Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru, Karnataka - legacy of Portuguese colonist

One of the three oldest churches in the diocese, Rosary church was built in 1568 by the Portuguese along with a fort called St. Sebastian. The settlement was fortified to safeguard the factory and warehousing facilities to avoid confrontation with other competitors. Portuguese took control of this place on 5 January 1568 after their victory in the war against the local ruler. The church was then called Factory Church. The Portuguese opened a small settlement to export spices overseas. 

Pietro della Valle, the Italian traveller on a visit to Mangalore in 1623, mentioned about three churches - Holy Rosary at Bolar, Our Lady of Mercy at Ullal and of St Francis of Assisi at Farangipet.  Fr Joseph Vaz made a mention of it in his book - 1681. Fixed at the entrance of the church is the  royal stone emblem of the Portuguese king marking their landing at Mangalore.

Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru,

Lady rosary cathedral, Mangalore.

The church of Our Lady of Rosary of Mangalore, first Roman Catholic place of worship in Canara,  was originally the church of the old Portuguese factory.  Declared a cathedral on 16 April 1850,  Lady Rosary Cathedral  one of the oldest churches in India to have celebrated its 450th year in November, 2018. 

The church, having been totally  desecrated and destroyed in 1784 by the then ruler Tipu Sultan of Mysore, was rebuilt later in 1813 through public donation. EIC contributed Rs. 4000 to Holy Rosary Church and Milagres Church, which was built here in 1680.  Parish Priest Father Henry I Bruzoni in 1910 had the old cathedral building  pulled down to be replaced with a new structure in  different architecture. The architect was Brother Devo S.J.  Bishop Ferini on December 4,1910 opened the new structure to public for services..  The only church in the Mangalore Diocese to have a big dome over  the spacious sanctuary below. An interesting fact is the cross atop the dome lights up at night to serve as a beacon for the ocean going ships.

Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru,

The Catholic Diocese of Mangalore held a solemn Eucharistic procession on Sunday, January 8, 2023 from Milagres Church to Rosario Cathedral. Thousands of Catholics from in and around Mangalore took part in the Feast of the Epiphany, Theophany, or Three Kings’ Day, commemorating the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi, and the manifestation of his divinity