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.
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. .
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'.