At a distance of 8.6 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 27 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 24 km from Mapusa, The Convent and Church of St Monica is situated at Old Goa part of North Goa.
St. Monica Church and convent is situated in the Holy Hill or the Monte Santo of Old Goa, opposite to the ruins of St. Augustine Church. This is also known as the Royal Monastery of Santa Monica. It was started in 1606 but was finished only in 1627, because a fire destroyed the building in 1620. It took 15 years to rebuild. It is Goa's only convent for nuns. It used to house around 150 cloistered nuns who were called the daughters of St. Monica. The Church and the Convent of St Monica is acclaimed as the first nunnery of the East. The Convent has a vast courtyard with a cloister and its three storeys have numerous cells and halls. It was closed as a nunnery after its last sister died in 1885. It was reinstated to church status in 1968.
The Church was attached to the convent to the south. The external architecture of the St. Monica Church is the combination of the Tuscan, Corinthian and composite styles, while its interior blends the Doric and composite styles. The facade of the church features the statue of Santa Monica and the symbol of the Holy Ghost. The Church has two main alters; the main altar contains the image of the mother of St. Augustine Santa Monica to whom the convent and the church is dedicated.
The Church has an image of Crucified Christ which was formerly in the choir loft and at present is placed in a tribune in the nave of the Church. It is held in great veneration because it is said that on 8th February 1636, the image opened its eyes and from its wounds blood was seen flowing. This marvel occurred again on the 12th of the same month in the presence of the viceroy and fidalgos. The Inquisitors and the Bishop also witnessed it. Its feast is celebrated in the Archdiocese of Goa on 27th November.
It currently houses the Theological Center of the Matar Dei Institute. This is a center of higher education for nuns and draws a varied international group.
Timings: 9:30 AM - 5 PM on all days.