Heritage |

Chapel of St. Sebastian
Located in: Solar de Lalém

The chapel of St. Sebastian was built in the sixteenth century, certainly in order to ask for support to this saint from the disasters that ravaged São Miguel island in the early years.

 

A good example of it is the earthquake on 22nd October of 1522. Mortality was high, In the watermills of Maia there were 22 persons. Only two survived. In the center of the parish, several houses collapsed. A fisherman was trapped in his house by the flames, destroying all the money he had inside.

 

They say a misfortune never comes alone. A plague hit the parish from 1526 to 1527, causing a new wave of mortality.

 

Aggravating the economic and social context, people were victimized by a volcanic eruption (known as Erupção do Sapateiro), in 1563.

 

These natural disasters were perceived as a divine punishment for disobedience and laxity of men.

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Chapel of Saint Peter
Located in: Maia's graveyard
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Chapel of Our Lady of Ransom
Located in: Gorreana

The Chapel of Our Lady of Ransom is located in the surroundings of the Gorreana Tea Factory.

 

"Protection of the Virgin to those who were kidnapped by infidels and therefore, had to be rescued, is one of the understandings that justifies the invocation of Our Lady of Ransom. As it is known, the Azores were often devastated by pirates and privateers, who sometimes limited the attack to the destruction of local people’s property; sometimes they abducted and carried inhabitants to other places.

 

We know that the foundation of this chapel is the responsibility of Belchior Manuel Resendes, priest of Nordeste, who died in 1729. He inherited from an uncle the properties of Gorreana, deciding to build in those proprieties the chapel that still survives and maintains in its façade, some wonderful traits of the "Azorean style", being portraited the year of its construction, 1701.

 

Is there a connection between the invocation of Our Lady of Ransom and the multiple pirate attacks targeted in the Azores, particularly in the second half of the seventeenth century, when this chapel was built?

 

Was there some pirate attack in Maia by this time, which was not recorded in history? Or did this preast from Nordeste, due to its religious background, decided to build on the land of Maia, a chapel of the Virgin, to ask her for support, for those who were kidnapped by pirates?" Answers are still to be discovered.

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Chapel of Saint Peter
Located in: Gorreana
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Posto de Turismo da Maia

Maia Tourist Office 

Morada | Address: Rua do Rosário, n.º9 

9625 - 339 Maia (S. Miguel)

Contacto | Contact: (+351) 296 442 315

E-mail: pt.m.smg@gmail.com