(Last Updated on : 27/02/2017)
Popularly known as the Pilar Monastery, Convento do Pilar is a must visit in Goa
and this monastery is a popular pilgrimage too. On July 17, the Pilar monastery completes 400 years with its interesting history. Pilar Monastery or the Convento do Pilar is situated 8 Kms from the capital of Goa, Panaji
. It was built by the Fransiscan Capuchos from Arraon in Spain in 1613. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Pilar and is revered among devotees and is frequently visited by pilgrims.
History of the Pilar Monastery
It was built by the Fransiscan Capuchos from Arraon in Spain in 1613.The fort was deserted shortly after the expulsion of sacred orders. The fort was later restored to its original form. Today the church is the house of esteemed Fr. Agnelo who is visited by thousands of pilgrims.
In 1835 the Pilar monastery was abundant and the gardens were rented to a Hindu
man. The monastery was later obtained by the archbishop of Goa as a summer dwelling in 1878 and the archbishop handed over the Pilar monastery to the Pilar fathers in 1890.
The government twice ordered the demolition of the Pilar monastery and the stones to be used by the public works department for the road going from Panaji to Agasaim because the government was unable to bear the expenditures of the repairs and upholding.
Architecture of the Pilar Monastery
The architecture of the church is magnificently designed. The steps to this church are carved out of the hill winding its way to the top. The entrance door of the church are decorated with old paintings and maps and have columns of granite and foliage designs. St. Francis of Assisi's granite statue is placed on the niche just above the door. The altar of the monastery church is crafted beautifully in Spanish Baroque Style. The main alter are designed with ionic columns with the painting of Jesus Crucifixion towards the top. The statue of Our Lady of Pilar dominates the central position of the church along with the statue of St. Francis Xavier
Inside the monastery there are also four comparatively smaller statues placed from the left towards the right. These statues are of Franciscan Saints. On the left side of the altar the statue of our lady of Piety is flanked by Blessed Joseph Vaz as well as St. Theresa of Liseux. On the right side the statue of St. Anthony
is placed flanked by St. Roque and St. Joseph.
In the premises of the complex the building of the Theological College constructed in the 1950's style is also visible. This is believed to resemble a former temple and thus the entire area holds immense importance for historians. The church is also surrounded by lush green fields and some colonial houses.
Attractions of the Pilar Monastery
The tomb of father Agnelo is the object of pilgrimage for thousands of people in every year. Several people are held each day but on Thursday which is the Father Agnelos special day they keep on with scarcely a break in order to deal with the flow of worshippers.