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Carmelites mark 400 years of mission in Asia

Monastery in Goa served as the center of the Portuguese mission to the rest of Asia in the 17th century

Published: December 01, 2016 05:00 PM GMT

Updated: December 02, 2016 06:30 AM GMT

Carmelites mark 400 years of mission in Asia

Discalced Carmelites marked 400 years of their arrival in Asia with a Mass in the ruins of their ancient monastery in Goa, the western Indian coastal state where their first missioners landed in 1616.

The congregation observed the anniversary Nov. 29 the feast day of their first martyrs, Blessed Dionysius and Redemptus in Old Goa, the ancient Portuguese capital, which also served as the center of Portuguese mission to the rest of Asia in the 17th century.

The two Carmelites, reportedly from France, came to India to aid in the Portuguese mission and reached Aceh in Indonesia from Goa. They were arrested, reportedly at the instigation of the Protestant Dutch authorities in Jakarta, tortured and then martyred.

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Some 20 priests concelebrated Mass inside a make-shift shed at the ruins, which was once the center of Carmelite missionaries in Asia. The site largely unknown to locals, has tombs of significant personalities of royal families and Carmelite friars

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