St. Sebastian Church, Negombo, Sri Lanka.
St. Sebastians at Sea Street, Negombo, is one of the most beautiful churches in Sri Lanka. It is built in the Gothic style and the foundation stone for this edifice was laid by Peter Marque the Archbishop of Colombo on February 2, 1936.
It was designed based on the model of Reims Cathedral in France. However later as funds were not available, the height had to be reduced from that of the Reims Cathedral. Although the services were conducted at the site from the beginning it took a decade to complete the edifice.
It was due to the pioneering efforts of the missionaries during the Portuguese times that the Catholic faith took a firm root in Sri Lanka. The people who suffered from deadly diseases like cholera, leprosy and typhoid were attended to and cared for by the missionaries. They prayed to St. Sebastian, the Patron Saint of the sick, for the recovery of patients. The people in turn who recovered developed a special devotion to St. Sebastian.
When the devotion to St. Sebastian became popular the missionaries gave statues of St. Sebastian to people and encouraged them to build churches for St. Sebastian.