THE CROSS AT THE MAIDAN
The Cross has given its name to a large expanse of land, measuring 19,000 sq m, in South Mumbai. Originally the Cross Maidan was part of a large green belt. When the British threw open the Fort to expand and develop the city, this green belt was divided into the Azad Maidan and Cross Maidans in the north, the Oval in the centre and the Cooperage ground in the south. The Cross belongs to the parish of Our Lady of Dolours, Marine Lines, Mumbai 400 002.
The Cross was built when the city was under Portuguese rule in the 16th century. Legend and tradition say that the cross was built out of stone in gratitude by the city’s pious citizens for being saved from the plague and a number of deadly diseases in those days. The cross was erected on the once open ground surrounding a natural pond or talao used for washing the clothes of the residents of the Fort and the native area. This ground is now occupied by the Elphinstone Technical School situated in the pond area called Dhobitalao.
As the old city started growing and expanding the British Government shifted this stone Cross to its present location at the northern end of the maidan. This 16th century stone Cross has evoked intense devotion not only from Christians, but from people of all communities, viz. Parsis, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, believers and non-believers. It is the focal point of every Christian home, especially in the parish. Devotion to the Cross is such that one sees the parishioners and their families visiting it all times, from early morn to late evening. Their faith in the Cross is such that they firmly believe that whatever they ask for at the Cross will be granted to them at some time or other. It cuts across all barriers and it is an uplifting experience to see that rich and poor, backward and scheduled castes, the physically and mentally challenged all praying together and imploring the blessings of God. Many a miracle has been attributed to and experienced by devotees at the Cross. The reverence this ancient stone Cross evokes has to be seen on the Feast of the Cross on May 3rd and during Holy Week, especially the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services.
Mass at Cross Maidan: Every Friday at 06:30 p.m.
Cross Feast: 3rd May every year
Maundy Thursday Service: 06:30 p.m.
Good Friday Service: 05:30 pm.