April 07, 2022

#BlogchatterA2Z: F for ‘Fulancho Khuris’ - the Goan faith in miracles.

They say faith can move mountains. 

In today’s post of my A to Z series, I thought I’d talk about just that…the Goan faith in miracles. 

If you ever been down the NH17 road to Bambolim, you must have come across the shrine of the Holy Cross. 

In Goa, this is more popularly known as Fulancho Khuris, and that is the subject of today’s post. 

The foundation stone of the Church of the Holy Cross was laid by Archbishop Raul Gonsalves, in 1995. However, long before the Church was constructed, there was a cross on the side of the road. This was carefully preserved and a year later, on October 13th 1996, the Shrine was completed, blessed and inaugurated by the Archbishop, forming a protective shelter around the Miraculous Flower Cross. 

It is said that praying here is bound to make your wish come true. It is the sense of devotion among the people of Goa that instills a strong faith in miracles. 

You will witness people of all religious faiths alight from their respective vehicles and offer their respects to the Fulancho Khuris, with offerings of votive candles, flowers, or monetary contribution. 

Most devotees pay obeisance to the Holy Cross by offering garlands of flowers, especially Aaboli, or Rozaa, and so the cross is always garlanded with orange and yellow marigolds, thereby attaining the title of ‘Fulancho Khuris’ (translated as ‘Flower Cross’). 

As for the votive candles, one either light the candles or deposit them in the box adjoining the cross. I once asked a local woman seller what happens to the unused candles in the box and she impressed me with the honesty and profoundness of her reply. 

“They are resold,” she explained. “If you offer a prayer by burning a bunch of candle, they will only carry the strength of your devotion. But if you deposit them in the box, someone else will buy them again, and before they are finally lit, they will be strengthened by the devotion and prayer of many.” 

If this was her business strategy, I was sold. 

I’m someone who isn’t really comfortable in praying in full view. I believe prayer is sacrosanct and should be done in private. But some exceptions need to be made. And praying at the ‘Fulancho Khuris’ is one such exception. 

Having personally stopped at the shrine a lot of times myself, especially before my Med School vivas, I can vouch for the serenity and calm this place offers. 

So engrossed are you in the vibe of worship here, that you almost ignore the sound of highway cars whooshing by.  

The Fulancho Khuris is a representation of this very devotion and faith, of simplicity and communal harmony. 

Of how Goans, young and old, rich and poor, irrespective of age, status, and religion, BELIEVE.. in a greater force, in a stronger good, in a heartfelt prayer, in an omnipresent God. 

And for this unwavering faith and devotion, we can only bow our head and say, “Obrigado, Goa!”

I will be back tomorrow with more on my lovely Goa. So stick around. 

Until then, 

Mog aasu di.

(Let there be love!)


I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

My theme for the challenge is ‘Obrigado, Goa!’, under which I’ll be writing 26 posts on Goa (April 1-30th, excluding Sundays), each post corresponding to the letters of the English alphabet. You can read more about it in my theme reveal post


Rethink Mindful said...

This is wonderful to know. I also believe in praying in silence and private, not in public though I too have to pray in public while visiting the temples. This place has certainly a miracle to turn our wishes true. Amazing thing to know. If I ever visit Goa, I will definitely visit the Flower Cross. Thanks for letting us know this Priyanka. - Swarnali

Anagha Yatin said...

Loved the philosophical business strategy of the vendor. She knows how to make things look better!
The church sounds interesting too.

Pri said...

You're most welcome, Swarnali.
Faith indeed has miraculous powers. And the 'Flower Cross' is right across the highway...so you can't miss it. :)

Pri said...

Well, she doesn't really need to, Anagha. I think it her faith talking. Frankly, the 'Flower Cross' is hardly a Church. It's more like a Chapel along the highway. But when has true worship seen the magnitude or location of the monument? :)
It only sees the purity of the heart.