St Thomas Church, Aldona
The Church of Aldona is dedicated to St. Thomas. St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Aldona, Goa also called ‘Sao Tome Igreja em Aldona, Goa’ in Portuguese, was built in 1596 on a high plateau on the banks of the Mapusa River, a tributary of the Mandovi river. St. Thomas church, Aldona is the seventh parish established by the Franciscans in Bardez. The original church of the village was built in Coimavaddo in the year 1569. Soon, the need for a bigger church was felt and a second church was built in 1596, at the present location. A new and strong edifice, which exists till date, was made ready before 1610. The parochial residence and the present sacristy were added by 1898 and the tower on the left side came up in 1927.A flight of broad steps cut into a cliff and lead to an open plain that surrounds the grand white church building. The feast of St Thomas church, Aldona, is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter.
Like all beautiful churches in Goa, St Thomas church is ornately decorated by symbolic biblical murals and grand statues. In the earlier days, as thanksgiving, the villagers strung the statues with jewellery but Churches were often robbed of these jewels.
Legend has it, that one night, a band of thieves crossed the river into Aldona to rob the Church. At the base of the hill, a young boy appeared to the group’s leader and cautioned them not to proceed. The thieves ignored the boy and entered the Church. As they forced open a chest of valuables, the church bells began to ring. Some of the thieves drowned in the river trying to escape. The leader and some others were captured. When the leader was taken past the main altar, he identified the statue of St. Thomas as the boy he had seen earlier who warned him not to rob the Church.
Chapels affiliated to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Aldona, Goa.
St Rita of Cassia Chapel, Carona, Aldona
Mother of God Chapel, Corjuem, Aldona
Our Lady of Piety Chapel, Quitla, Aldona
Holy Cross Chapel, Panarim, Aldona
Mother of God Chapel, Ranoi, Aldona
7 a.m. (Konkani)
5.30 p.m. (Konkani)
8.30 a.m. (Children’s mass)
9.45 a.m. ( English) 5.30 p.m. (Konkani)