Herald: The Convent of St Cajetan and the Church of Divine Providence
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The Convent of St Cajetan and the Church of Divine Providence

07 Aug 2018 06:50am IST

Report by
Tomas Amansio Rodrigues

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07 Aug 2018 06:50am IST

Report by
Tomas Amansio Rodrigues

Leave a comment

The church dedicated to Saint Cajetan was the last church built in monumental dimensions at Old Goa. The feast of St Cajetan will be celebrated today, August 7, 2018

St Cajetan was born on October 1, 1480 in Vicenza

, Italy. His parents were Kaitan Gosper and Mary Porta. His father died when he was very small. He grew in holiness by the good example of faith and good life of his mother. At the age of 24, he graduated Civil Law and Connon Law in flying colours. He held many important positions at different phases and times in Church.

On September 30, 1516 he was ordain priest in Rome. He joined the Society of Love of God in order to promote the Blessed Sacrament and the devotion to Mother Mary. In 1522, he renounced all his earthly riches and started living entirely on the providence of God. He opened a hospital in his native village for the sick and this congregation also built a hospital for the needy in the city of Old Goa. On September 14, 1524, he founded a society called Clerigos Regulares da Divina Providencia, which was later named the congregation of ‘Theatines’. Members of this congregation could not buy property nor ask for alms in order to survive; they had to only sustain on divine providence, relying only on what people offered on their own accord.

In order to help the poor, he founded the fund of (Mercy Fund), which later became the Bank of Naples.

Saint Cajetan died on August 7, 1547, and was buried in Paolo Naggiore Church. Pope Urban declared him blesses on October 8, 1629. He was declared Saint by Pope Clement X on April 12, 1671. He is invoked by those who are seeking jobs. The Theatines built a church in the holy city of Old Goa, which is dedicated to Divine Providence, which is attached to recent Pastoral Institute (Pius X) and Convent. On the North East of the Church, every year, the Pastoral Institute, along with their clergies, Pastoral Council and faithful from surrounding villages celebrate the feast of St Cajetan on August 7 every year after completing nine days Novenas.

This marvellous architecture piece that the church is, was built after the style of St Peter’s in Rome. The Church and the Convent were completed in 1661, subsequently the convent was enlarged later in the northern side. There’s a hemispherical cupola and a beautiful Corinthian facade looking towards the west. It has four niches with ash grey granite images of St Peter, St Paul, St John and St Matthew. Italian father D Carlo Ferrarini and lay brother Francesco Maria Milazzo were the architects. Mestre Inacio was the sculptor and Manuel Pereira was the builder. The following words of Christ are painted in bold letters on the threshold: Domus mea domus orationis (My house is a house of prayer). There are six alters beside the main alter.

Today’s pastoral Institute of St Pius building for the internship of diocesan priests was formally the convent of St Cajetan.

The church is divided into one nave and two aisles and six vaulted chapels on the sides. As you enter, to the right the chapel of St Andrew Avelino, the chapel of St Cajetan, the chapel of St Catherin, to the left, the chapel of Holy Family, the chapel of the Redeemer and Our Lady of Dolours, the chapel of St Gregory the interesting thing about this Church it has two sacristies on the either side.

The main alter dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Divina Providencia (Our Lady of Divine Providence) this alters are profusely gilded in Baroque style now it is getting faded and dull. On the socle of the alter, six young angels stand on pedestals, holding shield that rests on those pedestals, three on the each side of the niche.

The chapel of St Cajetan in between the chapels to the right. A big statue of St Cajetan stands in the centre of the niche.

On the sides of the alter, beautiful paintings depicting scenes of the saints. Theatines also had an autographed letter of St Cajetan, which was brought when they first arrive in Goa.

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