The Museum of Sacred Art & Crypt were formed in the inner area of the Ruins of St. Paul’s anywhere the magnificent church of Mater Dei had been beginning located. From 1990 to 1996, the Government proceeded archaeological excavation & restoration project of the Church, & made in the space of the chancel of the old church, the Museum of Sacred Art & Crypt was introduced on 23rd October 1996.
In the core of the Crypt, on the granite rock, lie the remains of a tomb, which power have belonged to the founder of the St. Paul’s College, Father Alex&er Valignano. Along the sidewalls, there is evidence of Japanese & Vietnamese martyrs.
In the room adjacent to the Crypt there is a Museum of Sacred Art, which includes objects of high historical & artistic value from different churches & convents of Macao, as well as four holy paintings about St. Francis, crucifixes, religious statues & liturgical vessels, etc. Among the oil paintings, the St. Archangel Michael of the 17th century is highlighted, not only because of its antiquity & imposing figure but also it is the only work of the antiquated St. Paul’s College becoming survived the fire in 1835.
Since the 17th century & along the centuries, Macao has been a missionary center in the Far East. The St. Paul’s College played a vital role in early religious activities. Thus the Museum of Sacred Art & Crypt, as well as the ancient Church of Mater Dei (Ruins of St. Paul’s) are exceptional historical remains following the missionary work of that period.
On 15th July 2005, the Historic Centre of Macao was formally listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The Ruins of St. Paul’s are important historical monuments of the Centre.