Life-Size Crib Set Depicting 'Divine Birth of Jesus' Adorned Iconic Bandel Church This X-Mas
The oldest church in Eastern India in Bandel has gone beyond the past tradition and has for the first time chosen a theme-based crib set depicting Archangel Gabriel appearing before Mary to foretell the coming of Jesus Christ - The Saviour of men.
Thousands of visitors of all religious beliefs visiting the 419-year-old Bandel Church this year have got to see for the first time a human-size crib set with the theme of Annunciation - “Diving Birth of Lord Jesus Christ”. The life-size crib set has been designed by Mr. Subrata Ganguly of Church Art.
The Marian Shrine aka Bandel Church is one of the oldest churches in eastern India founded in 1599 by the Augustinian monks. The Bandel Church, declared a minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II, is dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Rosario - Our Lady of the MOST HOLY Rosary.
Crib sets are usually a Biblical depiction of Christ’s birth, however, the oldest church in Eastern India situated 40 kilometres from Kolkata on the banks of river Hooghly in Bandel has gone beyond the past tradition and has for the first time chosen a theme-based crib set depicting Archangel Gabriel appearing before Mary to foretell the coming of Jesus Christ - The Saviour of men.
In his Christmas message to the masses, Prior of Bandel Church, Salesian Fr T L Francis, said, “We are highlighting the Divine Birth of Jesus Christ through the crib set this X-mas. We are thankful to the Chief Minister who has taken the initiative to illuminate seven major churches, including our Bandel Church, this year.”
“We wanted to convey the Divine Birth of Lord Jesus through artistic expression. The crib set depicts, besides Jesus, Joseph and others, the appearance of Archangel Gabriel before Mary to tell the coming of Lord Jesus,” said Mr. Subrata Ganguly of Kolkata-based firm Church Art specializing in designing artwork for churches, museums and schools in India and abroad.
The Bandel Church is undergoing major renovation and expansion. It has put on display the historical “mast” which had fallen in the storm that struck on 9th May 2010. The Portuguese ship’s mast was a votive offering to the Church from the captain of the ship that was miraculously saved in a tempest in the Bay of Bengal in 1655. The Archeological Survey of India had declared the mast a heritage item.