St. Sebastian Chapel, Fontainhas, Panjim, Goa

The St. Sebastian Chapel, Fontainhas in Panjim, Goa Chapel lies in the Popular tourist attraction of Fontainhas in Panjim, Goa. This quaint chapel was built in 1818 and is dedicated to St. Sebastian. Previously people used to pray to St Sebastian for deliverance from trouble by pests and rodents, especially during the years of the plague in Old Goa. Popular devotion to St Sebastian led to the setting up of the St Sebastian Chapel in Fontainhas  as he was a saint known for his miraculous interventions.

The St Sebastian Chapel, Fontainhas has a small nave which has an adjoining narrow corridor with a staircase leading to the choir room on the top.

One of the most remarkable exhibits in the St Sebastian Chapel in Fontainhas is the striking crucifix of Jesus. It is said that this is perhaps the only crucifix of Jesus which has his eyes open.The crucifix was testimony of the Inquisition which happened in Goa in the 15 century. After the inquisition the crucifix was moved to the Adil Shah Palace in Panjim and later to the St Sebastian Chapel in Fontainhas. The crucifix has perhaps been testimony to the suffering incurred by many during the harsh inquisition period in Goa.

The St Sebastian Chapel, Fontainhas also houses a statue of the Virgin Mary and two marquetry chests and three elaborately carved screens which were received from a church in Diu near Gujarat which was once a part of the Portuguese empire.

The square infront of the chapel is where the annual Fontainhas festival is held to celebrate the community spirit of the place. The festival is held in Mid November to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Livrament. A century old well which still is filled with water is attached to the St Sebastian Chapel in Fontainhas, Panjim.

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