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History of the Pilar Fathers

A. OUR ORIGIN: FOUNDATION AND RE-ORGANISATION


I. INTRODUCTION


In the course of the missionary history of India, the Holy Spirit raised up a legion of dedicated missionaries who inspired by the apostolic zeal of St. Thomas and St. Francis Xavier, preached the Gospel and kept alive the Catholic faith.

The coming of the religious orders to the Old Conquests3  of Goa at the beginning of the 16th century made Goa the centre of the irradiation of the Catholic faith in the entire East from Mozambique to Japan. St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the East,was one of these greatest missionaries. Blessed Joseph Vas, a son of Goa and Apostle of Kanara and Ceylon,was another.

At the end of the 18th century, the territory of Goa had been extended by the addition of the New Conquests.By 1835 political upheavals had brought to power forces adverse to religious life and all religious orders had been suppressed in Goa.

Led by the Holy Spirit some chosen souls organised, in Goa, missionary communities approved by the Church to carry the message of the Gospel. A son of Goa, Fr. Custodio do Rosario Caetano Barreto had attempted to start an Association of Missionaries to fill the lacuna and evangelise the New Conquests between 1873 and 1883, but in vain.

The Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier with its Mother-House at Pilar Monastery in Pilar, Goa, as its principal seat, was one more effort of the indigenous clergy to spread and strengthen the Faith among the Christians and non-Christians of the Archdiocese.

II. FOUNDATION


a. Need of the Church

Pope Leo XIII gave the clarion call, “Filii tui, India, administri tibi salutis”. (Your own sons, India, will be ministers of your salvation)12 . At this juncture, the Holy Spirit inspired a virtuous priest from Orlim, Goa, Very Rev, Fr. Jose Mariano Clemente Bento Martins,to found the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, with the approval of the first Patriarch of the East Indies, D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Archbishop of Goa, on 26th September 1887, with its residence in Agonda, Canacona, Goa in spite of the government ban on religious orders enforced from 1835. In 1877, Fr. J.M.C. Bento Martins had, as a Deacon, joined the Association of Missionaries of Fr. Custodio do Rosario Caetano Barreto at Uguem in Sanguem. He had started a school at Tilamola and had taught in it for two years. Meanwhile he had been ordained priest in 1879 and was put in charge of the vast Tilamola area because of which he had to go as an itinerant missionary and give up teaching in the school.

Fr. Bento Martins had left the Association in 1881 and proceeded as a voluntary missionary to Valpoi in Satari because he wanted to dedicate his life for the religious education of the people of the new Conquests of Goa. He was armed with vast faculties given to him by the then Vicar Capitular of Goa D. Thomas and had baptised two adults there.

Meanwhile D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente had been appointed the Archbishop of Goa in 1882. Fr. Bento Martins had proposed his plans of founding a new missionary society for the evangelisation of the New Conquests to the new Archbishop who had approved the plans and supported him and with his permission, Fr. Bento Martins had baptised fifteen adults in Satari in 1883. The Archbishop had then transferred him to Agonda where three clerics had joined him, and with their help he had catechised and baptised four adults in Agonda. In 1886, D. Valente was given the title of Patriarch of the East Indies and India got its own hierarchy.

Seeing this fervent missionary activity and zeal on the part of Fr. Bento Martins and his companions, the Patriarch, D. Valente, who in vain had himself made a strong plea before the Overseas Minister of Portugal to allow him to re-admit religious orders in Goa , now saw a way out for his design by encouraging Fr. Bento Martins and his companions. Therefore on 26th September 1887, the Patriarch received their commitment secretly to avoid Government attention, at 8 o’clock in the night in his Chapel in Panjim giving due solemnity the act itself deserved, before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Thus the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier was born, and Fr. Bento Martins was appointed as its first Superior.

b. Achievements of the Society

During the very first year, the four missionaries catechised the villages of Canacona Taluka from Agonda upto Cabo de Rama and Velim and also baptised seven non-Christians. Later when the Patriarch went to Rome, he informed Pope Leo XIII about the Society born among the fishermen at Agonda. In a letter to Fr. Bento Martins dated 2nd July 1888, he communicated the Pope’s satisfaction and exhortation to the members to continue in strict observance of the rules they had. The Pope also exhorted the members to work with zeal for the abandoned Christians of the New Conquests and to extend their activities as soon as possible to the non-Christians.

Fr. Bento Martins reconstructed the Chapel of Agonda. It was then blessed on 30th December 1888 and elevated to a Parish. He also constructed a Church at Valpoi and blessed it on 12th May 1889. Fr. Jeronimo Servulo Viegas, a member of the Society, was appointed its first Parish Priest.

By his Decree No. 268, dated 4th February 1890, the Patriarch shifted the headquarters of the Society to the erstwhile Franciscan (Capuchos) Monastery at Pilar founded in 1613, abandoned in 1835 and ceded to the Patriarch by the Portuguese Government as a summer residence. He instituted a Catechumenate there under the direction of the Society, which was responsible for four hundred and fifty one adult conversions and baptisms. On 1st June 1891 the Patriarch confirmed Fr. Bento Martins as Superior for another five years and approved the Constitutions and Rules of the Society by decree No. 485 dated 1st June 1891. Many Priests and neo-ordinandi made their spiritual exercises and retreats under the direction of Fr. Bento Martins and his companions. On 21st September 1894 the Patriarch created the first Missionary deanery of the New Conquests at Shiroda and entrusted it to the Society and appointed Fr. Bento Martins the first Parish Priest for three months.

D. Valente held the 6th Provincial Council in Goa from December 1894 to January 1895. The Council was attended by seven Prelates including the Bishop of Daman, the ecclesiastical Governors of the dioceses of Macau, Cochin, Mylapore and the Prelature of Mozambique. This Council took official notice of the existence of the Society and Fr. Bento Martins was a special invitee “honoris causa” together with Fr. Gonsalves, Superior of the Jesuits in Belgaum. Decree No. 11 of the Council recommended to the Prelates the “new Society of St. Francis Xavier” thus: The Bishops could try to establish in convenient places stations of worthy missionaries, regular as well as secular, who could possibly live in common and work fruitfully for the conversion of infidels. Some of these could be central stations and others substations. The Council recommends to all the Prelates the new Society of St. Francis Xavier, established in Goa with indigenous priests and who have the principal aim of conversion of infidels. These missionaries will be able to go to other dioceses when requested by the Ordinaries.

Fr. Bento Martins died of malaria in the Pilar Monastery at the young age of 49. The Society had mission Parishes inside and outside Goa in his life time, and after his death, the Society took more difficult missions outside Goa, the mission of Chandowar - Kumta (1898-1927); the mission of Honavar (1910-1934) and Monki (1910-1925)4; all of which today constitute the Karwar diocese. The Society had renowned preachers of the Word of God who strengthened the faith and kept high the morality in the Archdiocese of Goa. Besides, one member became the Rector of Allahabad Seminary, others, Parish Priests of Poona and Halyal . It also produced the ascetic figure of Ven. Fr. Agnelo de Souza, a missionary in Shiroda, Kumta and Sanvordem, a zealous preacher and Spiritual Director of the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol who died with the aura of sanctity on 20th November 1927. Although the Society was threatened with extinction, before his death, Ven. Fr. Agnelo had predicted that “the Society will not die, the finger of God is here.

c. Decline of the Society

Archbishop Patriarch D. Valente was very influential before the Portuguese Government having held the reins of the civil power several times during the vacancy of Governors. When he died necrologies were published in which mention was made of the Society of Pilar and the Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters as being promoted by him in Goa.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Lucio Vas had succeeded Fr. Bento Martins as the Superior and continued his work. Though twenty one members had joined the Society in the course of half a century of its existence only ten members had persevered in it till death, the others having left it after more or less five years of their commitment, due to the prevailing tension which already existed since 1835.

During the struggle, which led to the abolition of the Monarchy and the establishment of the Portuguese Republic the ban on the Religious was enforced with great severity, Msgr. Lucio Vas has kept his hand-written record from 1910-1915: As soon as the new regime was planted, here (in Goa) everything was in chaos. The priests of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) had to run away from Panjim, so also the Third Order Sisters. Here in the Pilar Monastery although secular priests it was not permitted for them to reside more than two or three in number, the bell could not be rung, outside spiritual exercises except only for meals. We could not gather in the choir for meditation, etc. We could not accept new members. In this way we passed days of sorrow as we were not paid the “Congrua” (pastor’s support) of the Churches we had.

In this way the Society came to the verge of extinction with a lone surviving member, Fr. Baltazar Remedios do Rosario Gomes.

III. THE PROJECTION OF A NEW MISSIONARY SOCIETY


In December 1931, in the historic city of Old Goa, on the occasion of the Exposition of the Relics of the Apostle of India, St. Francis Xavier, some seminarians, students of the 2nd year of Theology at the Rachol Seminary, among them Conceicao Menino Rodrigues and Francisco Jasso Sequeira, felt inspired to dedicate their lives to the missions. Back in the Seminary, they started with the permission of their Superiors, a movement among other Seminarians, many of whom joined it. The movement was called “Liga Xaveriana” in honour of St. Francis Xavier. The aim of the movement was to foster the spirit of an intense prayer-life and faithfulness to the Seminary Rules, to spread knowledge about the missionary work and promote love for the missions. About sixty Seminarians joined the movement.

In November-December 1933, again in Old Goa, on the occasion of the 4th centenary celebrations of the canonical erection of the diocese of Goa, the Promoters of the “Liga Xaveriana” felt inspired to start a Missionary Society for the evangelisation of India. They decided that thenceforth, only the aspirants to the projected Missionary Society could be the members of the “Liga Xaveriana”. The movement, therefore, acquired a new goal and direction viz. the foundation of a Missionary Society. The Seminary authorities were informed of their plans and their advice was sought. The promoters started preparing a project of statutes for their Missionary Society, in the line of modern Missionary Societies of common life without public vows, as per Canons 673-681 of the Code of Canon Law 1917.By October 1934, the first draft of the general norms of the statutes was ready and there were over thirteen members in the “Liga Xaveriana”, who had decided to join the proposed Missionary Society. Prior to this in August 1934, the promoters had approached the Patriarch of Goa, D. Teotonio and revealed to him their plans of forming a Missionary Society.

But God’s ways are inscrutable. The Holy Spirit inspired the said Patriarch D. Teotonio to get the Old Diocesan Society ‘revitalised’ through this group that had proposed their project of founding an entirely new missionary society with the spirit of St. Francis Xavier.

Since by 1936, Msgr. Lucio Vas had died, the Patriarch through his Secretary informed Fr. Menino Conceicao Rodrigues that he would like to have an association of secular priests like the old and was ready to patronise the ideas the promoters had, were they to reform and develop the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier. Meetings were held at Pilar with the lone survivor Fr. Baltazar Remedios do Rosario Gomes who accepted the idea enthusiastically.

Acceding to the Patriarch’s desire, the promoters of the ‘Liga Xaveriana’ who wanted to start a new society of their own decided to re-organise the old society into a modern missionary society of common life with private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience according to the project of statutes which they had already prepared in harmony with the canonical legislation of the Code of 1917. This second draft was therefore submitted to the Patriarch with the signature of Fr. Baltazar Remedios do Rosario Gomes. The Patriarch sent the draft to the Dean Promoter who made his comments to which Fr. C. Rodrigues replied.

Meanwhile, most of the members who had decided to join the proposed entirely new society gave up the idea since the project was now to re-organise an existing society. Only three remained, they were Fr. Conceicao Menino Rodrigues, Fr. Francisco Jasso Sequeira and Fr. Lourenco Caridade Torcato (the last one left later during the noviciate).But it was a blessing in disguise for the old diocesan society, because the disbanding of the Xaverian League made it possible for the constitution of another group of priests and laymen, with the firm commitment to carry on the “Spirit of St. Francis Xavier” through the old diocesan society which had a tryst with the same “Spirit of St. Francis Xavier” for over fifty years.

IV. THE RE-ORGANISATION


The road to the Re-organised Society had been a thorny one and full of difficulties. Many parleys took place between the Patriarch and his auxiliary D. Manuel Ferreira on one side and the Promoters on the other; a number of letters were exchanged; many difficulties were surmounted.

At the request of the Promoters, Fr. Manuel Jose Barreto, Professor of the Rachol Seminary was sent to the Carmelite Monastery at Trivandrum, to study how to conduct the Noviciate and to discuss there the proposed constitutions with Msgr. Benziger. He finally decided to join the Society himself. Fr. Joseph Albuquerque, a zealous missionary in Dadra  also decided to join the projected Society. The Patriarch by decree No. 46/39 dated 3rd June 1939 appointed the lone survivor of the old Society, Fr. Baltazar Remedios do Rosario Gomes the Superior and Fr. M.J. Barreto the Novice Master of the projected new Society continuing the old. A week before this (28th May) Fr. M.J.Barreto had published an advertisement inviting candidates to join the Society . Fr. Theodolindo Cabral and two laymen Paixao Lacerda and Peter Mascarenhas responded together with Fr. Egidio Gonsalves and a cleric in Minor Orders Roque D’Cruz . The last two left during Noviciate.

The cherished dream turned into a reality when on 2nd July 1939, the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier was re-organised with the above mentioned nine clerics and two lay members. The clerics started their Noviciate on 5th August 1939 and the lay members after a Postulancy of six months. As already said above, two priests and one cleric left during the Noviciate. The six priests made their commitment on 8th September 1940 at the hands of the Vicar Capitular of Goa Msgr. Thomas Aquino Barreto. The lay members made their commitment on 21st January 1941. The first General Chapter was held on 26th September 1940.

The “Mens Constitutionum” was forwarded to the Patriarch by Fr. Baltazar Remedios do Rosario Gomes for approval on 9th July 1942. The forwarding letter speaks of the Decree of 1937 from the S. C. of Propaganda Fide regulating the existence of new indigenous Societies based on the Decree of 1922 from the S.C. of Religious.The formal approbation of these new Constitutions was granted by the then Patriarch of the East Indies, D. Jose Costa Nunes on 24th June 1946.

The entire text of the formal approbation by the Patriarch of the East Indies to the new Constitutions spelt out that the newness came from the “adapted renewal” which any organisation undergoes at specific times; as well as the newness that was brought into the old dying diocesan society left with a lone survivor, via the fresh group of members that had been constituted for the specific purpose of revitalising the old dying Society - normally such an adapted renewal is undertaken in an institute by its existing members and not by a fresh group of members (as in this case) who had come in with a mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority for the specific purpose of revitalising it.

Since the Society founded by Fr. Bento Martins was re-organised by the eight pioneers of the re-organisation namely, Fr. Menino Conceicao Rodrigues, Fr. Francisco Jasso Sequeira, Fr. Baltazar Remedios do Rosario Gomes, Fr. Manuel Jose Barreto, Fr. Joseph Albuquerque, Fr. Theodolindo Cabral, Bro. Peter Mascarenhas and Bro. Paixao Lacerda, the foundation and the re-organisation form two distinct moments in the life of the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier - the latter transforming the former, this being a unique phenomenon rarely witnessed in the history of religious institutes and societies of apostolic life. The re-organised Society of 1939 is canonically, the continuation of the same Society founded in 1887.

In re-organising the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, the following features were added by the re-organisers, which amounts to the “latter transforming the former”:
i) The field of the apostolate was extended beyond the Archdiocese of Goa to the whole of India.
ii) Noviciate and Commitment by assuming the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, through private vows were introduced.
iii) Perpetual commitment and definitive incorporation were made compulsory.
iv) Besides clerics, lay brothers were incorporated.
v) Old age care and assistance was guaranteed to the members.
vi) A Seminary of its own ensured future stability of the Society.
Considering all these factors, the General Chapter of 1992 called the Re-organisers, the Second Founders of the Society.

The two moments of the foundation and re-organisation were further articulated as follows:
The Society goes back to 1887 with Fr. J. M. C. Bento Martins and his companions consecrating their lives as members of the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier. It had almost reached the point of extinction when, as stated in the historical section of the Society’s Constitution Fr. Menino Conceicao Rodrigues and Fr. Francisco Jasso Sequeira, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and under the patronage of Our Lady of Pilar and St. Francis Xavier, took the lead and together with their companions revived and re-organized the Society in 1939. Hence Fr.Bento Martins was at the origin in 1887 and Fr. Menino Conceicao Rodrigues and Fr. Francisco Jasso Sequeira were at the moment of giving new life (1939) to the Society.

V. GROWTH OF THE RE-ORGANISED SOCIETY


Immediately after the profession of the first batch and under the able guidance of the Re-organisers, the Society took over the very backward area of Nagar Haveli in 1940 as its field of missionary labours. In 1942 the Society took the bold step to start its own Mission Seminary to ensure its growth and stability. In 1942 the association of Xaverian Co-operators and in 1944 that of Spiritual Brothers and Sisters were started and these assured monetary help to the Society, as well as their sacrifices and prayers for the missions. In order to project the image of the Society in Goa, in 1944 the publication of V. Ixtt, with the Society’s own press, was taken up and in 1950 the India magazine. In 1951 the Society accepted the mission of Ambarnath in the Archdiocese of Bombay. At the same time the mission of Sanguem in Goa was taken up for apostolate. In 1957 the Fr. Agnel Ashram was started at Bandra in Bombay as a common house of the Society  which has grown into a huge complex of technical education. In 1961, that is, twenty years after the Re-organisation, the Society was entrusted with Punjab - Haryana mission. In the 25th year Bastar in Madhya Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were taken up for apostolate. The latter mission became the Port Blair diocese in 1984 with Msgr. Alex Dias, a member of the Society as its first Bishop. The Society also launched huge educational and socio-developmental projects for the upliftment of the marginalised in all its missions. The Society thereafter spread out in all directions. Today (1998) its missions are covering sixteen dioceses in India and has members working abroad in Italy, UK, USA, and Germany

