Our Lady of Hope Church, Candolim

Our Lady of Hope Church, Candolim

The majestic church of Candolim is situated at the foot of the hills of Candolim and facing the Nerul river. The primitive church of Candolim was built in 1560 by Fr. Pedro de Belem and was repaired and remodeled in 1661.

After Verem, the Franciscans are believed to have built this beautiful church. Although it was repaired in 1661, the Franciscans were not satisfied with the result. The Provincial, Antonio de Assumpcao then ordered the old church to be demolished and a new one to be constructed. Fr Jeronymo de Natividade who had some knowledge of architecture, revised the original plans and considerably cut down the cost. The entire cost for all this construction was borne by the village community.

The church is unique as it was built using the Mannerist Neo-Roman style. The front piece is topped by piediment. Its large twin towers have special pagoda like roofs. The finials are of spear type; something which makes the church of Our Lady of Hope (Nossa Senhora de Esperanca) rare is the bell towers which rise high above the central gable. In 1948 the left side tower of the church collapsed and had to be rebuilt.

The feast of the patroness was celebrated in ancient times on the 16th of December, later the date of the feast was shifted to the 27th of December but from 1997 onwards the feast is celebrated on the 19th of December. The main altar of the church is dedicated to Our Lady of Hope.

On the left of the main altar there is the richly carved altar of wood. It has a huge cross with Jesus crucified on it, and below are two big statues of Jesus and Mother Mary. On the left hand side, is the altar dedicated to St.Peter whose feast is celebrated in the parish on the 29th of June. There are three beautiful altars of wood on the sides. The altar dedicated to Our Lady of Assumption was constructed in 1919 and next to it is the still well maintained pulpit used in ancient times by the priest to preach to the people.

Just opposite the pulpit is a mini chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is kept and people spend time in prayerful moments. In the month of August the parish celebrates with reverence the feast of Our Lady of Good Death on the 13th of August and the feast of Our Lady of Assumption on the 15th of August.

Image Credits: Our Lady of Hope Church, Candolim, by Lovell D'souza

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