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The Historical Church of St. Anne

Home > Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory > Free | Churches
by Pauline (subscribe)
http://howtoi.com.au/profile/493/
Published April 14th 2013
Largest church in Penang with station of the cross
Founded in 1846 by early priests who were all Frenchmen, Church of St Anne is one of the most well-known Roman Catholic church in Malaysia as well as neighbouring countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. It is located in Bukit Mertajam, Penang - an island state in the Northern region of Malaysia.

Started off as a chapel in the early days, a church was built in 1875 by Fr. Sorin to accommodate growing catholic population in the area. When Fr. Sorin died in 1907 on 26th July, he was buried at the entrance of the church where he had built. Today, the building of the church is now the Shrine of St Anne. It features stained glass set of St Anne and bells from France.

Every year, the feast of St Anne's celebration attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world to its 10-day celebration which leads to a grand celebration on the actual day on 26th July. The church became popular when people started to attribute miracles to St Anne. Some were said to have been cured of cancer, while childless women for many years became pregnant after praying to St Anne.

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Shrine of St Anne (Old Church)

In 2002, a new and modern church building was completed just next to the old church on the same sanctuary ground along with other new facilities such as a parish office, community centre, presbytery, small bell tower, St Anne's gift shop, and domus (a non-profit and affordable accommodation facilities open for individuals, Christian groups, companies and organisations. .

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Domus St Anne, Source: stannebm

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Church of St Anne, Penang


At the front of the church is a statue of St Anne and the young virgin Mary at St Anne Square or known locally as Dataran St Anne.
St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
St Anne's Square (Dataran St Anne)

The interior of the church is beautifully organised which can accommodate up to 1500 people.

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Interior design of the new church, Source: stannebm


The 'Statues of Passion' depicting the station of the cross were installed around the grounds of St Anne. They are one of the prominent features of this church.

During Lent season, devotees and parishioners gather together and performed the station of the cross by walking from one station to the other.

Station 1 - I am condemn to death
Station 2 - I am made to carry my cross
Station 3 - I fall the third time
Station 4 - I meet my sorrowful mother

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Station of the cross 1 - 4

Station 5 - Simon is forced to carry my cross
Station 6 - Veronica wipes my face
Station 7 - I fall the second time
Station 8 - I meet the wailing women of Jerusalem

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Station of the cross 5 - 8

Station 9 - I fall the third time
Station 10 - I am stripped off my clothes
Station 11 - I am nailed to the cross
Station 12 - I died on the cross

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Station 9 - 12

Station 13 - I am taken down from the cross
Station 14 - My body is put in a tomb

St anne, penang, pilgrimage, catholic, malaysia
Station 13 - 14

Drinking St Anne's water is something many devotees and pilgrims will not miss when visiting Church of St Anne. A wall of taps were built behind the church to channel natural spring water for consumption. It was said that the water is cleaner than normal tap water while some regarded it to be 'miracle water'.



Visiting St Anne's church during its feast day has been almost an annual affair for my family members and I hope that this year, I will get the opportunity to visit this special church again.

If you happened to be in Penang island for vacation, don't forget to include this historical church in your travel itinerary as there are lots to see here.
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Why? Historical church with special characteristics
When: Anytime
Where: Bukit Mertajam, Penang. Malaysia.
Cost: Free admission
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