Established in 1541, the Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is one of the earliest churches built in Goa. Located at the heart of Panaji, this majestic church is a prominent landmark of the city. A silhouette of the Mary Immaculate Church illuminated with thousand of bulbs shimmering against an inky dark sky is one of the most enduring images of the Panaji city.
The great bell at the Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is acclaimed
as the second largest bell in the world. Known as the Bell of the
Inquisition, this bell was previously a part of the Church of Our Lady
of Grace in Old Goa. It was shifted to the Mary Immaculate Church in
1841, after Panaji became the capital of Goa. The interiors of the
church are elegant yet minimalist.
The main altar dedicated to Mary Immaculate is flanked by two altars on
either side. The left altar is dedicated to Jesus Crucified while the
right one honors Our Lady of the Rosary. At the side of each altar is a
marble statue, one of St Peter and one of St Paul. The Chapel of St.
Francis Xavier, located to the south of the main altar, houses a
glass-encased statue of him.
On 8th December every year, devotees flock to the church in large
numbers to attend the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The feast is a
celebration of the conception of Lord Jesus by Mother Mary.