ENDNOTES


1) Josephus Wicki, s.j., Documenta Indica Vol. I, Original letters of Jesuit Missionaries (1540-49); Vol. II (1550-53).
2) Achilles Meersmann, ofm., The Ancient Franciscan provinces in India.
3) Anthony D’Costa, Conversion of Goa Islands.
4) Fr. Francisco D’Souza, Oriente Conquistado a Jesus Christo pelos padres da Companhia de Jesus na Provincia de Goa.
5) Amaro Pinto Lobo, Memoria Historico Ecclesiastica da Arquidiocese de Goa (1533-1933), pp. 65-74 and Map.
6) G. Schurhammer, s.j., Epistolae St. Francisci Xaverii, 2 Vols. (from the period 1535-1548, 1548 - 1552).
7) Fr. Sebastiao de Rego, Vida do Ven. Pe. Jose Vas.
8) Rui Gomes Pereira, Goa, Hindu Temples and Deities, Preliminary Notes, pp. 5-11.
9) Casimiro Cristovao de Nazareth, Mitras Lusitanas no Oriente (1501 - 1878), pp. 432-450.
10) Msgr. Gomes Catao, “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” Manuscript in Archives of Society of Pilar, 8/16, pp. 8-12.
11) Pe. Tomas da Silva, “Sociedade dos Missionarios de S. Fco. Xavier,” article on Boletim Ecclesiastico da Arquidiocese de Goa, Serie II, Ano II - Julho de 1943, No.1, pp.11-14. (From 1886 to 1928 the Archdiocese of Goa extended territorially over Portuguese Goa, the British district of Ratnagiri, the state of Sawantwadi and Sangli and the Collectorate of Belgaum as also the British Collectorate of North Canara upto Honawar. It had as suffragan dioceses: Daman, Macau, Cochin, Mylapore and Mozambique.).
12) Carlos Merces de Melo s.j., The Recruitment and Formation of the Native Clergy in India, A Historico Canonical study, Agencia Geral do Ultramar Lisboa, 1950, p. 319.
13) Mensageiro do Coracao de Jesus, No. 191, published from Lisbon an obituary on Fr. Bento Martins in February 1897, pp. 121 - 122.
14) Fr. C. Rodrigues, “Allocution on the Goa Radio,” published on V. Ixtt dt. 11/2/1950 on the Society of Pilar, Archives of the Society of Pilar 21/1950 V. Ixtt.
15) J.M.C. Bento Martins, “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” Manuscript (1887-1931) in the Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/3.
16) Rev. Father Jose Mariano C.B. Martins, “Missao Nas Novas Conquistas,” Manuscript in the Archives of the Society of Pilar, pp. 1-4; Livro das Actas da Antiga Sociedade in 2 Vols. 8/1 and 8/1A.
17) Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p.11.
18) D. Ayres de Ornelas e Vasconcellas, Despacho No. 324 of 4/4/1878, “Livro dos despachos do Paco Patriarcal,” No. 2 of 1877-1885.
19) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Missao Nas Novas Conquistas,” p.1.
20) Ibid. p. 1, See also D. Thomas Vig. Capitular Despacho No. 51 dt. 19/3/1881 re: faculdades dadas ao Revdo. Jose Mariano Clemente Bento Martins, “Livro dos Despachos” No.2 of 1877-1885 in Paco Patriarcal, Panjim, Goa.
21) Ibid.
22) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Missao Nas Novas Conquistas,” p. 1.
23) Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p.15.
24) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Missao Nas Novas Conquistas,” p. 1.
25) D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Portaria No. 301 appointing Fr. Bento Martins to Agonda, p. 231 of Book No. 13 of “Portarias do Paco Patriarcal,” Panjim, Goa.
26) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Missao Nas Novas Conquistas,” p. 2.
27) Amaro Pinto Lobo, op. cit., Memoria Historico Ecclesiastica da Arquidiocese de Goa (1533-1933), pp. 68-74 and Map.
28) Visconde de S. Januario, Re-organisation of the Seminaries in Goa, “Boletim Official do Governo do Estado da India” dt. 1/10/1881 No. 110, Ministerio de Marinha e Ultramar.
29) D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Letter dt. 19/6/1884 to Ministerio de Marianha e Ultramar, “Portarias do Paco Patriarcal, Panjim,” book no. 13 from 1882-1887, pp. 217-228, emphasising the need of religious orders in Goa.
30) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” 8/3. Foundation of Society, p. 1. Also cf. D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Portaria No. 484-485 with a note on Foundation of Society attached on Bk. No. 14 of “Portarias in Paco Patriarcal, Panjim.”
31) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Missao Nas Novas Conquistas,” p. 2; Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p. 16.
32) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” Manuscript (1887-1931) in the Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/3. Letter written from Rome to Fr. Bento Martins by Patriarch D. Antonio S. Valente, pp. 2&3.
33) “Coleccao da Legislacao Novissima do Ultramar,” Vol. XVI (1888) dt. 27/12/1888, pp. 511, Decree creating the Parish of Agonda.
34) Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p. 16.
35) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Documentos importantes relativos a Sociedade,” 8/3. p. 3. Portaria of D. Antonio S. Valente No. 268 shifting the headquarters of the Society to Pilar.
36) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Livro das Actas da Antiga Sociedade (1878-1908),” 8/1, Inauguration of Catechumenate p. 6.
37) D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Portaria Nos. 484-485 on Book No. 14 of “Portarias do Paco Patriarcal,” approving the Constitutions. Also copied in the “Documantos importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” op. cit., 8/3, pp. 4-9.
38) J.M.C. Bento Martins, op. cit., “Livro das Actas da Antiga Sociedade,” 8/1, Relacao dos Sacerdotes que tem feito exercicios espirituaes sob a direccao do Superior da Sociedade de S. Fco. Xavier, pp. 50-55.
39) D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Portaria No. 863 creating the Mission of Shiroda. Vide “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Socidedade,” op. cit. 8/3, pp. 11-12.
40) Caetano Albuquerque, Decretos do VI Concilio Provincial de Goa 1894/95, Ch. 1, tit. 3, De personis, Decreto 11, Published in 1898.
41) Mensageiro do Coracao de Jesus, No. 191, published from Lisbon an obituary on Fr. Bento Martins in February 1897 on pp. 121 - 122.
42) Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p. 18. (Fr. Bento Martins: born 5-1-1848; died 16-8-1896).
43) Ibid., p. 19. Fr. Feliciano Victor da Costa, Parish Priest of Halyal (1892-94).
44) D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, Letras Patriarcaes creando a Missao de Kumpta em Canara 1898, p. 16 of “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” op. cit.
45) Msgr. Lucio Vas, “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” op. cit. 8/3, p. 54 appointment of Dean of Honavar, Portaria dt. 10/12/1909.
46) Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p. 17.
47) Fr. Aloysius Rego, Secrets to Share Life of Fr. Agnelo de Souza, pp. 81-82 - Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/118 B.
48) Msgr. Gomes Catao, “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganizada,” op. cit. p. 31: reg. Pe. Guilherme Coutinho. Also see last two pages of “Livro dos Actas da Antiga Sociedade,” endnote no. 15. Portaria no. 18 dt. 27/1/1923.
49) Msgr. Lucio Vaz, “Documentos Importantes Relativos a Sociedade,” op. cit., 8/3, p. 23 - Pe. J. Dulcedonio X. Gracias, Portaria No. 425 of 20/11/1908.
