St Anthony Church Macau
Saint Anthony Church is consider to be the very first church of Macau. The original church was built in 1588.
A stone church was erected in 1638. The present neo-classical church dates back to 1930 and 1950 remodelling.
Saint Anthony is the favourite Saint of seamen.
Sometime in Macau history the Saint was entrusted with the government of Macau during his feast day. Accordingly the statue of the saint was carried on platform by a regiment of soldiers.
The local bo government, the Senado, would send two hundred forty taels – a captain’s annual salary – for the services. Apparently this amount was given until a few years ago.
The church interior is simple yet elegant. The barrel roof made of wood has simple trimmings.
The high altar is one of the best neo-classical architecture in Macau.
The local district or area is traditionally Macanese. Sunday services in Portuguese are still held in this church.
About St. Anthony of Padua
Franciscan Thaumaturgist, born at Lisbon, 1195; died at Vercelli, 13 June, 1231. He received in baptism the name of Ferdinand.
The zeal with which St. Anthony fought against heresy, and the great and numerous conversions he made rendered him worthy of the glorious title of Malleus hereticorum (Hammer of the Heretics). Though his preaching was always seasoned with the salt of discretion, nevertheless he spoke openly to all, to the rich as to the poor, to the people as well as those in authority. In a synod at Bourges in the presence of many prelates, he reproved the Archbishop, Simon de Sully, so severely, that he induced him to sincere amendment.
The name of Anthony became celebrated throughout the world, and with it the name of Padua. The inhabitants of that city erected to his memory a magnificent temple, whither his precious relics were transferred in 1263, in presence of St. Bonaventure, Minister General at the time.
The fame of St. Anthony’s miracles has never diminished, and even at the present day he is acknowledged as the greatest thaumaturgist of the times. He is especially invoked for the recovery of things lost, as is also expressed in the celebrated responsory of Friar Julian of Spires:
Si quaeris miracula . . .
. . . resque perditas.
Indeed his very popularity has to a certain extent obscured his personality. If we may believe the conclusions of recent critics, some of the Saint’s biographers, in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for the marvellous displayed by his devout clients, and comparatively oblivious of the historical features of his life, have devoted themselves to the task of handing down to posterity the posthumous miracles wrought by his intercession.
We need not be surprised, therefore, to find accounts of his miracles that may seem to the modern mind trivial or incredible occupying so large a space in the earlier biographies of St. Anthony.
It may be true that some of the miracles attributed to St. Anthony are legendary, but others come to us on such high authority that it is impossible either to eliminate them or explain them away a priori without doing violence to the facts of history.