St Anthony’s Church – Macau.
St Anthony’s Church, or Igreja de Santo António, is one of the oldest churches in Macau. The church stands on the site of a chapel that was built in 1558. It was then rebuilt in stone 1638, but burnt down in 1809. The church was then rebuilt the next year, in 1810, and once again in 1875.
St Anthony’s Church façade (9 November 2007)
© Timothy Tye
The present St Anthony’s Church, built in the Neoclassical style, dates to 1930. Its façade and tower dates to 1940. The Portuguese community in Macau likes to have their weddings here, giving rise to a Chinese nickname for the church, Fa Vong Tong, or Church of Flowers. Another fire necessitated restoration to be carried out again in 1930 and further work was done on the facade and tower in 1940.
St Anthony’s Church is named after St Anthony of Padua, near Venice in Italy. Incidentally I visited the mother church, the Basilica di Sant’ Antonio in Padua where the saint’s remains are kept. In Macau, St. Anthony is the patron saint of seafarers. On his feast days, his statue would be carried by a regiment of soldiers on a platform around the city.