Grand celebration at the Minor Basilica in BM

More than 100,000 people thronged the Minor Basilica of St Anne for the annual celebration of the Feast of St Anne. The myriad candles lit by the pilgrims made the church which was elevated to the status of Minor Basilica, glow in the night. It was indeed a sight to behold.

Aug 05, 2022

Pilgrims following the candlelight procession of the Statue of St Anne around Bukit Mertajam on July 30, 2022.


By Anne Mary Perumal

More than 100,000 people thronged the Minor Basilica of St Anne for the annual celebration of the Feast of St Anne. The myriad candles lit by the pilgrims made the church which was elevated to the status of Minor Basilica, glow in the night. It was indeed a sight to behold.

Penang-born Fr Christopher Lim who now serves in New South Wales, Australia, was among the concelebrants at the feast day Mass presided by Bishop Sebastian Francis.

After a two-year lull, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial expectation was that the faithful would be wary and turnout would be poor. In sharp contrast, the faithful came in droves from the very first day of the novena to seek the intercession of St Anne.

Pilgrims from far and near were also treated to meals by generous donors under the pilgrims’ meal project.

On Saturday, July 30, more than 30,000 pilgrims participated in the 6.5km procession around Bukit Mertajam town with a decorated float bearing the statue of St Anne undeterred by the drizzle which persisted throughout the procession. It is believed that such a large procession last took place in 1988 commemorating the 100th year celebration.

Volunteers came in big numbers to assist and add merriment in various areas such as the medical team, go green project, pilgrims’ meals project, duties in the Shrine, managing traffic flow by the security as well as the Rela and not forgetting our men and women in blue and many others who were on their toes aiding and guiding the visitors so as to avoid any untoward incidents.

Bravo to all especially the priests who were readily available in many designated locations almost working round the clock administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation, advising and listening to issues faced by troubled pilgrims. A big thanks to senior priests whose affable presence brought smiles to despondent dejected ones.

The altar boys and girls deserve special applause as they were enthusiastic about serving during the different masses on week-days despite having to juggle with school, homework and tuition. The flower arrangement team too passionately and patiently adorned St Anne’s shrine, and all the different language group choirs sang beautifully praising God and pleading to St Anne to intercede for us and answer our petitions.

The Minor Basilica parishioners were overjoyed and grateful for the donations of caring politicians and VIPs who gave so much support and the Australian dignitary whose presence added to the occasion. We are indeed blessed.

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