50) Msgr. Gomes Catao, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p. 20, Pe Feliciano Victor da Costa (Halyal).
51) Fr. Aloysius Rego, Secrets to share Life of Fr. Agnelo de Souza, pp. 81-82, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/118 B.
52) Necrology of Patriarch D. Valente on O Crente, dt. 1/2/1908.
53) Msgr. Gomes Cat, op. cit., “Historia da Sociedade Antiga e Reorganisada,” p.33.
54) A glimpse into the life story of the CONFIC Indian Province of Our Lady of the Mount during the 100 years of its existence (1886-1986), Centenary Souvenir, Persecution and exile of the Franciscan Hospitallers in 1910, Nos. 43-46.
55) Msgr. Lucio Vas, “Income and Expenses Register,” Manuscript (1896-1952) showing accounts of old and Reorganised Society, Archives of Society of Pilar 8/10, p. 14 and also printed in book form O Convento do Pilar by his nephew Mr. Lucio Vas.
56) “From Xaverian League to Missionary Society,” in Souvenir of Silver Jubilee of Society of Pilar, p. 13, Archives of Society of Pilar 8/79.
57) Ibid.
58) Fr. C. Rodrigues, “Letter to the Bishop of Gurja,” dated 26/10/1934, Archives of Society of Pilar 8/12.
59) Ibid.
60) Fr. C. Rodrigues, “Historical Notes on the Society,” Manuscript, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/2.
61) AAS 14 (1922) 641-646 SC Rel. Decr. Nov. 30, 1922.
62) Msgr. Francisco Rebello, Secretary of the Patriarchate, “Letter to Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues,” dt. 23/11/1937, Archives of the Society of Pilar, 8/13, No. 1.
63) Fr. C. Rodrigues, “Answer to Questionaire on the Nature and Charisma of the Society,” Archives of the Society of Pilar 20/4; Fr. Albuquerque, “Answer to Questionaire on the Nature and Charisma of the Society,”Archives of the Society of Pilar 2A/57; Fr. F. Sequeira, “Answer to Questionaire on the Nature and Charisma of the Society,” Archives of the Society of Pilar 2 A/56.
64) Fr. C. Rodrigues, Intervention in the Chapter of 1975, “Minutes of the Xth General Chapter,” Archives of the Society of Pilar 19/87, Book No. 1 Intervention No. 67.
65) Fr. Remedios R. Gomes, Application while submitting the 2nd draft of Constitutions to Patriarch and despatch of Patriarch sending the same to the Dean Promoter for comments; Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No. 2.
66) “From Xaverian League to Missionary Society,” in Souvenir of Silver Jubilee of Society of Pilar, p. 13, Archives of Society of Pilar 8/79.
67) Dean Joao Francisco Lobo, Promoter, “Comments on the draft of the Constitution,” Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No, 13.
68) D. Teotonio Vieira e Castro, Letter dt. 30/11/38 sending some objections raised by the Dean Promoter to the draft of the Constitutions, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No. 3.
69) Fr. C. Rodrigues, Reply dt. 22/12/1938 to the Dean Promoter’s objections, Archives of the Society of Pilar, 8/13, No. 4.
70) Fr. C. Rodrigues, op. cit., “Answer to Questionaire on the Nature and Charisma of the Society.”
71) “From Xaverian League to Missionary Society” in Souvenir of Silver Jubilee of Society of Pilar, p. 13, Archives of Society of Pilar 8/79.
72) D. Teotonio V. Castro, Letter dt. 12/5/1938 to Fr. M.J. Barreto requesting him to go to Trivandrum to study to conduct Noviciate, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No. 5.
73) D. Teotonio V. Castro, Letter dt. 6/6/1938 thanking Fr. M.J. Barreto for his positive reply, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No. 9.
74) D. Teotonio V. Castro, Letter dt. 3/2/1939 to Fr. M.J. Barreto to take care to discuss thoroughly all modifications proposed with Msgr. Benziger and with those who wish to join the Society, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No. 11.
75) Fr. C. Rodrigues, op. cit., “Answer to Questionnaire on the Nature and Charisma of the Society.”
76) D. Teotonio V. Castro, Letter dt. 15/5/1938 to Fr. Albuquerque regarding his application for entry in the Society, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/13, No. 7.
77) D. Teotonio V. Castro, Letter dt. 10/6/1938 regarding Fr. Albuquerque and the solid basis required for the Society in project, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/123, No. 6.
78) D. Teotonio V. Castro, Appointment dt. 3/6/1939 of Fr. Remedios do R. Gomes as Superior and Fr. M.J. Barreto as Novice Master, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/17, p. 7, Portaria No. 46/39.
79) Fr. M.J. Barreto, Advertisement published on A. Voz de S. Francisco Xavier dt. 28/5/1939 inviting candidates to join the Society, Archives of the Society of Pilar, 8/14 No. 18.
80) Fr. C. Rodrigues, Corrections on Draft of Orientation Papers of Xth General Chapter made in hand, Archives of the Society of Pilar 2A/55.
81) Fr. C. Rodrigues, op. cit., “Answer to Questionnaire on the Nature and Charisma of the Society.”
82) “Record of the Re-organisation on 2nd July 1939,” Archives of the Society of Pilar, 8/17, p. 8.
83) News of the Inauguration published on official diocesan Bulletin A Voz de S. Francisco Xavier dt. 2/8/1939, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/14, No. 19.
84) “Record of the Reorganisation on 2nd July 1939,” Archives of the Society of Pilar, 8/17, p. 8.
85) Profession of the Reorganisers, news published on official diocesan Bulletin, A Voz de S. Francisco Xavier, 11/9/1940, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/14, No. 20.
86) Minutes of the first Chapter of the Society held on 26th September 1940, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/17, p. 9.
87) Fr. Remedios do Rosario Gomes, Letter to Patriarch dt. 9/7/1942, forwarding a copy of the remodelled “Mens. Constitutionum.”
88) AAS 29 (1937), 275-278 SC PF Instr. Mar. 19, 1937.
89) AAS 14 (1922) 641-646 SC Rel Decr. Nov. 30, 1922.
90) D. Jose da Costa Nunes, Portaria No. 65/4, Approval of the Constitutions of the Society, Archives of the Society of Pilar 2A/7 and 8/27A.
91) Fr. Remedios do Rosario Gomes, Sociedade dos missionarios de S. Francisco Xavier, edited in 1944, original copy corrected by Fr. C. Rodrigues, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/19.
92) “From Xaverian League to Missionary Society” in Souvenir of Silver Jubilee of Society of Pilar 1964, p. 13, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/79.
93) Document on Reconciliation issued on 29th November 2006, by Archbishop Oswald Gracias, Apostolic Visitator to the Society of Pilar, and published in a booklet “Here we are, One again”, prepared by the XVII General Chapter, page 6.
94) Fr. C. Rodrigues, Allocution on the Goa Radio on the Society of Pilar, published on V. Ixtt dt. 11/2/1950, Archives of the Society of Pilar 21/1950 V. Ixtt.
95) “Pilar Society in Ambarnath and Bombay,” in Souvenir of Silver Jubilee of Society of Pilar, 1964, pp. 59-60.
96) Fr. C. Rodrigues, Letter to Patriarch Costa Nunes dt. 26/2/1944 on methods of evangelisation in Goa, Archives of the Society of Pilar 8/19.
97) Refer endnote no. 56
98) Souvenir of the Centenary of the Society of Pilar 1987/89, Archives of the Society of Pilar, 8/79A.

