Be free to contact below mention person
St Anne Church - The Annual Feast Celebration!
St Anne Church - History
St. Anne history can be trace back since 1833, when there is some Chinese and Indian Catholic followers from Batu Kawan settled in the foothills of Bukit Mertajam. There are actually peasants who had come to clear the land for cultivation.
St Anne Church was started by French missionaries from the Paris Foreign Mission Society that started their missionary work in the Far East as early as the 17th century. The chapel was name St. Anne because she was the most popular among the French missionaries.
Highly regarded as mother of Mary, St. Anne is the
virgin who give birth to Jesus Christ. Many believe that St. Anne have been born around 50 B.C in
either Nazareth or Bethlehem. Catholics believer observe her feast day on 26th July every year. It
is known between 1840 to 1860, the first church to be built in Bukit Mertajam was on top of the hill.
Today, the site of that small chapel is the 15th and final station of the Cross which devotees make in their pilgrimage.
A bigger chapel was built in 1865 to accommodate the congregation that is growing bigger day after
day. It is built just behind the wall of taps of St. Anne water. As the water is filtered by the soil,
this spring water is cleaner and healthier than the tap water.
The historic St. Anne old church was built in 1888 under the leadership of Fr F.P Sorin. He later died in 1907 and was buried at the entrance of the Church. This
Church which is now named "Shrine of St Anne" is the main spot to celebrate of feast of St. Anne every year.
In the aftermath of the Second World War in 1948, communist activities threatened the political stability of the then Malaya. The grounds of the church were deemed a prohibited area due to communist activities in the surrounding hills. Fearful that the Chinese community in Bukit Mertajam would be sympathetic to the Communist movement, the British Government relocated them to new villages.
The Old Church, located in a "black area", where Communist activities were regarded as strong, became a prohibited area. As the results of this, all church service was conducted at the Convent a distance away. A church building was later erected to serve the relocated congregation and served through out the "Emergency" period for 48 years.
In 1977, Fr Peter Pang became the Parish priest of St Anne's church. He started the move back to the ground of the Old Church, building an altar shed in front of the Old Church. Further restoration was carried out, including the reinstallation of the stained glass and the church bell - there were originally two, but one of them was lost during the Japanese Occupation.
St Anne Church Feast
As the Feast of St. Anne received increasing numbers of followers, it soon became necessary to construct a new and bigger church complex. The new church complex was begun in May 2000, and was dedicated on the St. Anne's Feast Day of 26 July, 2002. This church blends Minangkabau roof design with Gothic architecture to create one of the most imposing structures in Penang. The spacious interior has a seating capacity of more than 1800, easily making it the biggest church ever built in the northern region of Malaysia. The tiny fragment measuring about 3mm is house within a golden monstrance placed near the altar. Pilgrims old and new will always make an effort to catch a glimpse of this relic, surely one of the holiest to be found
in the Catholic faith.
Today, this church is not only well known in Malaysia but also all over the world. St Anne Church annual feast that draw hundreds of thousand of pilgrims is nothing short of amazement. The large crowd that came to the feast is the testament that St. Anne church is no doubt one of the amazing discoveries in Penang. At the
annual feast, the 188 year old church play host to pilgrims comprises Catholics and also non Christians praying for health and blessings. Many who came here fulfilled their vows by lighting candles, offering flowers and attending mass and novenas.
It is such a wonderful event filled with excitement and joy that showcase the unity of people from every part of the world. Pilgrims bathed in a sparkling sea of light took part in a candlelight procession. They came from not only from Malaysia but from Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, New
Zealand and even from as far away as Europe. This marks the important day for pilgrims to the thank her for countless prayers answers and petitions granted.
Most of the road near the church will be closed and police personnel will be mobilize to divert the traffic during this period. My advice to you is that, try to come with transport that has been prearranged for you (eg. buses) as traffic will be chaos and the parking fees is very expensive.
There will be no problem finding the church once you reach Bukit Mertajam. Just follow where the crowd goes and I guaranteed that you can't go wrong. I've provided a map below, just in case you ever need one.
One thing to note is that if you're to come together with your children, make sure that they are within your reach to prevent any untoward incident. You do not need to bring any candles or flowers with you when visiting St. Anne as plenty will be on sale here. Temporary stall at the church compound are set up to sell flowers, candles, T shirt and many others memorable. Some of the stall performs magic show as well as art exhibition.
Normally the St Anne Church celebration is organized on the last weeks of July every year (20th ~ 31st). Remember to return back to this website to find out what is the actual date for the St. Anne celebration. And if you like to book your hotels or transportation, you can always do it here!
INFORMATION ON THE YEARLY CELEBRATION