Monday, 23 July 2018

The Church of St. Lawrence 1630, Goa - one of the oldest Portuguese Churches

The Church of St. Lawrence Sinquerim, GoaYouTube

St. Lawrence Church - Agassaim  Trawell.
It was Count of Linhares, Viceroy Dom Miguel de Noronha who founded  in 1630  ''The  Church of  St. Lawrence'' in Sinquerim, Goa, West India.  This work was undertaken by him upon completion of the fort work. Since Portuguese had tough competitors near-by, security of their settlement was important, hence priority was given to the fort first. 

map of Goa. Lonely Planet

Also known as  ‘Sao Lourence Igreja em  Sinquerim, Goa’ in Portuguese, the  St. Lawrence Church, Sinquerim, Goa has another local name -‘The Sinquerim Church’. The Franciscans in 1636 took over the church from the Portuguese head and in 1638 it became a Parish, separate from  the Parish of Candolim. Soon after the exit of  the Franciscans in 1776 for unknown reasons, the management of the Parish  and the hospice  there became the responsibility of  the Diocesan clergy; they began to  take over the pastoral care of the parish.
The Church of St. Lawrence  Goa iamgoan.wordpress.com
The Church is located in a serene, picturesque place, over-looking the Arabian sea  and is at a short distance from the famous Sinquerim fort.  Located at a distance of 5 km from Candolim Beach along the Fort Aguada Road (1.4 kms),  this Church is dedicated to St. Lawrence, the Martyr or controller of winds, a patron saint of sailorsa and he is holding a boat in one hand, symbolic of protecting the sailors at sea. The dedication of this church to the patron saint of Sailorsa  in this part of Goa  is quite appropriate as during the severe SW Monsoon lasting roughly 2 to 3 months  the rough Arabian sea and the heavy gales were a menace to the sailors then and they trusted the saint  for their safety.
The Church of St. Lawrence  Goa JoeGoaUk - GOA - Blogger
The church  has  an enormous sheltered yard and has a plain triangular  peak right above the first floor in the facade. Anote worthy feature is Palacio Ajuda, a massive structure built by Jimmy Gazdar can be seen outside the chapel gate.
There is  a solitary round window in the middle. Behind the Triangular outline on either  side there are  two  thin towers.  The dome shaped church houses some wonderful structures of the risen Jesus Christ with his legion of angels. Being a small church, it has limited seating capacity and occasionally arrangements are made in the yard for additional worshipers. The columns are nicely adorned with  engravings depicting certain important life episodes of St. Lawrence.   The paneled vaulting inside the church  is stunningly beautiful and impressive;  the risers of the steps of the sacrificial stone have alluring blue and white tiles. The main altar has a wooden cross in the center and a statue of St. Lawrence to the right.

 Towards the end of the Monsoon season, the celebration of St. Lawrence is held every year to praise the lord for guarding the seafarers /sailors and it will coincide with the end of terrible rainy season  on the west coast of India. It means the ocean and water ways are safe enough for the boats and ships to sail. In past, the actual cutting of a rope extended over the stream symbolized the festival of the celebration. On the 10th of August every year, The Feast is held and is being attended by the patrons. The feat marks the  reopening of the sandbars in the Mandovi river to river traffic and the end of the monsoon. The feast day usually coincides with Narali Purnima. Since  June, 1991, the Sinquerim parish has been under the control of  the members of the Order of the Friars Minor Capuchin’s. 
 The following places of interest are within 10 km from this place:

 Panaji – 9.5 km, Basilica Of Bom Jesus – 8.5 km, Sao Antonio Island – 9.2 km,  Naval Aviation Museum – 8.5 km and  Church And Convent Of  St Francis Of Assisi – 8.8 km.
https://www.trawell.in/goa/panjim/st-lawrence-chapel-candolim
 http://goanchurches.info/church/st-lawrence-church-sinquerim-goa/