The state of Goa is popular among the masses as a place where one can unwind in the lap of beautiful and scenic places. It has its own history of faith and festivals that are also famous worldwide and hence it records good number of visitors during the different festivals. One such festival that witnesses devotees across the world visiting this place is “Fama de Menino Jesus”.
In attractive south Goa, there is a placed named Colva, which is a popular tourist destination in today’s time. But much before it became a famous place for its crystal white sands, the village was known for the old “Fama” or the feast of Menino Jesus i.e. the infant Jesus celebrated traditionally with much spectacular and ceremonial way. At Colva, a church exists named the Church of our Lady of Mercy, where the idol of infant Jesus is installed.
Every year in the month of October, this scenic village the Fama of the Menino Jesus attracts number of devotees across the world. The Colva Fama is celebrated on the second Monday of October. Only on this auspicious day, devotees are allowed to kiss the small statuette of the Child Jesus that is considered miraculous. This image is a replica of another statuette that was in the church for over seventy years.
On the day of the Fama, all roads leading to Colva are packed with devotees in all their traditional finery. Devotees start their journey to the church from as early as 5 am. A high mass event takes place at 6.00am. The altar where the statue of the infant Jesus remains locked with a shutter is pulled down over it. Only after the mass ends, the divine statue is exposed and brought down from its silver pedestal and handed over to the main celebrating Priest who carries it in a procession around the church.
Post this, the infant Jesus statue is taken to the main altar and all the finery is removed and cleansed and it is draped with a white robe. The water that is used for giving bath to the infant Jesus statue is collected by the devotees as holy water. And then the golden moment for devotees come where they are allowed to kiss the statue.
Among all the devotees, childless parents who were blessed with a baby fulfil the vow made by them by bringing the baby to the fame and place the baby on the altar of the Menino as thanksgiving. Devotees offer various kinds of donations in the form of money, gold, candles, wax models of different parts of the human anatomy. The masses in the church courtyard and the inflow of devotees continue throughout the day.