Monday, April 25, 2011

The Hill at St. Anne's Shrine - Bukit Mertajam, Penang

Who isn't fascinated with a mound of land where people could test their endurance and hurdle obstacles? The idea is symbolic, and the concept is a universal precept. At St. Anne's Shrine, the objective is to see the relic of a church founded 165 years ago. There isn't really much to see but a block of rock fenced in, but that's alright. The view from the spot is nice, and the way up won't challenge your limbs all that much as well. Placing white crosses, as though they are praying stations provides a dramatic backdrop to the climb. A few more steps above that is a walled statue of St. Anne and her young daughter Mary who's carrying baby Jesus.

In biblical history, the Virgin Mary's mother, St. Anne was married to Joachim, although various theologians also mention Anne's three marriages (Joachim, Clopas, and Solomas). Mary was Clopas' daughter. Anne's cult receives little attention in the Eastern Church, but Western iconography gives Anne due recognition, more commonly in a trinitarian image of Anne holding a young Mary who's in turn carrying baby Jesus. Anne was believed to have rejoined the Holy Family on their flight to Egypt. In some representations, she was also believed to have accompanied Christ during His circumcision, but the blessed "grandmother" subsequently died during Christ's youth.

I saw a St. Anne's Church (gereja) somewhere in the slopes leading to Mount Kinabalu Park, and it's a nice thought that blessed grandmothers are given due importance too.

Up next: Getting to and away from St. Anne's Shrine.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

The relic of the foundation of the first chapel, built in 1846 in honor of St. Anne, by the Rev. Fr. Adolphe Couellan, M.E.P. (1793-1866) who worked in BM (the almost-silly nickname of Bukit Mertajam) for 13 years. "Bowel movement" anyone?

Trinitarian image of St. Anne, a young Mary and the baby Jesus located just above the relic.

Prayers, intentions, offerings and several melted white candles.

Holy Water

Dataran St. Anne with, once again, the trinitarian statues of Anne, Mary and baby Jesus.

A rendering of the Pieta


Ola said...

It looks like Europe:)

eye in the sky said...

Never thought of the place that way, but, yeah.