Novena of Ven. Agnelo

Fr. A. G. Rego in his book on Ven. Fr. Agnelo, SECRETS TO SHARE, states: “An aura of respect and veneration for Fr. Agnelo moved people to undertake pilgrimages to his grave in the cemetery of Rachol . No one was known to encourage such pilgrimages and the clergy were swept off their feet. In spite of repeated warning not to pay public veneration to the Servant of God a large concourse of the faithful and even people of other faiths wended their way to the sacred spot, where Fr Agnelo was laid to rest. Soon the number of pilgrims shot up to such proportion that no one could keep them back from venerating the saintly priest... And Patriarch Dom Teotonio, amazed with the unbounded faith of the people remarked, “Our Fr Agnelo is already venerable” January 10th is an unforgettable day in the history of the Society of Pilar. Rev. Fr. Remedios do Rosario Gomes, the Superior General of the Society felt that the bones of Fr. Agnelo must be brought to Pilar and preserved in a special tomb to be erected there. But stiff opposition from different corners was awaiting him. The Rector of the Rachol Seminary was of the opinion that the bones of the Servants of God should be kept in the same Seminary where he had been a guide and Spiritual Director. The Vicar of Raia Church had categorically stated that he would never allow anyone to remove the bones from his parish cemetery. But strange enough! Man proposes and God disposes-Fr. Rosario Gomes, the Superior General of Pilar along with Msgr. Thomas Aquino de Barreto decided to approach the Patriarch to seek his permission to transfer the bones to Pilar. Permission from the civil authorities was also needed. It was an uphill task and umpteen hurdles came on their way. Finally the necessary OK was received and the authorities of the Archdiocese of Goa decided that the task of opening the grave of Fr. Agnelo should be done in quiet to avoid any sort of commotion. But the news leaked out and large crowd of people was at the cemetery. Many had believed that, like St. Francis Xavier, the body of Fr. Agnelo would be incorrupt. Fr. Agnelo, a man of simplicity and amazing humility, once had declared to Fr. Gomes, “Wait in patience till I am turned into bones and God's design will be unfolded...”