Original Foundation of the First St. Anne's Chapel
The original foundation of the first St. Anne's Chapel can be traced back to as far back as 1833, when Chinese and Indian migrant workers arrived from the Batu Kawan area in Penang. In 1840, Chinese Catholics settled at the foothills of Bukit Mertajam and worked in the farms and orchards. At that time, there was already an established parish in Batu Kawan. Thus, French missionaries from Batu Kawan came to Bukit Mertajam to minister to the Catholic families in the area.
The Catholics in Bukit Mertajam then numbered about 190. Fr. Adolphe Couellan MEP was the first visiting priest, and it was not long later that he saw the need for a chapel. Consequently, he built one on top of the hill, about two kilometres from the town of Bukit Mertajam. The foundation and cornerstone of this first chapel can still be seen at its original site at St. Anne's Hill today.
The original foundation of the first chapel is a reminder of the important role that St. Anne Hill has played in the history of the Catholic Church in Malaysia. It is a place where faith and devotion have been practiced for more than 175 years, and it is a place where pilgrims continue to come to pray and to seek the intercession of St. Anne.
What can I do?
As you reach the summit, you will come upon a cross just next to the original foundation of the chapel, upon which an image of Jesus Crucified on the Cross is portrayed. This powerful symbol represents the immense sacrificial love of Jesus for mankind, His crucifixion, and His ultimate resurrection. Here, you are encouraged to pray, share your hopes and fears, your joys and sorrows, and everything that rests in your heart directly with Him. May your visit here strengthen your faith, enlighten your path, and bring solace to your heart.