The Church of St. Anne is a religious monument located in Santana, Goa, India. It is an example of baroque architecture.
Majestically nestled in the verdant hills of Santana, Talaulim, the Church of Anne was declared a “national monument” during the Portuguese era per Government Portario No. 1360 of 31/3/31. In that Portario—studded like priceless diamonds—were also the Bom Jesus Basilica, the Se Cathedral, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Convent of Santa Monica and the Church of St. Cajetan. Each of these, monumental in their architectural splendor, and all of them huddled in the former Portuguese capital of Old Goa, Goa.
Upon Goa’s annexation by India, while the aforementioned edifices were embraced as “national monuments” by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and effectively taken over, the church of St. Anne was singularly overlooked and remains forsaken to this day to the ravages of time and human neglect, the glaring fact notwithstanding—it is by far the most exquisite and the largest surviving monument of its kind in all of Asia. The church of St. Anne continues to remain largely forsaken to the ravages of time and human neglect. Today, parts of the structure remain in a precarious condition.
Construction of the Church of St. Anne began in 1577 by Monsignor Francisco de Rego (1681–1689) and its completion in 1695 fell upon the shoulders of his successor, Rev. Fr. Antonio Francisco da Cunha.
Legend has it that while construction was in progress, an elderly villager by the name of Bartholomeu Marchon, had a vision of an old lady donning a hat with a staff in hand. The old lady ambled down the neighboring hill and promulgated to Bartholomeu that the Church under construction was her home, and that it was her intent to reside there. A similar apparition was also encountered by a Brahmin lady of high social standing, who happened to be gravely ill and almost in death’s clutch. The celestial apparition anointed the lady with a miraculous cure and as a token of supreme gratitude, she embraced Christianity. Word of her miraculous cure percolated down to the village priest who instantly interpreted it as a sign of divine intervention, and without further ado, consecrated the church in honor of St. Anne.
High up in the transept facing the sanctuary, one can see a relief picture depicting the scene of St. Anne with a staff in hand and wearing a hat as seen in the apparitions.