Statue of Blessed R.Z. Noronha was found today, July 5th 2016, lying on the Arabian sea shore, at Kodi – Sastana, a place 10 kms away from Brahmavar. It was bought on July 4th 2016 afternoon to the sea shore by a fisherman Vasudeva Karvy, who found it floating on the sea. He was able to recognize that it was of some Christian Priest, so he made a call to local Roman Catholic priest, who sent parishioners to make an enquiry into the matter. Sooner, a few of the parishioners (namely, Mr. Kishore Dias and Mr. Lucas Dsouza) were able to identify it as Fr. Noronha’s statue. They made a call to the trustee of St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church, Sastan , Mr. Clement D’silva, who informed the Parish Priest Fr. Noel Lewis. Fr. Lewis along with Fr. Lawrence Dsouza, Fr. Abraham Kuriakose, Mr. Anil Rodrigues, Mr. Clement D’silva, Mr. Kishore Dias, Mr. Lucas Dsouza, Mr. Moses rodrigues, Mr. Lawrence D’almeida, Mr. Joseph Rodrigues and Mr. Johnson Rodrigues arrived at the spot and made arrangements to take it to St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar where he is entombed.
The statue was carried in procession from the Gates of St. Mary’s Cathedral to the parsonage. Fr. C.A. Isac (Vicar General) along with other priests offered incense. Many of the faithful were present.
Fr. Noronha was recently declared as Blessed (Regional Saint) by His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, during the visit to Brahmavar on December 06, 2016. Fr. Noronha is regarded as a Saint by people of all faith, caste and creed in and around Brahmavar. Numerous healings, deliverances, and miracles have been attributed to him both during his lifetime and after.
The timings of this find has surprised many, as in a month, on July 23rd, 2016, the the very 1st Feast in his honor will be celebrated after he was declared as ‘Blessed’. Believers are terming this nothing short of a miracle.
Meanwhile the local Panchayath and Police have been informed.
Brief History of Fr. Noronha
Fr. Noronha was born in 1850. After completing basic education he joined the Rachol Royal Seminary in Goa. He was provided scholarship by the Government of Goa for Seminary education. After completing seminary education he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on March 12, 1881 by Bishop Thomas De Almeda. He served as the assistant vicar of Salvador De Monte Church. Later Father Nurorah became the Vicar of Panaji Ribandr Church and finally reached Brahmavar, where he got reunited with the Mother Orthodox Church.
Fr. Noronhawas a multifunctional personality. He was a great educator, a spiritual father, writer, and social reformer. The reunion with the Orthodox Church put Fr. Noronhain great trouble. He was always threatened by the Roman Catholic Church. Fr. Noronhawas very much loved by the Brahmavar residents. He was very particular and strict about the Orthodox faith, especially, Orthodox prayers and sacraments. He motivated many people to participate in prayers through house visits.
Fr. Noronha was a great visionary in establishing educational institutions. He founded the COSMOPOLITAN School which is the first basic educational institution in Brahmavar. The School attracted many students irrespective of caste or creed or sex. Fr. Noronhaprovided great relief for many people who suffered from different kinds of diseases. He treated many people and provided them with food and shelter. Hundreds of them found relief under his care.
It has been stated that a cross appeared on the back of Fr. Noronhaat least two years before his death. On July 23, 1936 Padre R L Nuronah had his last breath. He was buried at St Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral in Brahmawar. It is reported that a large number of people, especially non-Christians, have received blessings from the intercession of Fr. Noronha after his death. Even at present thousands are seeking favours at the tomb of this unsung Saint. For the Brahmavarians, Fr. Noronha is a saint, who intercedes to God for the well being of their entire community.
The activities of Metropolitan Mor Julius Alvarez earned a large number of members for the Orthodox Church in places like Goa, Brahmavar, Mangalore, Tangavoor, Dindigal, Tiruchirappalli and Ceylon. But lack of proper care from the Center of the Church resulted in the disintegration of these communities. But there are around 850 Orthodox Christian families surviving in Brahmavar and this is due to the dynamic leadership of Fr. Noronha.