East Indians venerate first Indian saint

St Gonsalo Garcia Day was on February 6

Mumbai – Several East Indian natives in Mumbai, Thane, Vasai and Raigad celebrated St Gonsalo Garcia Day on February 6. St Gonsalo was the first Indian to be canonized and remained the only one to have received this honor for almost 140 years.

The Mobai Gaothan Panchayat (MGP), an organisation of East Indians, says St Gonsalo was born February 6, 1557 at Vasai (Bassein) and “died a martyr along with 25 other companions after he was killed in Nagasaki on February 5, 1597”.

MGP members have installed his statue at an East Indian museum in Manori and have now begun to celebrate February 6 as Gonsalo Garcia Day. This organisation considers him the patron saint of the East Indians (formerly called Portuguese Christians), reports timesofindia.

“We are requesting the Catholic Church to accord St Gonsalo Garcia the title of principal patron of the Archdiocese of Bombay. We would like a church or chapel to be dedicated to him and we also plan to build one in his name. We are asking Christians to install his statues at holy crosses in the neighbourhood, in their homes and parishes and make his memorabilia available at community stores,” said Alphi D’Souza of MGP.

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