Chapel of Our Lady of Penha

The Chapel Our Lady of Penha is located at the top of Penha Hill.

The place was donated by the Senado to the Augustinians for the construction of a church dedicated to “Our Lady of Penha of France”, the navigator’s protector. It is said that the purpose for promoting the chapel foundation was related to an appreciation to The Holy Virgin Mary for Her help in a narrowly escape of a Portuguese ship from Dutch raiders.

The chapel was built in 1622 over the bulwark of Our Lady of Good Birth. It was property of the Augustinians until their expulsion in 1834, in consequence of the liberalism period in Portugal. In 1837 it was reconstructed, along with the Bishop’s Residence, alongside the church, and, in 1935, almost completely rebuild.

For many years, the chapel served as shrine for sailors embarking on often hazardous voyages.

On the large open courtyard fronting the chapel is a marble image of Our Lady of Lourdes facing Macau and China. It is said to be praying for both lands. Close to it, down the steps of a staircase in the hillside, also facing Macau and China, there is a picturesque grotto with a smaller image of, again, Our Lady of Lourdes.

Both images were put in place as a consequence of the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady in Lourdes, which happened in 1858.

Every year, on the 13th of May, thousand of faithful joins the image of Our Lady of Fatima for a pilgrimage and procession. It begins in St. Domingo Church, meanders through the streets of Macau, and finally ends in Penha Church. The devotees come from all over to accompany Our Lady of Fatima. Leading the procession, three children, dressed as the three children who saw and heard Blessed Mary in Portugal, back in 1917.Trappistine Community

Leave a Reply