Christian and Religious history of Pilar

a. Franciscans in Pilar:
The Franciscans were the first to land in Goa with the troops of Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510. By 1517 Fr. Antonio de Louro became the first Franciscan Commissary of India and Guardian (Superior) of the Friary of Goa (today the Monastery of St. Francis Assisi at Old Goa). This commissariat finally by 1612 developed into the St. Thomas Province of the Franciscans in India with the establishment of the Novitiate and the St. Bonaventure College for Ecclesiastical Studies in Old Goa and another college at Reis Magos, Verem, Bardez. St. Francis Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order, was at times so strongly attached to prayer and contemplation, that he began to doubt whether his order should be an apostolic one or only contemplative. Through prayer and contemplation he opted for the first alternative. However, the strong attraction to prayer continued in his followers, some of whom started erecting hermitages (Retiros in Portugese). These developed finally into the Order of Franciscan Capuchios. They were also known as Recollectors, Descalcos or Reformados in Portuguese. They established their first Friary at Daugim in 1569 which eventually developed into the Mother of God Province of Franciscan Capuchios in India, after 1622. This Province had besides the Daugim Friary, the Friary of Our Lady of Cape (today the Cabo Raj Bhavan – the residence of the Governor of Goa), the Friary of Our Lady of Pilar on the Pilar hillock, the Hospice of Our Lady of the Angels in Rachol, Salcete, Goa and the Friary of Our Lady of Brotas (Blossoms) on the Anjediva Island and several hermitages in India and the far East. These Capuchios were a section of contemplatives among the Franciscans, (not the Capuchins who came to India only in the first half of the 17th Century and did not found any friaries in the Portuguese territories then).

b. Pilar Monastery:
When Dom Rui Lourenco de Tavora was Viceroy of Portuguese India he handed the abandoned hillock of Pilar over to the Franciscans whose Commissary General at that time was Friar Luis de Conceicao (1611-1614). The Shrine of Our Lady of Pilar was built here. The plan of the Monastery was drawn by Friar Manuel Baptista of Daman and
executed by Friar Domingos dos Santos. The foundation stone laid on 17th July 1613 by Dom Cristovao de Lisboa, the Archbishop of Goa. It was built from alms the Friars received from the benefactors, the principal among them being Ferrao Cristovao and Amaro de Rocha. The Friary was maintained on the generosity of the faithful. The
inmates abstained from meat, observed daily discipline and the 3 hours of meditation with so much perfection that it came to be called “Holy Pilar.”
The name Pilar comes from the devotion to Our Lady of Pilar at Saragossa in Spain. The Franciscan Capuchios who established the Friary at Daugim and Pilar, at first belonged to the Spanish Province of Arrabida. It is said that after Christ’s Ascension to Heaven, our Blessed Mother Mary, before her Assumption into Heaven comforted St. James the Apostle, who was toiling in vain to spread the message of Christ in Spain, by appearing to him on a pillar, which is still to be seen in the Saragossa Shrine. From that day onwards St. James is said to have reaped an enormous harvest of souls. The Franciscans also built a fountain head in the inner square of the Pilar Monastery, resembling the one at Saragossa.
As a substitute for the processions of Hindu and Buddhist pundits in palanquins, the Capuchios introduced the Procession of Saints during Lent in Pilar. Sixty-five life sized statues of Saints, mostly Franciscans and Dominicans were carried in procession, resembling the one held in Rome.
In 1633 realizing that the place was pleasant and healthy the Capuchios opened an institute of Higher Education which was known as the University of Science, Arts and Theology. Normally the University had 26 religious on its rolls, Professors and students combined, and they were supported by the alms of the citizens.
From 1613, for a century and a quarter the Pilar of the Capuchios remained the “Holy Pilar” of discipline and sacrifice. However, abuses slowly crept in. In 1727 the Archbishop of Goa, Ignatius de St. Theresa, came in conflict with Franciscans of the Mother of God Province over jurisdiction in the confessional. The Archbishop insisted on
faculties, because of abuses. The Capuchios claimed that they were an exempt Order, not subject to local Ordinaries, and so, once ordained, they had jurisdiction and could exercise their ministry anywhere. The Archbishop tried to convince them, but the Provincial defiantly refused to give in. The Archbishop was thus forced to suspend them and excommunicate them and finally confine them inside their monasteries according to “Mitras Lusitanas no Oriente” of Fr. Casmiro Cristovao de Nazareth (pg 229-231).
There were serious abuses of this type among the other European religious too in Goa. At the same time the Government in Portugal fell in the hands of FreeMasons. The fatal royal decree of the Suppression of all Religious Orders from Portugal in its colonies was passed on 5th August 1833. The decree came into force in Goa on 14th May 1834. The Judge of the District of Ilhas, Luis X. Correia de Graca by virtue of the Provincial Order of 10th October 1835 and as representative of the Public Treasury took possession of the Pilar Monastery and of the surrounding property.
“From 1835 onwards,” says Msgr. Lucio Vas, “when perhaps the Monastery was closed down and handed over to a non-Christian of Goa Velha who rented the orchard and kept his cattle in the building... everything was a great neglect. The Monastery was turned into a stable and the orchard became a dense thicket.”
The old Church of St. Andrew of Goa Velha had become weak and was abandoned by 1841. Most of the belongings of this Church were transferred to the Pilar Monastery after the Franciscans left, and remained here till 1868. The present Church of Goa Velha was constructed in 1868 and blessed in 1869. While the belongings of the Church
were being shifted back, statues of Saints which were used in the penitential procession on Monday of the 5th week in Lent were also carried away from Pilar Monastery.

