The St. Sebastian Chapel Panaji lies in Fontainhas, a popular tourist attraction town of 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 Panaji located at Fontainhas, as he was a saint known for his miraculous interventions.
The St Sebastian Chapel Panaji has a small nave which has an adjoining narrow corridor with a staircase leading to the choir room on the top.
This whitewashed church has a striking crucifix which originally stood in the Palace of Inquisition in Old Goa. In the crucifix Christ’s eyes are opened. Locals say that the crucifix adorning this church is magical and has the power to punish troublemakers and reward good people.
The inquisition was set up in Goa in 1560. The crucifix was later moved to the Adil Shah Palace or the Old Secretariat, until the Viceroys moved to a new residence at Cabo when it was brought to the St Sebastian Chapel. The Chapel also houses a statue of the Virgin Mary, two marquetry chests and three elaborately carved screens from a church in Diu, near Gujarat which was once part of the Portuguese Empire and part of the colony of Goa.
It dominates the small square where the locals used to hold the lively annual street feast on each mid November to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Livrament. There is a century old traditional well filled with water attached to the St. Sebastian Chapel Panaji.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 1 PM and 4:30 PM – 6 PM on all days.