Reis Magos Church

About Goa

Goa is famous for its historic churches, forts, traditional homes, colorful festivals, lush green countryside, rich flora and fauna, fabulous cuisine, and exotic beaches. The magical land of Goa is decked with popular tourist destinations like Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Tambdi Surla and Tiracol Fort, the Calangute Beach, the Baga Beach, etc. The Churches in Goa, as well, are a big crowd puller among the tourists from world over.

Churches in Goa

If you want a bit of history and culture then there is no better place to visit than the churches of Goa. The magnificent churches in Goa are mainly a legacy of Portuguese colonization, and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main motives for finding the sea route to India was to seek Christians and spices. With a considerable population of Goans being Christians, the Church is an important factor in Goa's social, cultural and religious life. Some of the major churches in Goa are the Basilica of Bom Jesu, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of St. Paul and the Reis Magos Church.

Reis Magos Church

The Reis Magos Church is posited about six miles from the beach in the little hamlet of Reis Magos located on the banks of the Mandovi River in Panaji. Considered one of the oldest churches of Goa, Reis Magos was dedicated to the Three Wise Men of the Christmas story namely Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Built in 1555, the church has a brightly painted portico visible from across the river. Two former Viceroys of Goa were buried in this church. Franciscan friars, who were in charge of missionary work for the area, took reins of the church and founded a small seminary here.

The highlight of the bright and extraordinary interiors of the church is the multihued wooden ceiling depicting the Three Wise Men bearing gifts to Baby Jesus, which is the focus of the intricately carved and painted reredos behind the high altar.

The church becomes vivacious every year on 6th January, on the occasion of the Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Magos. Local youth of the village enact the part of the Three Kings of Magi. They start a procession from the church and go around the village rejoicing the journey of the three kings who went to worship the Holy Infant Child.

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