c. The Carmelites in Pilar:
In 1863 eleven Friars of the suppressed Monastery of the Carmelites of the third order from Chimbel, applied to the Portuguese Government for permission to live a common life according to their statues. The request was granted by the Order of 10th March 1855, on condition that they should not wear the religious habit outside their residence
and no new novices be admitted.
The Friars came to the Monastery of Pilar not earlier than 1858. On 30th June 1856 they placed a petition for the 100 Xerafine which the Santa Casa de Misericordia contributed towards the expenses of the Feast of Our Lady of Pilar and for the jono of the Communidade of Bati, which was due to St. Paschal Baylon and which had been
appropriated by the Public Treasury. In the same year, Friar Sebastian das Augustias appealed to the Government to order the secretary (escrivao) of the confraternity of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception to surrender the keys which he had taken away of the Chapel, containing the statues, so that he – Friar Sebastian – might be able to hold
Philosophy and Latin classes there. The last Carmelite to live in the Monastery was Friar Cirilo de Anunciacao who died on 22nd October 1887.
Before this however at the request of Archbishop Dom Aires of Ornelas and by virtue of the ministerial Order of 30th April 1878, the Monastery and its grounds had been ceded to the Archbishop to serve as his summer residence. At the same time, the proceeds of the sale of the materials belonging to the Archbishop’s Palace of Panelim and its
property had been made over to the Archbishop to cover the expenses incurred in the preservation, repairs and the betterment of the Monastery of Pilar.

d. Society of Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier (Society of Pilar)
Meanwhile the Society of Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier was founded in 1887 in Agonda, Canacona, and the Archbishop D. Antonio Sebastiao Valente, the first Patriarch of the East Indies, transferred the headquarters of the Society of Pilar in 1890. Like the pundits of old, the society has produced Ven. Fr. Agnelo D’Souza, a Christian Sanyasi, much venerated by Christians and non-Christians alike.

The society of Pilar, reorganized in 1939, continues the glorious religious traditions of Govapuri through the charitable, social and educational institutions it has established in the service of humanity on the Pilar hillock and in various parts of Goa and India. Pilar is and will
remain forever the center and meeting point wherein Hindus, Muslims and Christians will come together, pray together and drink from the age-old spiritual heritage that it offers. The three major communities of Goa will thus search new ventures of cooperation in this holy place. Pilar will thus have its own contribution to make in building a new society based on justice, peace and harmony in Goa, as well in India and the world at Large.

Political History of Pilar

a. Introduction:
Few are the privileged places wherein the elements of Nature, History and Traditions of the past and the present status conjure to make a place famous. Pilar, Goa-India is one such hillock commanding a beautiful panoramic view all round. The Arabian sea, the Marmagoa harbor, the Dabolim Airport and the serpentine river Zuari meandering its
way lazily through rich coconut groves of Siridao-GoaVelha-Agassaim on the Western side, the vast rich fields of Neura Mandur-Carambolim on the east, the evergreen and golden Batim-Bambolim-Santana hillocks on the northern and far off Farmagudi and Verna Plateaux in the south, all dotted with numerous village churches in between, and above, the open vault of the sky resting so to say, on the peaks of Mount Vagueri(Satari)
in the far distant north-east and of Mount Chandernath(Quepen) in the far south-west horizons – all the extravagance of nature elevates the soul to contemplate the glories of the Creator.
History too sheds its own luster on the glorious past of this place. At the foot of the hill was situated the palace of Kadamba kings. At the eastern extremity there was a very old tank from the bottom of which two small terracotta pieces and 3 stone-age granite tools were unearthed among other things. These 5 articles lead us to guess that this
spot might have been the cradle of Goa’s civilization in the hoary past when the aboriginal Gavadas were inhabiting this land of the Konkan which Parusharama is said to have reclaimed from the Arabian sea for the Aryans by shooting an arrow from the heights of the Sahyadri Ghats according to Skanda Purana.

b. The Silaharas

One of the inscriptions collected by Fr. Heras in 1932, alludes to Sahasthadeva who had his capital at Chandrapura(Chandor in Salcette) and wanted to conquer the weak Southern Silahara Empire with its capital at Govapuri.
According to Kharepattan plates of Rattaraja, as interpreted by Dr. Altekar, (Indian culture Vol. II pg. 399-400), the Southern Konkan Silahara dynasty ruled from Gopakapattans (Govapuri of Gove) the present Vhoddlem Goem at the foot of the Pilar Hillock for two and half centuries. The founder of this dynasty as well as of the city is said to be Sanaphulla who ruled circa 765 to 795 AD, as a feudatory of the Rashtrakutta king Krishna I (759-773). The Rashtrakuttas were defeated by the western Chalukyas during the reign of Rattaraja (995-1020) and thus the Southern Silaharas became feudatories of the Chalukyas. Rattaraja tried to assert his independence but was
defeated by the Chalukya Emperor Jayasimha, who annexed his kingdom, but did not establish the rule as such in South Konkan. The Northern Silahara King Arikesarin then invaded the entire Konkan as far south as Gopakapattana in 1020 but was soon killed in battle when the Southern Maratha Silahara King Gonka attacked his Capital at Thana. In this confused situation, while Chittaraja, the nephew of Arikesarin was succeeding him in Thana, the Goa Kadamba King, Sahasthadeva I, attacked and conquered Govapuri and the entire Konkan region.





