St. Anne Church, Agonda
Amongst the tall and magnificent churches of Goa, one outstanding structure is of St. Anne that is the most exquisite surviving monuments in India. It is located in the small village Agonda and surrounded by the beaches.
The church feast is celebrated on first Saturday of May (mostly July 26). Interesting Facts on St. Anne Church
The Church was declared as the “national monument” during the Portuguese era under Government Portario No. 1360 of 31/3/31.
Irrespective of its enormity and outstanding architecture, the church has been left out for the Architectural Survey of India (ASI).
The feast of St. Anne also known as “Touceachem Feast” or the “Cucumber Feast” is marked by the rituals ‘Senhora, Tomai Colher, dai me mulher’ done by bachelors and spinsters wishing for a wife. Women perform ‘Senhora, tomai urido dai me marido’ and married couples perform ‘Senhora, tomai pepino dai me menino’.
How to Reach the Church:
Agonda village, housed on the right bank of the Siridao River lies in the Canacona Taluka of South Goa. St. Anne’s Church is just opposite to Agonda Bus Stand. The area lies in close vicinity of Velha and is well connected with the roadways. Talaulim and Agonda are fairly accessible from Mapusa, Panaji and various major cities. The main town of Canacona is at a distance of around 8 km from the village and the Goa capital, Panjim lies at a distance of 53 km. Margao is at a distance of 18 km. this area lies 4 km from north of Tiswadi Taluka of North Goa. Nearest airport is Dabolim at a distance of 62km. On the rail route, though Canacona is the nearest station, but Madgaon is the most convenient
St Anne Church site was bought by some of the local devotees in 1577 and a humble chapel was constructed there by the local priest to convert the villagers. The present day church was reconstructed by Mons Francisco do Rego with his own money, which was completed by Father Antonio Francisco da Cunha in 1695.
Legend of the Church
There is an interesting tale related to consecration of this splendid monument. Chapel when constructed initially was simply being used for the conversion of nearby villagers and was not dedicated to any saint. Later one day a man claimed to have a vision of a woman walking down the hill, and she wanted to live in that church. Subsequently, a village woman claimed of having seen that same woman in her dream. The village woman said that in the dream, the lady had hold her hand and magically cured her. The dream lady had told her name as Anna and she wanted to reside in the church uphill. The village woman graciously converted to Christianity. Whole village and the priest being stunned with these incidences interpreted these as a sign of the divine intervention and thus dedicate the church to St. Anne. Thus the church was named ‘Church of St. Anne’ or Quinta de Sant Ana’. This church initially erected as a chapel later was promoted to a church in December 1888.
The church is known for its splendid architecture and beautiful façade. The church is made in baroque architectural style. Constructed during the Portuguese reign, the architect work of the church is truly marvelous. The Church of St Anne has a unique line of Indian architecture reinvented with Portuguese style, in the modifications that suite the natives’ tastes. Church has a unique cylindrical roof structure. In the transept of the church, directed towards the altar is a picture of St. Anne with a staff in hand and wearing a hat as she was seen in the visions.
According to the Christian tradition Saint Anne of David’s house and line was the mother of the Virgin Mary. Anne in this church is also shown as the matriarch of the Holy Kinship, the extended family of Christ. This story makes a popular subject of medieval Germany.
Agonda forestry and beach, fishing in the Agonda River, Sunsets of the beach
Cabo De Rama,