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“Venerable Agnelo, an inspiration in our Journey of Faith,” says Indian Cardinal

During the Eucharistic Celebration honoring the 96th anniversary of the death of "Venerable Agnelo De Souza," Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão of Goa and Daman stated that he may serve to inspire faith.

“Venerable Agnelo took Jesus as his model, strengthened his relationship with him through prayer, and served the poor and the needy, thus becoming an inspiration in our journey of faith,” said archbishop Ferrão during the Mass on November 20 in Pillar, Goa, India.

Pilar is a village in Goa, India, some 10 km from the state capital Panaji. It is on a hilltop and has a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the mountains all around.

The cardinal presided over the Eucharistic celebration along with Archbishop Anil Couto (Archbishop of Delhi), Bishop Alex Dias Sfx (bishop Emeritus Diocese of Port Blair), Fr. Nazareth Fernandes Sfx (Superior General, Society of Pilar), Fr. Joseph Fernandes, Sfx (Central Delegate Superior, Pilar Society), Fr. Randall Barretto Sfx, Deacon Denzyl Pereira Sfx, Deacon Lelwin Pereira Sfx and Deacon Randall D’Souza, Sfx and 45 priests as concelebrants.

“Our journey of faith begins on the day of our baptism, as we become the children of God and living temples of the Holy Spirit,” said Cardinal Ferrao, a member of the Section for Fundamental Issues of Evangelization in the World (New Evangelization) of the Dicastery for Evangelization and the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Via.

Reflecting on the account concerning Jesus' companionship on the road to Emmaus, the Cardinal emphasized Jesus' readiness to accompany people through their tribulations and exhorted the congregation to wholeheartedly embrace this companionship. 

He also emphasized the significance of dedicating one's time to Him, promoting a more profound union with Jesus, actively engaging with His teachings, and actively participating in Eucharistic liturgies as a means to enhance one's spiritual voyage.

 Archbishop Ferrão praised the Venerable Agnelo's profound relationship with Jesus, ardent devotion to the Scriptures, consistent attendance at Eucharistic Celebrations, and sacramental adherence to the sacrament of reconciliation. 

He also noted the increased responsibility toward the needy and the impoverished when one experiences Jesus, urging the faithful to extend their faith journey by embracing others as siblings, drawing inspiration from Venerable Agnelo's altruistic service as a pastor in Siroda, Kumta, and Sanvordem and spiritual guide at the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol.

Cardinal Ferrão urged the congregation to emulate Venerable Agnelo's compassionate service, calling for a community reflective of a Synodal Church that demonstrates care for marginalized groups, including the poor, distressed, migrants, and those on society's fringes. He called upon the faithful to pray continuously for the canonization process of Venerable Agnelo, presenting him as a model for living a life rooted in love and charity.

Throughout the day, bishops and priests presided over other English Masses. Thousands of devotees flocked to Pilar Hillock to seek the blessings of Venerable Agnelo.   

Born in Anjuna on January 21, 1869, Venerable Agnelo de Souza was a distinguished member of the Society of Pilars and a cleric from the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. At present, the procedure for his canonization is being conducted in Rome.

From November 11 to November 19, masses known as novena were celebrated in both Konkani and English. Each day of the observance was devoted to a particular intention, including that of youth, family, clergy and religious, children and vocation, civil leaders, mission, the ill, the environment, and the laity. Novena masses in Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi were also observed. - Br. John Malvino Alfonso OCD


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