The Fama is a poetic deity that broadcasts good news. This allegoric figure has been used by the Catholic Church to announce the beginning of a period of special prayers to the patron-saint or patroness of the parish, which culminates in the Feast. The Fama is an event of minor relevance in the liturgical calendar, except in Colvá, Goa.
The Fama is a poetic deity that broadcasts good news. This allegoric figure has been used by the Catholic Church to announce the beginning of a period of special prayers to the patron-saint or patroness of the parish, which culminates in the Feast. The Fama is an event of minor relevance in the liturgical calendar, except in Colvá, Goa. Each October, this scenic village celebrates with solemnity, religiosity and festivity, the Fama of the Menino Jesus, which attracts vast number of devotees across the world, including expatriate Goans who specially return at this time of the year. Only on this day, devotees are allowed to kiss the small statuette of the Child Jesus that has long been venerated in the local church and is considered miraculous.
This image is a replica of another statuette, which was in this church for over seventy years till it was carried away by the Jesuits to the Rachol College in 1722. The history of the older image was lost in the mists of time, and is surrounded by legends about its origin and its removal from the Colvá Church.
Author José Venâncio Machado uncovers interesting facts relating to this image from his research of several manuscripts of King João V of Portugal (1706 – 1750) and his Overseas Council, as well as a bundle of manuscripts pertaining to a lawsuit between the Jesuits and the inhabitants of Colvá, going back to between 1726 and 1729 – a rare judicial case regarding the ownership of a statuette. Together, these documents allowed the reconstitution of the fascinating history of this statuette.
About the Author
José Venâncio Machado was born in Margao and lived in Colvá till November 1960, when he won a scholarship to study in Portugal. He studied Agronomy at the Technical University of Lisbon (TUL), specializing in Agro-Industries, and afterwards in Refrigeration Engineering and Applications at the Instituto del Frio, Madrid, Spain.
After the obligatory military service – fulfilled in the Portuguese Navy, as 2nd Lieutenant RN and commanding officer of a small ship – he pursued activities in agronomic research, development banking and university teaching. Following a tenure in the civil service in Portugal, including as invited Auxiliary Professor at the Faculty of Agronomy (TUL), he served at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) successively as an international post-harvest expert, Senior Officer and FAO Representative a.i. in Guatemala. He is widely traveled and has lived and served in Mozambique, Portugal, Ghana, Rome, Guatemala and Panama.
José Machado has authored several technical articles in his areas of specialization, besides a book entitled “Um goano adinkra”, a collection of essays in Portuguese combining three ingredients as its leitmotiv: Memories of Goa, Lateral Thinking and Adinkra Symbolism (from West Africa).