Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar was built near the banks of the river Mandovi. The Ribandar Church in Portuguese is known as ‘Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda em Ribandar, Goa’ in Portuguese. A short distance after the Portuguese built Ribandar Causeway, along the winding roads is Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar. The Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa is popularly called The Ribandar Church locally in Goa. The Original structure of the Ribandar church was in the shape of a ship when it was built by Portuguese sailors in 1565.
The Ribandar church of Our Lady of Help was built by Portuguese sailors in thanks to Our Lady who saved their them from a ship wreck. According to legend Our Lady appeared miraculously during a rough storm in which the ship was caught in the Arabian Sea. It is said that Our Lady stood on the forecastle all through that momentous night, directing the devil himself to maneuver the ship to safety. To honour the miracle, the Church of Our Lady of Help at Ribandar was constructed where the ship could dock. The dimensions of the Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar are said to be similar to those of the ship on which the Portuguese sailors were sailing on. The Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar had the honour of welcoming the ship carrying the non corruptible body of St. Francis Xavier from Malacca. A Canon salute welcome was accorded to the ship and the body of St. Francis Xavier was kept at the Ribandar church on the night of 14th March 1554.
The Ribander Church has a a three storey bell tower to the right. In front of the Ribandar church is a big cross which was once a part of the Chorao Seminary. Over the main altar is a painting of a ship with Our Lady depicted on it with a similar fresco found on the exterior wall on the side of the river. Both these paintings commemorate the help received by the Portuguese sailors at sea. Legends say the false ceiling of the Ribandar church was built from the wood of the wrecked ship.
Inside the Ribandar Church has four altars. The main altar dedicated to the Patron. In 1841, an altar-piece was brought from the College of St. Augustine. To the right of Our Lady of Ajuda is placed St. Anthony and Saint Monica. On the left is Saint Peter and Saint Augustine. Above the second altar is the statue of Jesus Resurrected and below is the statue of Menino Jesus. Saint Sebastian and Our Lady of Assumption are on the side. The pulpit has a niche with the image of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, which belonged to the ancient chapel.
At the Our Lady of Help Church, the feast of the Patron saint, Our Lady of Help is celebrated by the parishioners on the 2nd Sunday of November. The Number of Cathoilcs in the Parish of Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa is 3500.
Chapels (without Chaplains) in the Parish of Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa
Our Lady of Remedios Chapel, Ribandar, Goa
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Chapel, Portais, Ribandar, Goa
Our Lady of Livra- Febres Chapel, Ribandar, Goa
Religious Orders based in the Parish of Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa.
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) based at Our Lady of Help Convent, Ribandar, Goa
Educational Institutions based in the Parish of Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa.
Our Lady of Help Primary School, Ribandar, Goa run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
The Address of the Ribandar church is Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa 403006.
The Telephone Contact number of Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar, Goa is 0832 2444244.
Image Courtesy Trawell