c. The Kadambas

According to Dr. George Moraes, in his book “Kadamba Kula”, Sahasthadeva is said to have built a huge fleet of ships and assembled them on the river Aganashini(Zuari), probably between the present Cortalim and Agassiam and made his army to pass over to attack and conquer Govapuri. This feat is compared in the inscription to Rama’s feat in going to Sri Lanka to rescue his beloved Sita. These ships were thus a permanent asset to the Kadambas of Goa and brought them enormous wealth from countries even as far as China. This fact explains why the Goans have an in-born attraction to the sea, and why, so many of the Goan seamen have served in so many mercantile and navy
ships, down through the centuries.
The successor of Sahasthadeva Jayakeshi I, ruled the vast Kadamba Empire from this new capital Govapuri at the foot of the Pilar hillock. From the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries, this very hillock could then boast of the proud royal temple of Shiva with a Hindu university, an Acharya, and several Brahmacharis at the top, the temple of
Chamundeshwar on its southern extremity and various temples and ablution tanks around the hillock. The inscription of the Digambe grant of Permadedeva, the 7th Kadamba king states that at the time of Kadamba Jayakeshi I (1050-1080), who made Govapuri the principal seat of the Kadamba government, the streets were completely filled with the palanquins of numerous Hindu pandits and Buddhist monks who were constantly carried in procession. The poles of the palanquins were covered with jewels and inside them were quivering the golden earrings of the owners (of Fleet: Journal of Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society vol. IX pg. 273). Another inscription of the same time compares the beauties of the city with the wonders of India’s Paradise. Ramayana goes so far as to say that whoever casts a glance over this holy city of Govapuri gets his sins cleansed. The Kadamba Empire became very famous due to its wealth and commerce which kept on growing, thanks to the concourse of people from various parts of the East, and also due to its majestic buildings and educational and charitable institution. The Kadamba dynasty had about 17 rulers and the kingdom lasted from 980 AD to 1345 AD.
All the temples, palaces and institutions at Chandrapura and Govapuri were destroyed in the mid-fourteenth century at the time of the defeat and subjugation of the Kadambas by Malik Kafur, General of Allaudin Khilji, in 1326, both of them Delhi Sultans.

d. Ibn Batuta and Muslims:

During the last days of Kadamba rule, Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveller, records the existence of two cities in the island of Goa, the city at the foot of Pilar which he calls Sandabur or Sindabur and the city of Ella (today’s Old Goa) founded by the Mahamadans.
A Kadamba family feud between father and son invited the Navab Djemal-ud-din of Honavar to invade Goa in 1344. Ibn Batuta who commanded the expedition describes how the Muslims entered the city at the point of sword and when Hindu inhabitants fled into the Kadamba palace (below the Pillar hillock), the Muslims threw fire into it and
when the Hindus came out, about ten thousand of them were seized.
The Kadamba king fled and Djemalud-in occupied the palace. Ibn Batuta went to Honavar and Calicat and returned after 5 months to see the city again besieged by the Kadamba troops in an effort to recapture it. However during the siege Ibn Batuta left Goa and went to Calicut and from there proceeded to the Maldives. This is the last time we hear of the Kadamba king. A Viragal in the Archaeological Museum at Old Goa, which according to Rev. Heras sj, is dated 1354, commemorates the death of Biravarama’s feudatory chief who died in a sea battle. This Biravarma might have been the last Goa Kadamba Ruler.



e. Archeological finds:

Various objects unearthed around Pilar project the high development of art and architecture around this Pilar hillock of Kadamba exquisitely carved out of granite, an idol of Ganesh with Brahmin’s tread and necklace, multilated slabs, the base of a statue of Buddha, a representation of a dance after death, mutilated face of a Vaishnava deity, nagas (Snakes), warrior, tulsi-stone, well carved ends of pillars and niches-all of granite and also several octagonal laterite pillar stones and a yoni that adorn the Pilar Seminary Museum today. Bits of Chinese and indigenous pottery testify to the rich commercial relations. Besides, several of the Pilar finds also adorn the Museum of the Heras Institute of Historical Research, Bombay: a middle sized Nandi, 2 naga stones, a mutilated head probably of Shiva all of granite a piece of stone lattice window and some gold coins, three of which bear the name of Jayakeshi II inscribed on them. The deities of the temples dedicated to Chamundeshwar, Kal Bhairav, Kshetrapal, Nirankar were later transferred to the hamlet of Orgaum in the village of Pilgaum in the present Sanquelim Taluka.





f. Bahamani and Vijayanagar:

Govapuri and consequently Pilar swindled into insignificance after the destruction of the Kadamba Empire somewhere between 1345 and 1356. The founder of Bahamani Sultanate Allaudin Hassan Shah I dealt a severe blow to the Hindu Kingdoms of the west coast in 1356. From the Bahamanis Goa passed under Vijayanager away from 1366 to 1472 due to Madhava the able minister of Marappa, Governor of Konkan who conquered it for Vijayanagar. In 1472, however, Goa again passed under the Bahamanis when Mahammad Gawan the able minister of Muhammad Shah III attacked it by land and sea and the Vijaynagar Governor fled without a fight. With the breakup of the Bahamani Sultanate, Goa passed under Bijapur, one of the five independent kingdoms that came out of it in 1501.
Yusuf Adil Shah, the founder of Bijapur Sultanate saw to it that the Muslim city of Ella (Old Goa) was well fortified and a road laid from the jetty right up to his palace (in the present compound of St. Cajetan’s Monastery), and put up beautiful edifices there and in Panjim. At one time he is said to have made it the principal seat of his government.
He died in 1510 and was succeeded by his son Ismael Adil Khan, from whom, the Portuguese who had become a strong maritime power and founded the new sea route rounding Africa in 1498, conquered Goa on 25th November 1510.
Govapuri was abandoned for ever and became one of the villages of Tiswadi Taluka. Not far from the Pilar hillock on its northwest there is a tank called Kuzmoraiachem Tollem, meaning the tank of Kadamba King. Perhaps, it was the bathing place for the queen and the princesses of the Kadambas. Today the tank contains only water during the rainy season and Hindus of the locality immerse their Ganesh idols in it. During the dry season it is used for cultivating vegetables at least in part.

UPCOMING EVENTS
26
Sep
Foundation Day of the Society
20
Nov
90th Death Anniversary of Ven. Agnelo

© SOCIETY OF THE MISSIONARIES OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER. 2014