The feast of St Alex will be celebrated at St Alex, Church, Curtorim with the usual pomp and fervour, reports NT BUZZ
SACHI NAIK| NT BUZZ
St Alex Church, Curtorim will celebrate the annual feast of St Alexius on July 22.
St Alex Church is also known as ‘Santo Aleixo Igreja em Curtorim, Goa’ in Portuguese. It was first built in 1597 and later re-built in 1647. Initially the church was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. However, in 1815, St Alex was declared as the patron of this church and since then the church is dedicated to him.
The feast is usually celebrated on July 17. “Villagers find it difficult to attend the masses on the week days as they are busy with their work or in the fields. Hence we celebrate it on the first Sunday after July 17,” said Fr Joseph Salema, Parish Priest of St Alex Church, Curtorim.
St Alex (or Alexius) was born in a wealthy family and his every need and requirement was attended to. However, he was passionate to love and help poor people. As he grew up, his parents forcibly got him married. He fled his arranged marriage, disguised as a slave to follow his holy vocation. His own family did not recognise him. He begged and accepted alms from people for the poor people. He lived his life of penance from the day of his wedding, for the love of God.
Although St Alex is the patron, this feast is not celebrated with as great fervour as the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe that is celebrated on December 18, which is the greatest feast of Curtorim village.
The novenas (the nine days of preparation of the feast) have this year been themed on the Pastoral Letter of the Bishop- ‘He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor’.
Having recently taken over as the Parist Priest of the church, Fr Joseph has not made any changes to the way feast is celebrated.
“The feast will be celebrated as it has always been celebrated. The main celebrant Fr Agnelo Pinheiro from Rachol Seminary will be celebrating all the festive masses. There will be many other priests from Curtorim and nearby villages.”
On July 22, the feast day there will be four masses. Three Konkani masses will be celebrated at 6.15 a.m., 8 a.m. and the high mass at 9.30 a.m., while the English mass will be celebrated at 11.30 a.m.
The procession of the relics of St Alex will take place around the church after the third mass at around 11 a.m.
The stalls will be installed for a day around the premises of the Church on the day of the feast.
On the occasion, a final football tournament organised by the church youth will begin at 4.30 p.m.