The Chapel of St. Catherine


The Chapel of St. Catherine, Goa, India

The Chapel of St. Catherine is situated next to another famous church of Goa and that is St. Francis of Assisi. This chapel is built of laterite blocks; chapel has a tower on either sides of frontage. This chapel has only one altar and is quite huge. There are numerous churches in old Goa but out of that The Chapel of St. Catherine stands alpine, as it has distinct features of Renaissance. The main frontage of this chapel was built by Afonso De Albuquerque in the year 1510. He had built this chapel to commemorate his first footprint in Goa. Later after few years there was a stone chapel that was replaced by the thatched and in its place there was an altar place here built by the Governor George carbral in 1550. First this was only a mud structure that was built to remember his footprint. This is a place where there is a doorway through which Governor Afonso De Albuquerque entered this city and took the city from the hands of Mughal; Mohammadans. He entered this city on the day of St. Catherine. This is protected by the archaeological survey of India, this graceful chapel portrays marvelous Renaissances feature. There are towers of square that flank the 3 stored frontage or even the semi circle niche that is above the windows that lodges a statue of St. Catherine , as this chapel was very famous among the Christians.

There is a sacred hall that is subscribed to a very simple plan. As we enter the nave we get to see four crosses that are placed over the roof of the church and a Gothic one that is placed over the main altar. This one creates a very impressive sight for the devotees. Inside the church you get to see different glimpses of art works. There are many paintings in the church that describe the story of St. Catherine. Inside the church there is an art gallery which is one of the main attractions of this chapel.

Catherine was famed for her intellects and spiritual vision of the Christ. Catherine's house and her shrine are located in her home town of Siena. She was born in the year 1347 on 5th March. She was popular for her fasting and even practicing physical mortification in a very difficult way. In the year 1366 she started experiencing that she got married to Jesus in her letters. Later in the year 1370 she started getting series of vision of heaven, hell and Purgatory. Finally she heard a command to discard her secluded life and spend the rest of her life for the well being of the human race. She used to have a detailed correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, about asking him to modify the clergy and administration of the Papal States.

People have a strong belief that St. Catherine used to grant all the valued wished of her devotees. She used to cure all the diseases of her devotees. People come here, confess their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. They offer prayers and also light candles in front of altar. People sit here for hours praying and meditating in a peaceful environment.

The annual festival of Easter day and Christmas day are celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. There are thousands of people who visit this chapel during the celebration time as to seek blessing of St. Catherine. There are feasts that are held during this festival and there are thousands of people who come across the world on this auspicious occasion. This chapel is decorated with grand lighting and flowers on this eve.

Travel Route:

Airways: Nearest airport is the Dabolim airport which is at a distance of 30 kilometers away from The Chapel of St. Catherine. There are regular international and domestic flights that are operated from here to all the major cities of India.

Railways: Nearest airport is the Margo and Vasco da Gama station that operates regular trains from here to all the major cities of India. These stations are connected to konkan rail lines.

Road ways: There are state transport and luxury bus services available from here to all the major cities of India. There are local buses and taxi services available from bus station to The Chapel of St. Catherine. There are even other transport facilities available here in Goa.