St. Jerome's Church, also known as the Church of Our Lady of Miracles is the most important church in Old Goa.
More than 400 years old, St. Jerome Church was built in early 16th century. St. Jerome is popularly revered as the father of translation. Back in 382 AD, he was appointed by Pope Damascus to translate the 'Old Testament'. With a rigorous labor of around 18 years, Saint Jerome succeeded in translating the 'Old Testament' from difficult Hebrew and Aramaic language to an easily readable Latin script. His version of Bible is called the 'Vulgate'. St. Jerome is also credited for giving the translation theory of 'sense for sense' instead of 'word for word'. St. Jerome is commonly venerated as the 'Patron Saint of the Librarians'.
Note: Mapusa's big feast of St. Jerome church is in the third week, mostly the 2nd Monday after the Easter.
St. Jerome church is about 2 km from the Mapusa market. Dabolim airport is the nearest terminal by air. While traveling by train, Thivim Railway Station (12 km) is the nearest railway station from Mapusa. Local vehicles like rickshaws and tourist taxis are easily available from here to take you to the nearest hotel or resort. Mapusa being the biggest city of northern Goa has good road connectivity. All buses traveling to and from Goa to major cities pass through Mapusa city. There are various local transportation options to reach the church.
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The Mapusa church is dedicated to 'Our Lady of Miracles'. The lovely church of Saint Jerome is thus also called as 'Church of Milagres', which in meaning the church of magic.
Originally built in 1594, the church was rebuilt in 1674, which got destroyed in a great fire in 1838. The church now been fully restored. Located on a slightly elevated ground the church has been made on an important soil with its access towards south. Entrance of the church also faces southwards. The chapel has been made of laterite with lime and cement plastering. Church structure has a spherical shape with a drum and a dome over it. There are two small windows on the walls of this chapel. St. Jerome church has a lofty Octagonal tower at its apex, which is further topped by another small dome. There is a pillared veranda running around the chapel. Veranda has been given a sloped tiled roof held firmly on square shaped stone pillars. At the northern end of the chapel, a high stone platform has been constructed. A grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes was built in the year 1920 with a large courtyard. At a small distance are located mortuary chapel and cemetery.
At the right side altar a statue of St. John the Baptist has been placed and on the left side altar is St. Jerome's statue. Facing the front statue of Holy Family is located. The church inside has a lovable warm atmosphere, adding magic to the beauty of the place. Whole church displays a fabulous line of interesting facets of architecture.
Our Lady, the patron of this church is greatly revered by both Hindus and Christians. It is commonly said that a zatra (Festival) of the Hindus is inevitably linked with the feast of Our Lady. It is believed that Our Lady is a sister to the Hindu mother of the said zatra, also called Shirgaun by the locals. A three days feast of Our Lady is celebrated every year.
Other church in close vicinity like St. John Baptist, Piedade Church, Our Lady of Penha de France, St. Cajetan Church, St. Francis Xavier Chapel, St. Rita Church, Holy Family Church, St. Bartholomew Church, etc.
Nearby temples like Shri Kalika Temple, Sri Morjee Temple, etc.; Beaches like Anjuna, Sinquerim, Baga and Calangute. Mapusa markets (especially on Fridays)