Se Cathedral Old Goa, Goa, India

Introduction

The Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina, known as Se Cathedral, is the cathedral of the Latin Church Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the seat of the Patriarch of the East Indies. It is part of the World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa located in Old Goa, India. The Se Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine. It is also known to be the oldest and the most celebrated religious buildings in Goa and has the prestige of being the seat of Archdiocese of Goa.

History of Se Cathedral Old Goa

The Se Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine. It is also known to be the oldest and the most celebrated religious buildings in Goa and has the prestige of being the seat of Archdiocese of Goa. According to history, Alfonso Albuquerque in 1510 defeated the Muslim army on the feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria and took possession of Goa. The construction of this imposing church began in 1562 during the reign of King Dom Sebastiao and substantially completed by 1619. The main altars however were not finished until the year 1652. It was consecrated in 1640. This 16th century monument took 80 long years to complete. It is also called St. Catherine’s Cathedral.

The word Sé is Portuguese for See. The Se Cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque over a Muslim army, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. Since the day of the victory happened to be on the feast of Saint Catherine, the cathedral was dedicated to her. It was commissioned by Governor George Cabral to be enlarged in 1552 on the remains of an earlier structure. Construction of the church began in 1562 in the reign of King Dom Sebastião. The cathedral was completed in 1619 and was consecrated in 1640.

It had two towers, but one collapsed in 1776 and was never rebuilt. Mill Stones from the Gun Powder factory preserved at the church. In 1953, the cathedral was presented with “The Golden Rose” by Venerable Pope Pius XII. The Golden Rose is a gold ornament, which the Popes of the Catholic Church have traditionally blessed and conferred as a token of reverence or affection. It is placed on the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. The first Lithuanian Jesuit missionary in China, Andrius Rudamina, arrived in India in Goa on 22 August 1625. Almost 400 years later, 2015, a memorial stone bearing Andrius Rudamina’s name was erected in the courtyard of Se Cathedral in Old Goa.

Architecture of Se Cathedral Old Goa

The Se Cathedral is built in the Portuguese-Gothic style. The exterior of the church is Tuscan while the interior is Corinthian. The church is 250 ft in length and 181 ft in breath and 115 ft in height. The main attractions of the Cathedral are the 15 altars, which are dedicated to Our Lady of Three Needs, Our Lady of Anguish or Our Lady of Hope. The grand alter is highly ornate and is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. It has the carvings depicting the major events of the life of St. Catherine.

Close to the main altar is placed the throne of Archbishop of Goa. On the right in the order of placing are the Chapels of St. Anthony, St. Bernard, the Miraculous Cross and The Holy Ghost. It is said that a vision of Christ had emerged on the Miraculous cross in 1919 and that the cross is growing in size. On the left side are the chapels dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Necessidades, St. Sebastian, the Blessed Sacrament and the last to Nossa Senhora de Boa Vida. The bell in the existing tower is often referred to as the Golden Bell. The bell is known for its melody and rich tone and is the largest bell in Goa and one of the best in the world. The tower on the Southern side collapsed in 1776 and it was never built.

Major Highlights of Se Cathedral

The Golden Bell, Goa’s largest and one of the largest in the world, The baptismal font that was also used by St. Francis Xavier, The main altar with gilded reredos that depict scenes from the life and martyrdom of St. Catherine, The Chapel of the Cross of Miracles where it is believed vision of Jesus was seen on a plain cross in 1919, The statuary and paintings of St Francis Xavier, St Ignatius of Loyola, St Peter, St Paul, and St Christopher, The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament for its skillfully carved and gilded ceiling and wall, The Archaeological Museum.

Feast Day

Feast Day: November 25

Se Cathedral Old Goa Feast Day November 25

Mass Timing

Weekdays: 7:30 am and 6:00 pm
Sunday:
7:15 am, 10:00 am and 4:00 pm

Contact Info

Se Cathedral, 
GW36+HV4,
Old Goa,
Goa 403402
India.

Phone No.

Accommodations

Booking.com

Connectivities

Airway

Se Cathedral Old Goa, Goa to Goa International Airport Distance to 40 min (24.3 km) via MDR 1

Railway

44 min (27.0 km) via MDR 1 and NH 366 from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station to Se Cathedral Old Goa, Goa

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