sun. They went up to the island to find a beautiful wooden statue of a baby with a hoop on its finger. They thought it might be someone who needed help. Maybe it was this that stood out!
Even though they were scared, they took it out and gave it to the Jesuit priests in the Colva Church. They said it was a picture of the baby Jesus, or "Menino Jesus," and began to worship it. Its fame spread to all or any parts of the country after people heard about it and said that it was a miracle cure or was kind. The crowds started to grow, which led to the normal Fama celebration.
Another story says that Fr. Benito Fereirra SJ, a Jesuit priest, found the statue off the coast of Mozambique and took it to the Church of Our Lady of Merces in Colva, Goa, where he was working at the time. On the altar, a place was made for this idol, and it was put there.
But this celebration stopped when the Order of the Jesuits moved to the Rachol Seminary and took the idol with them. The villagers were very attached to the current god, so they went to Rachol and begged him to give them back the idol. Their request was turned down right away. The villagers came back sad and with nothing.
But when they got back, they saw that the ring that was on the finger of the "Menino Jesus" had fallen into the niche of the altar. They made another idol that looked like this one, put the ring on its finger, and began to worship it.
Every year, the religious services, called novenas, begin on the second Monday of October, nine days before the feast, and are attended by many people.
To get a chance to kiss the hand of Baby Jesus and the ring, you have to go to the event and wait in a well-organized line for a long time in the hot sun. People who come to pay their respects are taken care of in a special way, especially if they are sick or in some other way can't move around well.
When you come here, pay attention to the nun's wrist as she holds the Baby Jesus and people kiss it. The other end of a strong string is tied to the ring as a safety measure and to keep it from getting lost.
As a spiritual feast, the church is a place where tourists and visitors must be careful and follow strict rules. After this trip, you can go to the beautiful Colva Beach and enjoy the Goan atmosphere.