A couple of kilometers away from the majestic Churches of Old Goa and on top of a little hill is the Oratorian convent and The Miraculous cross church situated. It is here that Blessed Fr. Joseph Vaz resided when in Goa.
Blessed Fr. Joseph Vaz worked for four years (1681 to 1684) in forane of Kanara. He returned to Goa in 1684. On 25th September 1685, at the church of Holdy Cross of Miracles, Old Goa, he joined a community of Goan Priests who were trying to form a religious congregation of its own, He was elected their superior. With them, he organized the regions first fully native religions congregation on the lines of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri of Rome and Lisbon, as the “Oratorian Institute of Milagristas of Goa”
From the top of the hill, where the church of The Miraculous Cross is situated, one can have a clear view of the beautiful and majestic churches like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral, etc situated at Old Goa and it rightly justifies why Goa was called the “Rome of the East”. Because of the beautiful view of the full city from here, this hill was named the “Boa Vista” which is a Portuguese word that means “Beautiful View”.
There is a nicely built but quite narrow tar road that goes up to the “Convento da Cruz dos Milagres” which means “the Convent of the Miraculous Cross”. The Miraculous cross installed here was initially situated at the Se Cathedral and was believed to have been growing and later moved here.
The people of Goa have deep faith and belief in this miraculous cross. People of all faiths come and offer prayers here and seek blessings. On the 23rd of every month at 10.00 a.m. Holy Mass is celebrated at this church. Hundreds of devotees attend the mass. After the mass is over the devotees line up to seek blessing and veneration of the miraculous cross. Thereafter, “kanji” a dish from rice, (popularly knows as “Pez” in Konkani)” which is prepared in large pots and is served in bowls to the hundreds of devotees attending mass.
Taking a walk around one can see the ruins of the Oratorian Convent. The huge broken walls, the broken roof and shows us the lifestyle of the people living there. There is a statue of Blessed Fr. Joseph Vaz installed in the oratory premises. There are also other remains like that of what looks like a bakery that was used for the inmates there.
It would be good news for the people of Goa if the Archeological Survey of India takes over the premises and work on its conservation because it a part of our Goa’s rich culture and Goan heritage.
So the next time you visit Goa, don forget to pay a visit to the Oratorian Convent where blessed Fr. Joseph Vaz Resided and the Church of the Miraculous Cross and seek blessing.