St Anne's Church, Bukit Mertajam is a famous Roman Catholic
church located in Bukit Mertajam on the mainland of Penang. The church
attracts many people during the feast of Saint Anne. It is one of the
parishes in the Diocese of Penang.
The St. Anne Church of Bukit Mertajam can trace
its beginning to 1833, when Chinese and Indian Catholics from settled in
the foothills of Bukit Mertajam.
The very first Catholic church in Bukit Mertajam, a small chapel, was
built on top of the hill. The chapel was founded in 1846 by French priests. It is named after St Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of
Jesus Christ. Catholics observe her feast day on 26 July every
year. St. Anne is believed to have been born around 50BC in either
Nazareth or Bethlehem. She is the patroness of cabinet makers and
miners, as well as those engaged in the craft of spinning, weaving,
embroidery, sewing and other such skills.
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.