Monday, July 28, 2008

I was there

From the Star:

80,000 throng St Anne’s Feast

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The St Anne’s Church here was transformed into a fairyland of lights as devotees from all over the country and overseas took part in the annual St Anne’s Feast and candlelight procession last night.

The procession , the highlight of the celebration, was led by Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio at 10.20pm from the open-air mass stage near the old church before ending at 11.15pm.

Among the crowd of 80,000 people who attended the annual event, which began on July 18, at the church compound were parish priest Monsignor Stephen Liew, Bishop Anthony Selvanayagam and Bishop Paul Tan.

As the actual feast fell yesterday, there was only one candle procession held this year.

Church volunteers shouldered the statue of St Anne, the maternal grandmother of Jesus Christ, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, on a platform resting on two long poles as they circled the church grounds.

Pilgrims sang hymns during the procession, which saw altar boys carrying crosses, candles and banners while flower girls scattered petals on the ground.

Petitions and thanksgiving letters that were earlier laid before the statues of St Anne and Mary were later burnt as an offering to seek St Anne’s help to intercede in their prayers.

Candlelight procession: Devotees accompanying the statue of St Anne and Mary as the procession makes its way around the church grounds last night.

Earlier, the pilgrims made their way to the old church and the shrine of St Anne up on St Anne’s Hill to give thanks for prayers answered and to seek her help and blessings.

Among those who came to get the blessing of St Anne and Mary was housewife Phyllis Chandran, 39, and her husband V. Chandran who had been attending the feast for the past four years.

“Though my husband is a Hindu, he has faith in St Anne and that’s why he is here,” she said.

Christopher Felix, 42, a medical representative from Malacca, said he had been coming for the feast over the last 10 years.

He added that he make it a point to attend the feast each year to pray for good health, peace and prosperity.

Lim Ah Seng, 54, a self-employed from Singapore, said came to seek St Anne’s help to cure his cancer.

“I was told that my ailment can be cured if I drink the blessed holy water from the church,” he added.

No comments: