Iconic Rosario Cathedral to celebrate its 450th year

It is said to be the oldest Catholic cathedral in the State

November 13, 2018 12:15 am | Updated 12:28 am IST - MANGALURU

The Rosario Cathedral at Pandeshwara in Mangaluru. H.S. MANJUNATH

The Rosario Cathedral at Pandeshwara in Mangaluru. H.S. MANJUNATH

Our Lady of The Holy Rosary Cathedral, also known as Rosario Cathedral, will celebrate 450 years of its completion from November 15 to 18. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will attend the concluding day of the celebrations on Sunday.

Rector of the cathedral Father J.B. Crasta told The Hindu that it is the oldest among the Catholic cathedrals in Karnataka.

According to an article on ‘Roman Catholic Churches’ in Mangaluru Darshana , a book on the history and culture of Mangaluru, published by the Mangaluru Urban Development Authority, the Holy Rosary Church was built by the Portuguese soon after they landed in the city following victory in war, on January 5, 1568. It was then called the Factory Church.

In the writings of Italian traveller Pietro della Valle, who visited Mangaluru in 1623, mentions the Holy Rosary Church, Our Lady of Mercy at Ullal, and St. Francis of Assisi at Farangipet.

The royal stone emblem of the Portuguese king, marking their landing in Mangaluru, is at the entrance of the cathedral.

The article further states that the Holy Rosary Church building was desecrated and destroyed by forces of Tipu Sultan in 1784. The Catholics then set about reconstructing the church in 1813. The East India Company sanctioned ₹4,000 for reconstruction of the Holy Rosary Church and Milagres Church, which was constructed in 1680. It was on April 16, 1850 that the Holy Rosary Church attained the status of cathedral.

In 1910 the then Parish Priest Father Henry I Bruzoni demolished the old structure of the cathedral and erected the new structure.

The notable feature of the new structure has been the magnificent dome crowning the spacious sanctuary.

The cross on the dome of the cathedral was lit every night to serve as a beacon for seafarers. The architect of the new structure was Brother Devo S.J. Jesuits. The new building was formally opened by the then Bishop Ferini on December 4,1910, the article stated.

Father Crasta told reporters here on Monday that as part of the celebrations, there will be a three-day retreat from November 15 to 17. On November 18, there will be Eucharistic celebration at 5 p.m. that will be presided by Archbishop of Bengaluru Peter Machado. Mangaluru Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha and Bishop Emeriturs Aloysius Paul D’Souza and other bishops will participate. Mr. Kumarswamy and other elected representatives will participate in the ceremony to be held on November 18 at 6.30 p.m.

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