Sunday, 12 July 2009

Fr Nelson's translation of the Khristapurana

Fr Nelson Falcao, besides being our Parish Priest, is also a theologian and scholar who is without doubt the world expert on Thomas Stephens' Khristapurana. His Marathi translation of this wonderful poetic work is in the press and is expected to be ready by next month. Work is on also on the English translation, which will certainly be an event of capital importance in the world of theology and of literature. For the very first time the Khristapurana will be available to an international public.

Thomas Stephens, SJ was one of the first Englishmen to set foot in India. He laboured mostly in Goa, apart from a short stint in Vasai. He mastered Marathi and Konkani and, at the request of the new converts from Hinduism, he composed a Purana on the life of Christ, along the lines of the Visnupurana and other puranas. His Khristapurana is acknowledged by experts as one of the masterpieces of Marathi literature. Till recently, it was being used and recited, in churches as well as in homes, all along the Konkan coast, from Vasai down to Mangalore, especially during Holy Week.

We as a parish are proud to be now part of this long and wonderful history. Perhaps it would not be too much to hope that Fr Nelson will set in motion the use of the Khristapurana in our parish liturgies and devotions, at least certainly in Satpur? There is already a suggestion that he should work towards a sung version on CD....

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