Archdiocese of Mumbai launches first historical museum

» 09/26/2011 13:55

by Nirmala Carvalho
Historical, artistic, cultural and religious artefacts, dating back to the 16th century. For Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, the museum “celebrates freedom of religion, bears witness to the search for God in India and is an instrument of evangelization for the young.” The museum also celebrates the 125th anniversary of the archdiocese.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The first historical museum of the Archdiocese of Mumbai is a “celebration of our history” and an “instrument of evangelization for the young generation,” according to Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of the diocese. Inaugurated yesterday and set in the St. Pius seminary in Goregaon, the museum contains a collection of artefacts – the oldest dating back to the 16th century – belonging to the spiritual tradition of India. The museum also celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, which occured on 1st September 1886 under the papal bull Humanae Salutis by Pope Leo XIII.

“The museum – explains, Card. Gracias to AsiaNews – shows our historical, artistic, cultural and religious patrimony, the authentic roots of our faith”. According to the archbishop, the museum will be a real “instrument of evangelization, especially for younger people. Each of these works of art has a profound message for all of us, they reveal how artists of the time saw and lived their faith. ”

A timeline was painted on the wall of the museum, showing the stages of Christianity in the region from 6 AD onwards. Many of the scenes represented are imbued with elements of the rich Indian spiritual tradition, “which are part – Card. Gracias explains – of our family culture, our ethos. In this sense, the museum celebrates religious freedom and witnesses the search for God in India. ”

“What we want – the Archbishop concludes – is to show our brothers and sisters of other religions and help them understand that Christianity is no stranger. Indian Christianity has existed for thousands of years. We must continue that journey of faith which for thousands of years was lived with joy, freedom, peace and harmony.