Old Goa - Today
CAPELA DE S. ANTONIO
(THE CHAPEL OF ST. ANTHONY)
This small Chapel with its façade to the east,
stands on the southern side of the Church of 0. L. of
Rosario; it was built at the same time as the latter.
At the time of reconquest of Goa, Diogo Mendes de Vasconcelos
was posted here with 300 men. This Chapel, called also
the Royal Chapel, was administered by the Cathedral
Chapter but Archbishop 0. Fr. Aleixo de Menezes handed
it over to the Augustinians in 1606. When the religious
Orders were extinguished, the Chapel was abandoned.
The first Patriarch of Goa rebuilt it on the occasion
of the seventh centenary of St. Anthony and placed it
under the superintendence of St. Francis of Assisi's
The Chapel has a vaulted chancel. A retable of St. Anthony
adorns the main altar. The side altars were dedicated
to Our Lady of Fever and Sts. Cosimo & Damian. The
walls of the Chapel have four frescoes with the pictures
of the five doctors of the Church. The painting of Our
Lady of Fever carries a beautiful poem in two verses
concerning the 'Spiritual fever' which, according to
the poet, is more dangerous; he asks Our Lady that his
spiritual health be restored.
Queer traditions surround the history of this Chapel.
St. Anthony was regarded as the patron saint of the
military forces and as their Captain. As such St. Anthony's
salary was drawn by the Chaplain in addition to his
own. Every year on the occasion of the Vespers of his
feast, St. Anthony's image was taken processionally
to the Public Treasury where the treasurer handed him
respectfully his payment for the titular captainship.
In 1838, the Governor, Barao de Sabroso, stopped this
payment as superfluous. But the people disagreed and
everybody said that the Saint would punish him. In fact
when the Governor had gone for a walk as usual (it was
the feast day of St. Anthony), he fell down from his
carriage and died from the consequences on October 14.
Previous to his death he had resigned and the Conseiho
do Governo restored St. Anthony's payment on September
28. Again when the Viscount of Vila Nova de Ourem was
intending to abolish the traditional holiday on June
13 (feast day of the Saint), he fell down from the horse;
he took this as a warning sent by the Saint and changed
his mind. Caetano de Albuquerque abolished the holiday;
but people said that he was not punished by the Saint
because the new Viscount, Paco d'Arcos, would have restored